Tales from the cold call crypt


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taking a break from my monday morning ritual of calling and I was wondering if anyone had any good stories to tell about their calling experiences any funny stories any bad cussings you've taken whatever I think most people may fear calling because of the unknown but I can honestly say that in 25 years of selling everything from real estate to cars to insurance that the worst experience besides the quick hang up that occassionally happens is one time I called and after a few rings an answering machine came on and I was about to hang up a elderly lady answered she was saying hello I was yelling hello and the blame machine was still just a playin along when the mac finally let out it's BEEP about the time i bellowed out a very loud HELLO it dawned on her I was a telemarketer she immed turned into the tazmanian devil I truly believe she invented some cuss words when she hung up she slammed it so hard I would'nt be surprised if she cracked the receiver I laughed it off and immed called someone else and got an appt (thank GOD) but that was the worst for me Hope I didn"t just snare myself lol :shock: (look on my face when she was cussin lol
It has been my experience that most people I have contacted are polite and professional, however, I did have one experience when I was brand new to the insurance industry that I wish to share that taught me a few lessons. Please bear in mind that I was captive with you know how that rhymes with BASE.

I contacted a gentlemen, in his late 30's early 40's who had a COBRA policy for him and his family (he wouldn't divulge what they were paying). I explained to him how I might be able to help save money and provide better coverage, but I would need some information first to find out if they qualify. Essentially, after I explained how I operate and how health insurance works, I ended the statement as I normally always do with, Does everything I said make sense? 90% of the time I would hear "Yes," and the other times resulted in "No", and then I would follow-up to clarify anything. However, this guy did something that took me off guard.

He immediately became irate and began to explain that he has been in sales for 15 years, understands how health insurance works, is not an ***, yadda, yadda, yadda. And to top it off, he closed with, "Does that make sense?" I couldn't help from smiling and laughing to myself, as it was the only thing I could do to keep from venting my feelings. Normally I am a pretty relaxed type of guy, but he got my blood running. It felt like one of moments like you see in a western movie when you are waiting to see who draws first :) I did not get an appt., nor was there any sale but the experience taught me a few valuable lessons.

1) Do not waste my time with people who are uninterested in talking openly and honestly with me about their health insurance needs. It is clear I did not establish trust with this guy and if this occured now, I would have just asked him if he was interested in receiving information first before I went into qualifying him.

2) One pitch cannot be used for everybody with optimal success. Had I experienced this now, I would have been more compassionate and said, "You seem upset." and politely excused myself if I did not get anywhere with him and he did not calm down. Although I apologized for offending him, which I think is the right thing to do normally, he clearly was upset about something, took it out on me. I have a two strike rule. The first time something happens it is the other person's fault. The second time it is my fault, and hence, when it comes to establishing business, one time is all they get from me.

3) Telemarketing is a pain the butt sometimes :D

When Part D was first in the market, I had a guy call me who wanted to know what plan to pick. So, I started explaining the plans (there were 3 we offered), and how they are structured...

He interupted me and said he had been a sales manager for years, and didn't need my sales pitch. Mind you I had not asked him any questions, I was just explaining the coverage gap. He just wanted to know what plan was the best. He rumbled some more info on how he was a great sales manager and did not need this, and the call ended.

So, I was at my Wal Mart with Humana and he came up and told me picked a plan online and was unhappy with it. I started to ask him what plan he had, what he was paying (so I could determin what plan he had) and he went into the whole he does not need a pitch. So, I stopped, sat back, and told him to call his agent. He looked at me, and rolled away grumbling in his motorized cart.

Thank God he went online!
just do it

I asked people to share their stories to show people especially the new guys that it really isn't as bad as they would imagine it to be It has been my experience that most people are by nature nice it is not in our human psyche to be rude to someone without reason out of a days calling you WILL get more no's than yes's but that's ok if you persist you WILL get more than enough yes's to make a good income
I revied this thread because I really needed to see some of this insight. I don't know why, but lately, I've been making any excuse NOT to cold call, and I just can't figure it out. I've done cold calling before, and it didn't kill me.

Sure, I haven't been wildly successful with cold calling, but I am at the very very bottom of the learning curve. I'm still convinced that cold calling is the most cost effective and efficient way to get a good base of clients, but DAMN! It's like jumping into a cold poll - you KNOW that the water is cold, and that it'll SUCK for a little bit, but you'll gradually get used to it.

Any other advice for me?
I am the same about despising cold calling. I keep saying i dont want to do it anymore, it is a pain. But I really think the successful people are the ones who realize they are selling a service that people need. If you dont ask ( i.e. dont call) and they need it , isnt that worse than asking and they telling you they dont need it
You have a gap from 9:30am to 11:00am today with no meetings and no other incoming leads to call, what are you going to do? If you cold call, you have a shot at getting a new account. If you don't you have no shot. Seems like a simple business decision to me. You have an obligation to be as profitable as possible. If your just sitting around, mays well not be working (I say this as I'm waiting on hold at the moment).
You guys are generally talking about cold calling individuals which is easier than big business. Try cold calling the Fortune 500 today, it's next to impossible. You can't even find the right name most of the time. Secrataries block you. When you find the right person 90% of the time it's Voicemail and it's never returned. When you get them, most are harder to deal with than individuals. It's a dying trade because of the barriers.
My favorite quote from me:

SELF-WORTH!!! Cold calling has left my bruised and battered self-worth in the dark corner of my office, curled up in a fetal position humming ‘I’m a little tea pot’”

The emotion of cold calling caught in one sentence...
Talked to a Russian lady one day and she wanted a quote for her husband for health insurance. After listening to some of her husband's health problems I gave her an estimate of what I thought it would be. She goes on to say that her good friend works at the hospital and can get her a better plan that's about 75% less.

I told her that if that was the case then she should sign up for that plan IMMEDIATELY. Then she goes on to talk about shopping around and asked me if I could beat that price. I again told her that she should go down to the hospital and ask her friend about the plan and sign up on the spot today.

Lady became irrate at that point because she knew I called her out and begins to call me names. Told her to have a good day and hung up on her.