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Telemarketing Secrets from the Grave

April 5th, 2007 by Bob Bly

Just 10 seconds ago, I got a call from a telemarketer identifying himself as “Allen” from “the Garden of Memories.”

He was calling to tell me they are building new mausoleums and gauge my interest in a purchase.

Although I would not be put off by a cold call from a life insurance salesperson, I was by a cold call from a graveyard.

Not sure why: both are based on my eventual death. And both are services that people buy.

Yet I found Allen creepy.

Are certain offers and products OK in space advertising or direct mail, but taboo to you, as a consumer, in telemarketing?

Or do you hate all telemarketing calls equally?

I suggested to Allen that a newspaper ad would be a better way to drum up business, and even gave him the headline:

“DEAD?”

He was not amused.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2007 at 6:57 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

43 responses about “Telemarketing Secrets from the Grave”

  1. Sean D'Souza said:

    Bob, you sure no one has a contract on you?

  2. Jodi Kaplan said:

    In a variation on that theme;my grandmother kept getting telemarketing calls for my grandfather after he died. She finally got fed up, told the caller that he’d moved, and asked if they would like his new addresss. When they said yes, she gave them the name of the cemetery and the plot number.

  3. Don Marti said:

    The amount I hate any given advertising medium is roughly proportional to how much time it takes relative to how much benefit it gives me.

    Sponsor banner hanging over a conference: no hate, since it doesn’t take me any more time to walk under it than not, and I appreciate being able to go to the conference.

    Magazine ad: nano-hate, since it takes me a second to turn the page but I know the ad pays for most of the cost of the magazine.

    Direct mail: more hate, since it takes time to sort and recycle. (Although some direct mail includes some useful information that makes it “pay for itself.”)

    Telemarketing, junk faxes, and email spam: now we’re talking hate.

  4. Suzanne Ryan said:

    Jodi, the story about your grandmother is hilarious! I love it.

    As for a cold call about mausoleums and cemetery plots….brrrrr….that creeps me out. I would think you’d need a carefully selected call list for that: The Vampire Society or Hypochondriacs Anonymous perhaps?

  5. Deborah Chaddock Brown said:

    Bob – you are right – some things are just too distasteful (no matter the reality of eventual need) to cold call about. But I have to say your suggested title was a hoot! Kind of like the billboard “Can’t Read? Call 1-800-xxxxxx).

  6. Sean Woodruff said:

    Having worked for a client in the monumuent business I can tell you the industry has a completely different view than their market. In fact, the “trick” to teaching them to market effectively was making them realize that the market is really uncomfortable talking about the product.

    While I have used telemarketing in the past for various clients I think it is getting more and more unacceptable and just one more form of life interuption. I think telephone follow-up to a lead that has been generated in some other medium is fast becoming about the only effective use of the phone in marketing.

  7. Suzanne Ryan said:

    Sean

    I have mixed feelings on whether telemarketing is becoming less acceptable or not. I have never been a good candidate for telemarketers– but that’s because many companies seem to use blind lists and haven’t carefully targeted their audience.

    I do b2b telephone prospecting and I consider it an essential part of getting new clients. But I’ve had to learn which industries are likely to use a copywriter. I am also using a calling method that quickly eliminates tire kickers or people who think they are going to get a free consultation.

  8. Scott said:

    I know an Allen (or Al) that does this for a living. I wonder if it’s the same guy?

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