Sometimes a blog post falls from the sky, or from the telephone. Lately, our household has been bombarded with phone calls which caller ID tells me are from a well-known replacement window manufacturer. I picked up the phone last evening out of curiosity. My original intent was to ask them to take me off their call list. Here’s the transcript of my phone experience.
Telemarketer: “Hi how are you?” (Are you kidding me? This is right up there with “So, how’s it goin’?” Who begins a phone conversation with a stranger by using this type of greeting? So I asked….)
Babette: “And just who is this?”
Telemarketer: “Is this BeeBee?” (OK, so she didn’t know how to pronounce my name. And she still didn’t identify herself, either.)
Babette: “Yes it is. And just who is this?” (I’m not going to teach her how to pronounce my name and this is the second time I’ve asked for the name of her company. Two strikes and you normally are out in my book. I could have hung up at this point, but the conversation was shaping up into great content for a blog post).
Telemarketer: “Well, we called you..” (She still didn’t answer my question about who she was and who she was representing – although I knew from caller ID. I was blogging as I was speaking, at this point.)
Babette: “Wait a minute, just who is this?!” (Unbelievable. A major replacement window manufacturer. Here I am dealing with someone obviously using a phone script that was written by someone who apparently feels that prospects have a reporting relationship to their company).
Telemarketer: “Oh, this is Sylvia from Yabo Window Company. We called you two years ago and then we called you last year about replacing five windows and you told us to call you back this year. (I did?) So we are calling.” (Identities changed to protect the, well, yabos. This window company apparently has invested in a CRM system, or at least takes notes on what they think they heard – or what they wanted to hear).
Babette: “Did I really? (I wanted to keep the conversation going at this point. I couldn’t wait to hear what she would say next.)
Telemarketer: “Yes, that’s what my notes say.” (Gee, well if that’s what her notes say, I must have said exactly that. Guilty as charged. I started to wonder how many customers were persuaded by this strategy? How many folks felt obligated to buy after being told that they, apparently, had indeed made a verbal commitment after asking this company to call them back?)
Babette: “Hmm. OK.” (as I pound away on my keyboard)
Telemarketer: “So are you ready for those five windows?” (Now that’s going for the close. Assuming the customer feels an obligation to give your company their business. Assuming that there is no competition for your business. Assuming that your customer is loyal to your company. Assuming your customer is ready to buy.)
Babette: “No, we replaced them.” (Are you kidding me? I have my favorite tradesman who did a fabulous job and gives us all sorts of advice throughout the year, including recommending which window companies to use.)
Telemarketer: “Oh. Well. Are you interested in any other windows?” (Still following the script. No questions about whose windows I used for the replacement project. The conversation is still all about that company and not at all about my needs as a customer.)
Babette: “I don’t think so.” (In fact, I don’t think so, ever.)
Telemarketer: “Well, OK, Good bye.” (No thank you, no apologies for that company not being able to serve my replacement window needs, no accountability, no follow up questions. No marketing or sales intelligence.)
If this telemarketing / inside sales strategy is the standard for this company, which is probably a local manufacturer’s rep or distributor for the major US replacement window manufacturer, they just have achieved a major disservice to me as a potential customer, and to my perception of their brand.
However, do they really care about what I think… and blog about?
What’s more disturbing is that, perhaps, this strategy actually works for this national brand manufacturer. This local rep or distributor gets co-op money to buy whatever they need in marketing and advertising. So they hire a telemarketer. Perhaps they generate this script. I wondered if they had ever listened to their script live.
And So What?
I wonder what the return-on-investment their inside sales budget produces for perpetuating this script and this strategy, as ugly and crude as it sounded to me? Perhaps X amount of calls do indeed generate Y amount of people who decide – at that moment – that they do want their windows replaced, generating Z dollars.
Maybe, just maybe, this strategy is a real money maker. Why argue with what apparently works? Wow. That’s what.