Is there a secret to handling telemarketing calls? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Is there a secret to handling telemarketing calls?

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Question: “What’s your favorite technique for handling telemarketing calls? We get several every day and it’s very frustrating. It’s bad enough getting them at home much less at work, too.” — Jeannette Clarke


Hi Jeannette,
When responding to these types of calls, I usually just mention that 'this is a business office and they should not be calling.' Generally they assume they are calling a residence.

I don't know if you can add the telephone number to the government's Do Not Call list or not, but that's another option to look into.
Hope this helps.

Here the receptionist screen the calls for all staff, telemarketers are prohibited from coming into the building and we have a sign that indicated that. The receptionist will ask who the call is directed to and if presistant they are permitted to leave a voicemail only and then we just delete them.

We get a lot fewer Telemarketing calls since we started responding: That is already set up through Corporate who is in Texas (cross country), would you like the 800#? They normally do not cover cross regions, so they say thanks and hang up. Quick & easy ;-)

I immediately ask for the web site address, pull it up, print out the home page, and tell the caller I will pass along the information to my supervisor who, if interested, will contact the company. End of call.

When I receive persistent calls from telemarketers, I advise them that my executive is too busy to take calls and all solicitations need to be done by mail.

I always provide them with a fax number advise them that solicitations must be done by fax or mail. Very often they will ask, "who is in charge of QA" or some other department. We do not give out employee names or titles and I politely refuse to engage in any further exchange of information other than to give the fax #.

I work for a government agency in the purchasing department, so I've had more than my fair share of these calls. If they ask for the "decision-maker" I tell them that person cannot be bothered with these types of calls and they'll have to go through me. I usually just tell them we never order from phone solicitations and if they'd like to send us detailed information about their company and a catalog, we'd be happy to consider them as a possible vendor. Normally, they never send that info. Hmm.

All of our phone numbers are listed at the government's do-not-call registry. If we get a call from a telemarketer, we inform them that they violated the regulation by calling us, and if they do not remove us from their calling list we will file a complaint.

I have everybody's number in the office on and if a telemarketer calls I'll let them know we are on the listed on donotcall so please delete us from your database. Now, I use this website also for my home phone number and cellphone. What you'll never avoid is charity organizations but at least donotcall works very good and you have to update the website every 5 years. I hope this helps.

I get a lot of telemarketing calls as well! I do what others said, tell them this is a business and that usually gets rid of them. However, many of them call for the director of my department and won't say why they are calling, just that they will call him back. I do not want him to have to deal with them, so lately I've been insisting that they must speak with me and that I handle all of these matters for him. I also tell them that they can keep calling but that they will continue to get me. Then I'm able to tell them we aren't interested from there. I really don't get a lot of repeat calls as a result.

Sharon, I recently heard that people do NOT have to update every five years on the "do not call" list. From what I understand, the original plan had been to update every five years but the government changed that ruling. So...good news on that anyway!

Did you know that telemarketers are hired by almost every company to help build their businesses including Microsoft, Yahoo, Pepsi, Coke and many more fortune 500 companies?

In my VA business, we get numerous requests on a daily basis for telemarketing services. Companies pay very well for this service and all they are asking is just for you to take a 'look' to see if they could perhaps help or save your company money. How do you know that the "Decision Maker" hasn't been asked by his boss to find a particular service or goods.

May I ask...does it really hurt to be polite, listen, and pass the info along to the Decision Makers? The next time a telemarketer calls you, think about this...he/she is doing a job just like you.

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

By the way, the Do Not Call Registry is ONLY for your home number. Business numbers do not apply.

"How do you know that the 'Decision Maker' hasn't been asked by his boss to find a particular service or goods."

For most administrative professionals it's our job to know! I can only imagine how chaotic the day would be for our CEO if we put through every call that requested him.

A lot of cold calls to our business are not only solicitors but recruiters who are trying to poach employees, or figure out the management structure within our company for recruiting purposes.

We are always polite, and offer for the caller to send information on their product or request via email. 95% of the time we never hear from them again.

If your boss was trying to get information on a certain product or service, don't you think the caller would have his or her name and not just ask for the "Decision Maker"?
Sure, there are legitimate telemarketers out there, but the great majority of our calls are from flat-out scammers. If the person is legit, he or she should be perfectly willing to leave a call-back number.

Telemarketing is an illegitimate business practice, PERIOD. I have yet to have a call from a telemarketer who is "nice" to me after I begin to ask them who they are and what they want. I do not consider it to be necessary to be "nice" to people just because "they're doing their job." If you don't like people in the business community treating you like the pariah that you are, then find another job.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

bellealyn May 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

That this number is on the do not call regestery and this number is being reported.


Kate March 15, 2011 at 11:31 am

If you are legit, I will be polite to you (heck, I am always polite..) but when you will not give me information you will not get anywhere. If you ask for John Jr. — the given name of my boss but one he never uses and then get aggressive I know you are bogus. We are a small company, my job is to be a gatekeeper as my bosses are v. busy. They also respect my opinion, so if you can impress me you will stand a good chance of getting business with us. Receptionists are not idiots, we are the gatekeepers and we can, and will, keep you out! PS. I love the ones who say they will report me to the head of the firm – oh yeah? and how exactly are you going to get to him if I will not put you through hum?


Lala January 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm


I’m 19, supporting my disabled mother, and only making 12 bucks an hour. Again, give us a break.


Lala January 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Posted by: Karen | April 24, 2008 at 01:09 PM

Telemarketing is an illegitimate business practice, PERIOD. I have yet to have a call from a telemarketer who is “nice” to me after I begin to ask them who they are and what they want. I do not consider it to be necessary to be “nice” to people just because “they’re doing their job.” If you don’t like people in the business community treating you like the pariah that you are, then find another job.
I’m a “telemarketer” I’ve called businesses for bosses who have filled out entire forms for an insurance request for personal insurance quotes and given only an office number because they are there most of the day. I’ve had numerous administrative assistants/ receptionists be rude to me when I didn’t give them a real reason to be.
You are representing the business and your superior. If you put us to the voice mail, okay. But I’m just a verification specialist and my company only allows agents to leave messages as we don’t have our own lines. We’re a legitimate business. I’ve been on both sides of this. Right now (since I got laid off and the job market isn’t the best) I’m telemarketing. Before that I was a receptionist. Just be professional and most of the time (can’t say for everyone) we will be. If they hang up or what have you, remember, they’re dealing with tons of rude people everyday. How would you like it if every client you spoke to treated you like a diseased sewer rat?


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