#12. Competitors’ prices – ΩΩ
TELEMARKETER: “Good evening sir. My name is Charles of Stiff & Berry Funeral Homes. I would like only a few minutes to broach the subject of a low-cost funeral plan…”
ME: Ask for the cost of their service, and then emphasise that they are to ring back with the verifiable cost of a matching product from two major competitors. “I don’t want to get ripped off, and I don’t have the time to be researching all the options.”
TELEMARKETER: “We don’t have (or can’t provide) that information.”
ME: “I don’t have that information either, so I can’t give you an informed decision, and you’ve said yourself you don’t/can’t provide it.” Terminate the call, leaving them wondering where they went wrong with their sales strategy.
Alternative: Tell the telemarketer that for you to be truly convinced you are getting a good deal that you will have to research the matter. Suggest to them, “If you are genuinely confident that you are offering me value for money then make it worth my while. To honour my effort and your faith in your product, will you agree that if I find a comparable offer for a better price that you will beat it by 10 per cent?” If he or she agrees, I like to push it further; make the deal contingent upon them giving me their business phone number. (Not that I intend to return the call. It just elevates me further in the seat of power.) If they call back in a day or two to say, “Hello Brad, it’s Jack from Stiff & Berry Funeral Homes. How did you go with…?” I reply, “Oh, you must be after my father. We have the same first name. Look [Sad voice], this is a bad time, you see, dad died last night. [Sniffle]I can’t talk right now,” and hang up.
Key: The twist with this alternative prank is to pretend you are a family member or relative, coincidentally, with the same name as the person the telemarketer is seeking. Then drop the, “You’re too late,” bombshell and terminate the call.
Extra: Use the alternative prank for other scenarios where the telemarketer is offering a price-based product or service; for example, in response to a call back from a mobile phone telemarketer: “I’m sorry, you must be after my daughter. She’s chatting with someone on her new iPhone. I’ll tell her you called, chow.”
Magazine subscription telemarketer: “Orr! I’m with you now. You want Brad senior. But he’s not available. He’s locked himself in the study with some new golfing magazine. Try again later chum.”
Gym membership telemarketer: “Sorry that’s not me. Dad’s gone to the gym, just joined, better luck next time.”
Resort accommodation telemarketer: “Look, you want the old man. He’s gone toBali on some package deal holiday without me. For all I care he can stay there.”
Finance telemarketer: “Oh, you must be after my cousin Jennifer. I’m just here on holidays. This is such a coincidence. She’s with a financial planner right now. Looks like you’re too late. Can’t win ‘em all.”