Don't Mimic UK Nuisance Call Crackdown Scourge

Much pixelated screen estate has been devoted to the scourge that is nuisance calling in Blighty these past few days.

Here follows the transcript of an oft-played snippet on this story. It is the opening line of what’s known as a ‘PPI’ cold caller. An entire industry has erupted to claim back cash that banksters in Britain wrongly charged anyone borrowing money throughout this century.

The lenders’ ruse was you were paying for insurance in case you couldn’t ever make any payments. But it was either worthless, or never explained, or both.

The PPI cold caller angle is that although anyone can reclaim for free, they rather will do it for you and charge a hefty commission for the privilege. And they badger you. Relentlessly. Allegedly. Hence the clamour for such nuisance call clampdown. PPI for those outside these shores, stands for the name of the original mis-sold product; payment protection insurance. So, that transcript;

“Hello, just a quick call about your payment protection insurance.

Have you managed to get any of that money back yet?”

As you’d expect, the delivery (from a young chap in this case) was bright, breezy, natural and matter of fact.

A 21-word opener.

There’s a lot to be said for this on first listen.

Over the past decade, LSE logging shows the combined fines of the UK’s ten largest banks to be an eye-watering £150bn.

Is there an adult in the country who has not been ripped off by them?

This makes the cold callers’ target market practically everyone.

So they dive straight in. They’re open from the off about what the call is about.

Then they go for the jugular. If you are a genuine ‘prospect’, you are compelled to infer there is money you should have that you do not currently enjoy swilling around your coffers.

Direct, to the point, sharp.

You can imagine the call-trees plastered all over their walls with how to ideally handle every conceivable answer they get to their verbal pontoon hand.

I suspect it isn’t for the intrusion of the call alone, nor it’s snappy decision demanding start, that earns the label ‘nuisance’. At least as culpable must be the incessant pressure that follows even the slightest engagement.

Yet dealing with the opening statement, it is interesting the quoted callers have gone for one specific pain. They are clearly ‘following the money’.

Yet other ‘pains’ exist.

Worry, concern, curiosity, daunt, fear, time, effort, expertise.

I’d have to make calls myself to fully judge, but my hunch is that to start off on the money is too blunt. Brusque. And personal.

“Are you wondering what these PPI refunds are all about?”

There’s one alternative perhaps. Yet I can imagine what the boiler room environment from where these calls emanate are like. They’ve had a fair few years at this so have likely settled on their preferred path of least resistance and maximum return.

Nevertheless, as nuisance calling is not restricted to PPI sharks (there is a bona fide part of their industry it must be said) it is interesting for legitimate cold callers that here is a simple structure.

Many of them could heed the PPI structure. And properly adapt it to their trust-winning needs. Can you?

Don’t shy away from what the call is about. Don’t bother with needless salutations or front talk. Jump right into your problem statement.

According to one sector representative wheeled out on this, Mike Lordan of the Direct Marketing Association, there are one million authentic practitioners.

My jaw dropped at this.

Such a stat means that in the UK, one in every thirty workers are doing a telesales job. I find that incredible. And if it is so, then why oh why is the level of teleselling so poor?

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