Nuisance Cold Calls: A Startup Owner’s Worst Nightmare!

It’s bad enough when we get cold calls at home. No one likes to stop what they’re doing to answer the phone, only to be met by a nuisance cold call. But, the issue becomes much more serious when you’re working in business. Not only can you be interrupted during the middle of important dealings; it tends to happen a lot more often, too. These cold callers know that you’re the owner of a business, and that makes you an attractive prospect to them.

This is why you’ll soon be keen to put a stop to these calls as quickly as possible. Prevention is the best solution, but we’ll help you to both prevent and remedy these irritating instances.

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Register With TPS

In the UK, TPS is the Telephone Preference Service. By signing up for it, it becomes illegal for some companies to contact you further. However, there are limitations to this, so you won’t necessarily get away with nuisance calls entirely. Still, registering with the TPS is totally free, meaning that it’s worth doing for any startup.

Get An Answering Service

As we just mentioned, it’s going to be difficult to block out nuisance calls entirely. Some are bound to slip through the net no matter what, and this will probably drive you crazy! One way to ditch them for good is to get an answering service on your company’s behalf. If you visit www.yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk or a similar website, you’ll find this sort of service. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and it might just save your sanity!

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Block Numbers Directly On Your Phone

 

If the the nuisance calls are coming through directly to your smartphone, you’re in luck. Most modern smartphones come with the ability to block numbers directly. By heading to the options screen, you can set this up for any number you desire. Then, when that person tries to ring again, you won’t be bothered, and they’ll get your voicemail.

 

Look Up The Number Online

But, what if you don’t know which number to block? Sometimes, callers don’t say anything on the end of the phone. Or, you might mistake it for someone else’s number that you need to keep. In a case like this, the internet can come in useful. Websites like www.who-called.co.uk can help to identify any numbers that appear unrecognizable. Other people leave comments on sites like this detailing their experiences.

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Be Careful With What You Sign Up For

 

Ultimately, companies are getting your number from somewhere. Sometimes, you can’t do a whole lot about it. At others, it’s a direct result of an action you’ve taken. When signing up for different services and products, be sure to check the small print. You’ll often find the ability to opt out of additional contact, which is an important consideration.

Nuisance cold calls aren’t going away anytime soon, but you’ll find that these tips largely put a stop to them. Hopefully, you’ll find that instead of a major nuisance, they’re nothing but a minor inconvenience.

 

You’re Doing it Wrong: Potential Clients/Leads

(As previously seen on the HelaWrite blog.)

Last time I checked, there are still absolutes in this world. If I throw a rock at your head, it’s not a feather pillow just because you call it so. And, guess what? Your head will hurt, unless you’re completely numb or drugged, etc. I know that’s an extreme (and violent) example, but this world is so full of opinions and methods that are…well, wrong. The world is also full of opinions and methods that are right—very right.

Therefore, I’ve created a series titled: “You’re Doing it Wrong.” This series is not meant to degrade any one person or any one practice, but to simply shed some light on many wrongdoings in “work world.” However, be warned: I can get pretty sassy. (Perhaps you have already read my Twitter post in this series.)

Today’s topic? The wrong way to pursue potential leads/clients.

My sister bought a house this year—yay for her!—and while she was looking, she subscribed to a few local real estate e-newsletters and such, in order to better educate herself about the current market. When she found an agent she liked and wanted to work with, she decided to let the agent take over, and unsubscribed from all the annoying real estate emails she was receiving way too often.

Rather than find a nice “unsubscribe confirmation” email in her inbox, she was surprised to find a somewhat desperate email about her action of unsubscribing from a particular firm. The guy just couldn’t let go. He even encouraged her to go and like his Facebook page and view his YouTube channel.

Look, I’m all for giving people great resources, but seriously?

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This is the WRONG way to attract potential clients/leads. It’s the old skool form of marketing—direct marketing, and specifically, a cold call (cold email, in this case). I’ll tell you how to remedy this at the end of this post, but first, I’d like to share the actual email from Real Estate Man that was sent to my sister.

Take heed if you have ever done something to the effect of the email below:

Dear [removed],

Thank U for your feedback. I am sorry to see you have chosen to unsubscribe from my exclusive home search website, but I just wanted to make sure I had every opportunity to help you since you subscribed recently with the info. submitted.

Its a very challenging market right now with limited inventory, rising prices & rising intereste rates. Its not a market for the “faint of heart.” Pls feel free to get back to me if I can be of service to you or someone near & dear to you as well in the not too distant future. Thanks so much again. Sincerely, [removed]

p.s. I also invite you to check out & “LIKE” my FB Biz page that is full of Great info., current community events & pertinent market data & info.

(I removed all his other PPS additions, because he added his social media links.)

My problems with this communication piece:

  • Not spelling out words. Be professional and craft a better form of communication, especially if you’re trying to attract clients.
  • Send an auto unsubscribe confirmation email and leave it at that. Asking for feedback as to why someone has unsubscribed from your materials is appropriate, but leave them alone after that.
  • A first time home buyer does not want to hear that the market is not for the “faint of heart.” If you’re a good real estate agent, I’ll hire you to do all the dirty work, and I need to know that you’re going to be my partner.
  • Check your grammar and sentence structure before sending out a “professional” communication. I know I’m picky because I’m a writer and editor—and trust me, I make mistakes, too—but I am always turned off by people who don’t invest in bettering their communication materials. If you’ve been selling houses for a while, I know you have enough money to hire a proofreader to catch glaring mistakes.
  • Don’t ask me to “like” you on Facebook or watch your videos, especially if A) I don’t want to receive your communications any more, and B) I don’t even know you yet. It’s like going on a blind date and then proposing. Things are moving a little too fast…buh-bye.

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I know there are worse emails out there, but this one struck a nerve with me. Plus, my sister later told me that he contacted her again! There comes a point where, if you reach out too often to people who clearly don’t want to use your services, your methods can actually become a form of harassment. You are in danger of becoming like those telemarketers who call people every night during dinner, asking if they want to save the earth by purchasing stuffed honey badgers. Just. Stop. (Not to mention that someone could very possibly take action against you and who has time for all that legal stuff?)

How could Mr. Real Estate have done things better?

  • For starters, he could have simply respected my sister’s choice to unsubscribe. Plain and simple. She’s probably not in his target market anyway, and focusing your efforts on leads like that is a waste of your time.

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  • He could have used a proofreader or editor for his communication. Hell, just spelling out you rather than using U would have made a vast improvement.

Spell out you

  • Moving forward, he should reconsider his marketing efforts and brush up his knowledge on Inbound Marketing—marketing, basically, that brings leads and clients in to you rather than you figuring out how to reach every single market through cold calls, etc. Click HERE to read an article about defining Inbound Marketing, via HubSpot.

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Takeaway: Don’t be that guy. Don’t be pushy while reaching out. Instead, read some marketing books and current articles, change your old ways of thinking when it comes to building your customer base, and for the love of everything that is professional—proofread your emails!

Stay tuned for next Friday’s “You’re Doing it Wrong” post.

BONUS: Awesome Marketing/Copywriting/Writing Blogs to help you become a better professional:

HubSpot

Copyblogger

Writer’s Digest

AWAI

Jeff Bullas