How Not to Sell Stuff

Today I got a phone call from some guy who was asking for the person who “is in charge for marketing” in my company. At that point my brain told me to click the red button to end the call, but of course I didn’t do that… the guy started saying that he just needs to update my information in their website catalog.

I managed to ask their site URL, and checked it (looked ok). Again I thought that there’s something fishy, but the guy just kept saying how he’ll just want to make sure the information is correct. He mentioned my company name, street address, phone number etc. and I said that all seemed to be correct. I even gave site URL, and finally… just before the was about to end the call he said. “We charge 40 euro for updates, have a nice…” – to which I interrupted by saying “I’m not going to pay that”.

His tone of voice changed a bit and he asked me “What, so you are going to stay outside this?”. I said “That’s right Watson” (okay, I didn’t say “Watson” but I now I hope I had). Then he started saying how they are getting “click tracking and whatnot and then he repeated if I really want to miss this opportunity”. I said “Yep, that’s correct” (I wish I had said “Yep, that’s correct grasshopper”).

Then he hang up (not sure if we said “bye”) to which I said “(poo)hole” out loud. (I wish I hadn’t…).

Anyway, I think there’s lessons here:

1) I actually think that this type of “hide the fee in the end” will increase their conversion rate. People who bother to take time to give their details feel like “I have wasted my time if I don’t pay this now” (I felt like “I have wasted my time, and am I about to waste my money too?”). I think it’s ugly tactic, but I could estimate that this works better than saying in the beginning “We have this 40 eur program, are you interested?”. Might work better in terms of conversion, but gives an ugly feeling. It’s almost like scamming people to buy.

2) I’m going to ask “are you trying to sell something?” whenever somebody calls me…

Juuso Hietalahti

One Comment

  1. I hate these kind of companies.

    The “service” that they are trying to trick you into buying is absolutely worthless.

    It’s always web directories that have no viewers and are never actually updated anyways.

    You are lucky though. What they tend to do around here, is to try to mislead you into thinking they are from some official well known listing service, like a phone company, using similar name, and once they trick someone to pay, they make it very very hard for them to get out of it again, usually making people pay, even thought they never have to, because people end up thinking it will be more trouble if they don’t.

    I wish these companies would call me more often, because I make sure to waste their time, and I know exactly that they can do absolutely nothing, because everything they say and try to threaten with is just lies.

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