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« The Rapture: Now, More Than Ever | Main | The Unity Concept »

Defending Yourself against Telemarketers

telemarketer.jpgThey call during your dinner hour, wake you up in the middle of your Sunday afternoon nap and even in the morning when you are gulping down your coffee and trying to get out the door. Their phony niceties and polite conversation set you up for hard sells. They won’t take no for an answer. Every response you give only leads to another question. How do they get you to cooperate with them? Easy. You have a natural curiosity about who is calling you. You fear missing an important call or an emergency. You have been trained to be cordial to every caller. They know that and they take advantage of it. Sometimes you buy from them just to get them off the phone. The FREE RIDE needs to be OVER for the telemarketers!

Many people just let their answering machines screen all calls. Others depend on caller ID to determine whether or not they will answer a call. The problem with these tactics is that they are not foolproof. There are some calls you need to take, even though you don’t recognize the name or number. If you do, read on.

First, do not kid yourself about the innocence of telemarketers. They have been thoroughly trained to know how to deal with you. They have response sheets in front of them to know how to respond to any answer you give. While you are answering in good faith, they see you as a challenge, not as a nice person to chat with on the phone. They are under so much pressure to meet quotas that they don’t really listen to your protests for rejecting their offer. They are only scrambling to find an effective way to get you to accept. If you naïvely answer the phone thinking that you are going to have a pleasant conversation with an old friend, get ready to be exploited.

Second, do not feel guilty about being evasive, non-committal or even rude (if necessary) to sales callers. After all, if you meet a street salesman hawking his wares, you say, “No, thank you,” and keep walking. If an unwanted door-to-door salesman comes to your house, you don’t feel embarrassed about saying you’re not interested and shutting the door in his face. Why, then, should you feel any differently about telemarketers? They have no special privileges. They have no right to be on your phone. You are under no obligation to treat them with more courtesy than you would a salesman in any other venue. The RULES have CHANGED!

Third, tape a response sheet (like they do) to a place convenient to your phone and read it slowly and deliberately. Answer none of their questions. NONE! (Unless, in the unlikely event that you are truly interested.) Tell them that you do not accept sales calls for any reason. They will say something like, “Are you interested in saving hundreds or thousands of dollars?” Let an awkward pause follow. This is where you need to decide if you need to get firm or if you should stay passive. Your answer? “I do not accept sales calls for any reason.” If you are creative with words, you can say a lot of things, ask them questions, and make them feel that they are truly inconveniencing you. You don’t have to do this, but you can if you want. If you don’t, you can hang up. Yes. You really can hang up. It’s like walking away from a street hawker. It’s like shutting the door in the face of a door-to-door salesman. It’s not wrong. Again, the rules have changed.

Your personal tranquility must be valued and preserved. You have no reason to allow yourself to be victimized or upset by someone who is paid to call you. Either you value their feelings when they don’t value yours, or you take steps to defend yourself against telemarketers.

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Reader Comments (1)

Bro. Jordan,

I recently read an article in a periodical for mothers about how to deal with telemarketers. This publication is not Apostolic, but it is written from a Christian perspective. It was about one woman's decision to accept each telemarketer's call as if it was a lost soul the Lord had sent her way. She would find a way to witness to that soul. Telemarketers are people too. They are usually underpaid people that are working any job they can to get up on their feet, to help pay for college bills, or to get a new start in life, etc. We don't know their circumstances. Take it from an ex-telemarketer, it's not an easy job! No telemarketer I ever met plans to make that their career! They are people just like you and me. Most are in transition. This is simply one rung in the ladder to get where they're going. It's not a pleasant path, but it's the one they find themselves on.

A few years back, my husband and I who live in one of the most expensive ares in the nation, fell on hard times. Although my husband felt it best for me to be a stay-at-home mother, it became apparent that I would also need to get a job to feed the kids. In order to continue obeying my God-given calling to stay at home with my children, I took a night job. It was the only job I could find. It was telemarketing. It wasn't fun, but it was an answer to prayer. I can't tell you how many nights I came home and burst into tears, or how hard it was to pick up the phone and make one more call after I'd been cussed out, threatened, hung up on, lied to, and treated rude all night.

I challenge your readers to take another look and perhaps gain a new perspective. We are living in the last days. Every moment counts. Every souls counts. Every telemarketer is a soul! Perhaps they are a lost soul. Perhaps God is sending them to you! Do you realize how refreshing it may be to that hurting soul on the other end of the line to feel the warmth of Christ's love flowing through your voice? Have you ever taken the time to stop and ask them how their day is going? Have you ever taken the extra 5 minutes to say, "I'm so glad you called!", and then allow the Holy Ghost to give you utterance to speak the gospel with boldness?

Allow the love of Christ to flow through you in ministry. Yes, even to the dreaded 'telemarketer'. They're not evil beasts. They're usually a lost & searching, hurting soul in need of a savior. The same Savior that lives in you and in me. I know because I was one.

They talk all night, saying the same things, and enduring the same rude responses. They are ready to hear a friendly voice. I know because I've tried it.

They are ready to listen. They are a part of the harvest. I know because they received it when I shared this Acts 2:38 message with them. One of them was a UPC backslider who sounded as if she were in tears as God's love called her back into His arms.

I'm not saying I've always been sweet and kind, but I'm striving toward it! I admit I've hung up on these uninvited intrusions in the past, but how can I say the love of Christ is in me, if I've shut up my bowels of compassion?

I'm learning a new way - a better way. I'm learning how to practice hospitality even to the uninvited stranger on my phone. I'm not there yet, but the Lord has convicted my heart. We can't afford to be callous and cold. That's a worldly trait, not an anointed, Holy Ghost filled, Apostolic Christian's trait!

We are the people of the name - Jesus! Shouldn't we demonstrate His love even to the telemarketer & the salesman at the door? I've taught Bible studies to those God sends to my door! I see every opportunity as if God sent them my way, and indeed He has!

"When you've done to the least of these my brethren, you've done it unto me."

Go ye into the harvest. It is ripe! We must work while it is yet day to reach every lost soul God sends our way!!


September 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

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