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Reassure Rebuild Re-ask; The Charity Cold Calling 3Rs Trap

“Ian McDowell experiences misery working in a cold calling centre to raise money for charities and questions this method of fund-raising.”

We’re indebted to this comms pro for recounting his trauma. Listen yourself via the September 2015 free BBC download of his 15-minute tale.

Encouraged in part by the “cheery burble in the background” he’d heard when receiving cold calls himself (duly suspended your disbelief) he took a part-time job in charity telesales.

Alarms bells surely begin to ring with the “bouncy” description of their “values driven company” by his recruiter.

Greeted day one by a handful of his 150 co-workers (“the outlandish were strongly represented”) with “surprise bordering on pity”, he noted the environment of champions.

Permanent “yammering” away surrounded by the “spaghetti of cabling” where “everything but everything was filthy”.

What did he learn?

‘the sink or swim was called The Ask’

Or rather perhaps, The Asks. Plural.

“always ask three times and never but never to use the words cancel or refund”

If they said No first time of asking (which they always do), you must deploy The 3 Rs.

Reassure  Rebuild  Re-ask

Roughly equating to; show you understand their reluctance and that it’s perfectly acceptable, go over the plight you’re promoting once more with further feeling and then even more fanfare for another ‘ask’.

It is so disheartening. Even worse to hear the command, “follow the script”.

Most recipient evidently hung-up almost immediately. The moment that they clocked the tell-tale background “rumble of the call centre voices”.

And who needs to suffer a new boss’s voice “throbbing with pent up death ray”.

He lasted three days.

A chastening example of how NOT to do (or manage) your outbound, proactive phone-based lead gen.

Our brave soul goes on to suggest the power of the ‘victims’ and their stories and experiences are not being utilised. My mind’s eye raced to seeing drought-ravaged Africans, homeless Londoners or *shudder* children trapped in abuse occupying call centre chairs.

If your tele-office has any of these aspects, then time for a clean-up.

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