A Telesales Story (I’m Not Proud of) With a Critical Job Search Lesson

Do you get telesales calls? I got one the other day, and they chose the wrong day.

Here’s what happened. I’m not proud.

[phone rings]

Me: Hello

Telesales Guy: I’m looking for Mr G le Roux

[Ok, like 3 seconds into the call and he’s already in trouble.]

Me: Yes (but in a tone that’s already showing impatience)

Telesales Guy: Good day Mr le Roux, how are you?

[That’s me, over the edge. Why, why, why do the sales people at CellC, Mastercard, etc who do this professionally, think that asking anyone how they are is going to go down well? Or is it just grumpy me?? ‘Cause when he’s calling me “Mister” (no-one does that usually) and when it’s followed up by “how are you?” it’s like a huge button gets switched off in me. I get irritable. Impatient. Impolite. Un-christian (I will try to improve.)]

Me: Look let’s just get to the point here, what do you want from me? Why do you ask how are you? Can’t you just get to the point? What are you selling?

Telesales Guy: Um, just a few minutes to introduce to you CellC’s offer – that you’ve been specially selected for – which features a free phone, 100 sms’s …

Me (interrupting): No thanks. I already have several contracts. Thanks anyway. (A bit of the christian in me is starting to feel bad at being rude, “he’s just doing his job” etc.)

Lesson 1

One has to do with the scripts Telesales people use. Do they really work? To me they just invite rejection. And I feel for the people who have to use them. I think it probably invites burn-out and high staff turnover.

Lesson 2

But the second is more important (to job hunters). It’s about how you present yourself in your CV and in interviews. Here’s the thing. What irritated me about the telesales call? It wasn’t the call. I can take a call. I can say no or yes. No problem so far.

Here’s what it was: they guy didn’t get to the point. He wanted to have an irrelevant, meaningless conversation first. My wife complains I don’t talk to her enough. And now I must talk to this guy?

I’m actually a willing consumer. A buyer. But I’m only interested in stuff that’s relevant to my life. Just like employers are only interested in things that are going to help them in some way.

And that’s the key. Relevance. So, in your job hunt are you:

Getting to the point – can you quickly and clearly convey what you want to say?

and …

Are you making a relevant offer – are you making the employer an offer – “I’ll give you this certain benefit/advantage/solution if you give me Rx per month.”

Here’s how the Telesales guy could have done better, I think, at least with me.

  1. Assumed it was Mr le Roux instead of having to first confirm (wasted time and flagged the call as a telesales call in my mind).
  2. Not asked “how are you?”
  3. He should immediately have made his offer:
  4. “Mr le Roux, I want to give you or someone in your family a free cell phone, 100 sms free, 100 free talk minutes on the cheapest contract possible. Should I keep talking?”

Much better. Dont’cha think?

It’s worth brainstorming a little around this point as it relates to your job hunt.

Are you getting to the point in your CV – or do you start out with all sorts of irrelevant details? Do you anywhere at all actually come out and say what you’re offering – in interviews, and in your CV and covering letter?

Need some help with this? Check this 5 point test/guideline out on this page: http://www.wowcv.net/cv-success-tests/cv-test-5-steps/ – it’s focussed on a CV but it applies to your entire ‘personal marketing’ or job hunting campaign too.

Hope this helps a little.

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