In my previous post (Do Telemarketers Drive You Bonkers?) I promised to share an example from my own life where I was able to creatively have fun with telemarketers. This happened many years ago when I decided to sell my house as a “For Sale By Owner.”
When I shared this plan with a few friends, they told me I was crazy. They said I would get bombarded with calls from every real estate agent in my city trying to list the house for me. So I knew what was coming and I decided to create a game plan that would keep me from becoming aggravated.
“That’s Nice, But…”
I decided that every time a real estate agent would call me, I would play a little game with them called “that’s nice, but…”
As soon as they introduced themselves as a real estate agent, I would say “that’s nice, but I’m not interested in speaking with real estate agents.” If they didn’t hang up or go away right then, I would stay on the line as long as it took for them to give up.
No matter what pitch they gave me, my answer would always be “that’s nice, but I’m not interested in speaking with real estate agents.” The game was to see which caller could go the longest before concluding that I wasn’t interested in speaking with them. Due to my lack of experience in the sales world, I didn’t think many would last very long. I was truly amazed (and amused) to find out just how long many would go on.
Here’s how a typical call would go:
Agent: Hi, my name is __________ and I see you are trying to sell your house on your own. I’m a local Real Estate agent with ____________ and I really think we can help you sell your house faster and get a better price.
Me: That’s nice, but I’m not really interested in speaking with Real Estate agents.
Agent: Oh, but I think we can really do a great job for you and find you a buyer much quicker than you could on your own.
Me: That’s nice, but I’m not interested in speaking with Real Estate agents.
Agent: Wouldn’t you like to get more money for your house and have fewer hassles selling it?
Me: Yes, I might. But I would have to be willing to speak with a real estate agent to do that, and as I’ve already told you, I’m not interested in speaking with real estate agents.
Agent: Aren’t you worried about wasting your time with poorly qualified buyers and completing all the legal paperwork? We’ve got lots of experience with this and can make the process a whole lot easier and less stressful for you.
Me: Yes, that sounds wonderful, but I would need to be willing to speak with a real estate agent to get those benefits, and as I’ve already told you, I’m not interested in speaking with real estate agents.
Agent: But wouldn’t you like to get more money for your house? I’m sure we could do that for you?
Me: Wow. That sure would be great! But you see, I’d have to be willing to speak with a real estate agent to do that, and as I’ve already told you, I’m not interested in speaking with real estate agents.
Agent: Goodbye. (Exasperated)
Me: (“That was sure fun.”)
A Well-Designed Stress-Buster Game
The great thing about this game was that it took all the stress and irritation away for me:
- I didn’t have to fear hearing the phone ring or pick it up and find that it was a real estate agent that was calling.
- I knew exactly what I was going to say, no matter what clever sales pitch they threw at me.
- I didn’t have to raise my voice or respond angrily toward them. I just calmly kept repeating my one guiding principle—that I was not interested in speaking with real estate agents.
- I was happily willing to let the call go on as long as the caller wanted. In fact, the longer it went on, the more fascinating (and amusing) the caller’s behavior became for me.
- When the call ended, I felt no irritation or anger. I had stuck to my game plan and it was a satisfying “mini-victory” for me.
And to think that people constantly complain that receiving telemarketer calls are just so inherently stressful.
What planet are they living on?
NOTE: For more information about my unique approach to eliminating stress, please visit http://stressmasteryacademy.com