Truth in selling

Truth in selling

Tonight, as I was sitting down for dinner, I received a phone call from our long-distance phone provider. As I’m usually traveling, I took the call as an opportunity to critique someone’s telephone selling skills.

This person introduced himself and asked to speak with me or my wife. He explained that he was doing a security check to ensure that recent international calls were initiated by our household to prevent fraud. My first thought was that this was a great service. It seemed very similar to the security checks that my credit card company offers when strange or unusual transactions occur. 

The caller then asked about two calls to Jamaica. I verified these easily, as my wife’s aunt is vacationing there. He asked if we made frequent calls to Jamaica, and I wondered what this had to do with “telephone fraud.”

Then the true reason for the call came out: he was using international calls as an indicator to solicit new calling plans for our phone coverage. Abruptly but very politely, I thanked him for performing his due diligence and being concerned with our safety and security, secretly knowing his true objective as a salesman!

Which of the following two approaches would you respond better to? Which would you respect more?

1. “I’m calling to conduct market research on how many meetings occur in the city of Philadelphia.”


2. “I’m calling on behalf of the xyz hotel in Philadelphia and am trying to reach the person that is responsible for planning meetings for your organization. I would like to find out your meeting needs to see if we might be able to assist.”

Please post a comment with your answer.