Cold calls, telesales and telemarketing are as popular as a hot dog stand at a vegetarian’s convention. Why though? Surely making a phone call is the most direct, personal method of conveying information to a potential customer? I love talking on the phone and I’d happily chat along with someone who can offer me an awesome deal and money off my favourite brands. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Just like vegetarians aren’t keen on processed meat, we are not keen on untimely phone calls from someone in a call centre working for an unethical company pestering us to buy something we neither need nor are interested in… phew…

I don’t think it is necessarily the fact a company is calling our personal mobiles at an inopportune moment that irritates us. It is more the nature of these phone calls that riles us. We are anonymous names on a list, the sales people are not well informed, plus they have no evidence to suggest we’d actually be interested in their product. In particular we hate those sneaky calls built on mistruths, when the telesales person hopes to mislead you just enough for you to think their product is worthwhile. I understand these guys are just doing their jobs, if they are polite and to the point then that’s cool, but using unethical methods to get that all important sale is not cool.

We have a running joke in the Gorilla office, whenever somebody gets one of these annoying sales calls they say to the person on the phone, “I’m really sorry that won’t work for me but I know someone who’d be really interested…” A mobile number is earnestly passed on and within half an hour our enthusiastic sales person has followed up on their lead and is now calling Dorin, and this is when the fun starts. Dorin has the incredibly ability (some would say a super power) to lead these telesales people up and down the garden path and then back again. It is very funny to listen to his mock sincere tone of voice and made up answers to their questions. However, Dorin never misuses his super powers they are saved purely for the telesales people who are clearly lying, and that makes his conversations with them that much funnier!

We find Dorin’s antics so funny because it is our way of getting back at the unethical companies who are misusing this marketing platform. Because the mobile phone is being misused, as a consumer we will immediately doubt anything that comes through to us via this route. As a result, it is now difficult for decent brands (who have genuine and interesting messages to spread) to use this convenient and direct platform to contact their followers.

In the world of brands, some do have awesome stories to tell and want to reward their followers with cool deals. My concern is that we are so bombarded with rubbish from companies who have no relevance in our lives that the brands that do interest us are tarred with the same “oh it’s just another marketing scam to sell me something” brush, as a result they are ignored. I am not proposing we sign up to everything that we get through our mobile, now that would be silly, but if a brand we love wants to make contact with us then maybe we should listen. That’s how great conversations happen.