Cold calls, which are simply unwanted phone calls, top the list of UK’s most hated marketing tactics. Although marketers cold call people all over the world, the problem is worse in the UK. If you hate cold calls, look no further. Below are top 6 tips for you to consider.
1. Register with the TPS (Telephone Preference Service)
TPS-registered phone numbers are protected from cold calling. UK-based companies are barred from making unsolicited sales/marketing calls to TPS-registered phone numbers. You can register with TPS for free by visiting the website (www.tpsonline.org.uk/) or calling 0345 070 0707. It’s, however, worth noting that the TPS stops unsolicited sales/marketing calls only. You can still get market research calls as well as calls where you have opted in. Also, the TPS doesn’t stop calls from companies which are based abroad.
2. Keep your contact details off directories
Most companies especially local businesses use phone books to get phone numbers. To avoid cold calling, you need to request for your contact details to be removed from directories. Keeping your contacts off directories ensures marketing companies don’t find your number when looking for target customers. You should also be careful when giving out your contacts. If you have to give out your phone number, request whoever you are giving your number to; avoid calling you for sales/marketing offers or giving out your number to third parties.
3. Screen all your calls and use call blocking software
You should also avoid picking calls from unrecognised numbers. You can use software such as Truecaller to help you identify calls from numbers you haven’t saved in your phonebook. Screening calls is an effective way of avoiding cold calling since you get to know the identity of every person/organisation that calls your phone immediately. You can also block ”suspect” numbers.
4. Never bow down to cold-calling pressure
Some resilience can also go down a long way. Some marketing companies use underhand tactics to pressure their victims into accepting calls and offers. Never pick a cold call if you don’t want to. If you pick a cold call unknowingly, don’t disclose your personal information. Simply cut short the conversation and hang up. If you receive a cold call from a company you are interested in, insist on contacting them yourself. Most marketing companies will stop calling you if you don’t express any interest whatsoever or if they notice you won’t bow down to pressure.
5. Record cold-call numbers and report them
You should also record all unsolicited calls and report such numbers to organisations like Ofcom to take the necessary action. Get as much information about the company or person cold calling you and report them. Ofcom is UK’s communication industry regulator with a mandate for investigating and prosecuting individuals and companies which breach communication laws. You can also report cold calling offenders to TPS which will then forward the complaints to Ofcom or the ICO to take the necessary action against repeat offenders.
6. Use opt-out options
Sometimes you may be a victim of cold calling because you submitted your contact details somewhere without much thought. In such an instance, you should look for ways of stopping such calls. Legitimate companies have opt-out options that prevent calls or any other type of correspondence at the touch of a button. If you can’t find such options on a company’s website, call the company directly and ask the sales/marketing team to stop calling you. Legitimate companies abide by verbal requests so you shouldn’t have a problem stopping cold calls this way. You can consider writing a formal request just in case the cold calling doesn’t stop, and you have to take legal action.
Constant cold calling is a huge problem in the UK. Luckily for you, it is possible to stop this menace by taking any one or more of the above measures. Start by being cautious when giving out your contact information. You should also use the technology and institutions at your disposal. Being resilient and getting your contact information off directories will also go a long way.