Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Phone-Sales Boss Is Holding the Line

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Phone-Sales Boss Is Holding the Line

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Cochlin

Telephone sales people anger most of us at one time or another. Daniel Cochlin finds out what the person at the other end of the line has to say.

Jane Hudson spends all day on the phone to clients.

She is manager of Universal Direct Building Society in Newcastle.

And she understands how people can get fed up with efforts of people like her to persuade them to buy products over the phone.

Jane, 42, lives with partner Alan, 44, an accountant, in Whitley Bay.

She said: "When you come home at night the last thing you want to do is be called up by a company selling something.

"We try to get away from the image of people ringing up all the time, because it annoys people.

"If we get desperate about having to meet our targets we call other people and if they say no, it is true that we do try to encourage them.

"We have very quite high targets as a department and my overall aim is to meet those targets.

"We never cold call - that is a company policy.

"We only call existing customers to talk about new options and investments. When we have a quiet moment we do start outbound calling, but only if the person is one of our customers."

Jane said regulations meant she often had to ask customers to send a number of documents for identification purposes..

She said: "A lot of our clients are quite elderly and do not understand why they have to prove their identity with driver's licence, passport and utility bills, but we are bound by regulations to stop fraud.

"People may think it is an invasion of privacy, but we do try to explain to them why we need the information.

"We always put it on the system if somebody has asked not to be called and if they have then we won't. It puts people off.

"We try and make sure people always talk to the same person they have dealt with previously, which they like.

"Some people have had bad experiences about applying for a mortgage and having to deal with 10 different people. I always try to deal with the same people - we get a lot of good feedback from doing that. …

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