When a simple call starts turning predatory
4 mins read

When a simple call starts turning predatory

(Read time 3 1/2 minutes)

As a small business owner, I recently had the worst, creepiest phone call in my life. I got off the phone, feeling icky, and pretty down right ticked off. I don’t like manipulative people and I really don’t like men trying to separate me from my wallet. This person was a business associate of one of my clients. Here are red flags to look out for and how to respond. I plan on role-playing with a friend, just to get my response pitch perfect and automatic, so when the next creepy salesman comes along, he will want to hang up on me.

Red Flag #1

Fast Talking: A recent phone call of a door-to-door marketing manager, made my head spin. All he did was talk.

 Jive talk

Telling me things like, “I will make you a superstar,” and using language like, “you are not happy, just stick with me and I will use you to make money for us all.”

What to say: No. Hard pass. Using simple language and not making excuses why your no, is a solid no, is the right response.

Red Flag #2

Asks Intrusive Questions: They want you to open up. If you leave that door open even a crack, the down right pushy behavior will come out. Don’t be surprised when Mr. Creepy makes inappropriate comments to make you feel uncomfortable. It is a huge red flag when someone tries to make you feel uncomfortable. Read that again.

What to say: Why do you need to know that? This is a great response because it is a direct Call to Action on their part. They will either weasel their way out of answering, or change the subject. It is a sure fire way to have them abruptly end the call.

Red Flag #3

They use Manipulative language:  My recent experience with a marketing salesman was so over involved, I ended getting mad at myself. This was an associate of a client. So, I felt that being rude wasn’t an option. The redhead in me, wanted to pop off with a snide comment that would start a fight because he was using his relationship with my client to get money out of me. I didn’t want to burn a bridge. And I didn’t want to buy.

What to say when you have mutual clients: I am not a spontaneous spender. Anytime I spend money, I look for value. It takes me months to make a decision and I won’t move forward without researching the facts.

Red Flag #4

Lack of respect for boundaries: Maybe you were in the middle of your work day and could not afford the extra 30 minutes of time spent on this conversation. And they just keep talking. Ignoring the social cues and have a laser pointed focus on their goal of getting into your wallet, while your laser pointed focus was on getting back to work to keep money in your wallet. Think. Is this someone bringing value to your day? No.

What to do: Hang up or act like you can’t hear them. What? Oh bad connection. I have to go this is annoying.

Red Flag #5

Untrustworthy demeanor: They give off an aura of being untrustworthy. They may avoid direct answers to your questions, provide vague responses, and hide the true nature or cost of their services.

What to say: Could you give me three references? I will gladly call them.

Red Flag #6

Point out non-existent flaws in you: Put you down. Tell you what you have isn’t enough. Tell you who you are isn’t enough. Then tell you, you need them.

What to say: I like me. I’m very good at just being me. I invest in what works for me.

Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your comfort and well-being. If you feel harassed or threatened during the conversation, consider reporting the incident. Do not feel an ounce of guilt for blocking their number. The best way to get out of a bad situation is not to be there to begin with. And if anyone, a boss, a coworker, a salesman, or frienemy uses predatory language, leave.

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