Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Telemarketer Grace

On Sunday at Plow Creek Rick Reha did a teaching on grace and then he had us get into small groups and tell stories about grace in our lives.

I didn't think of it then but later I thought--I have a telemarketing grace story. For the past 4-5 years I've been in charge of Plow Creek's long distance services. We have 10 lines and six toll free numbers and use account codes to divide the bills between personal, church and Plow Creek business calls.

We've had the same long distance carrier for the past four years. I've taken numerous calls from people trying to get us to switch. Most of the time they can't come close to the deal we have. In self-defense I've developed a policy of telling folks to fax me their offer in writing.

Then about four weeks ago Maria Mandic from DC Communications called. I'd never heard of the company. I did my usual bit about about faxing which she promptly did.

Usually it's me who practices grace with telemarketers. I never hang up on them. I listen and when I don't buy or donate I say, "Better luck on your next call."

But Maria practiced grace with me. No pressure. She just called back when she said she would and answered all my questions.

It took her four weeks of follow-up since I had to research our current plan (it turns out, unbeknownst to me, that our current plan had raised their rates and fees), compare it to hers, and then consult with folks at Plow Creek.

Never once did she make me feel guilty for taking so long to make the decision. Not an ounce of pressure. She simply let me tell her when to call me next and then she'd call me.

Late in our series of conversations she mentioned that she not only does sales but would be my service rep. "Wow," I thought, "I can acutally call this nice person when there's a problem?"

Yesterday we completed the deal and I had a story about telemarketing grace.