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Cold Calling

There are few things more annoying than a pushy salesperson. We have all dealt with these people. Have you ever received a phone call from a loud, pushy salesperson, that you may not know, insisting that you purchase shares of a company about which you know nothing? An to do it now before this ‘unique opportunity’ is lost forever? Or, maybe the salesperson who got you on the phone is not loud and pushy, but tries to ingratiate themselves and set themselves up as an ‘expert’ by using a more measured tone to make them sound confident and trustworthy? You may find this smooth-talking variety of salesperson becomes a bit more aggressive once they have befriended you and you are resistant to their ‘charms.’

High-pressure cold calling is generally associated with speculative securities, so it is best to be aware. High-pressure cold calling is designed to convince you to purchase stock that you did not want to own. These stocks may be recommended because the broker makes commission when you buy, not because the stock is right for you. The resulting trade may give you a basis to sue your broker.

If a broker has called you and tried to pressure you to invest quickly with no discussion of your investment needs and goals, then you have been the target of high-pressure cold calling. The broker may say that you are missing a "once in a lifetime opportunity" that is “only good for today.” The broker may claim to be an expert with information that nobody else has or the broker may bully or insult you to get you to buy. If you have no funds to invest, the broker may recommend selling one of your other stocks or take a margin loan to buy his or her hot stock pick. Don’t commit to buying a stock until you know that it fits your investment needs.

Also, be wary of the old ‘three call system” scam. The first call is allegedly to get acquainted with you, the second is to develop a comfort level with you, and the third call is when the broker pushes you to buy whatever stock they are selling that day.

Luckily, you can prevent these types of calls but if you have been the target of high pressure cold calling you may be able to sue your broker.

To stop calls from a broker or other pushy salesman, you can use a simple and powerful tool. You can simply say “no thank you” and hang up the phone. Remember, a pushy salesperson is hoping you continue to talk to them and if you hang up on them, it may take a few times, but the broker will hopefully get the idea.

Or, the next time you receive an unwanted sales call, ask the broker to be put on their ‘Do Not Call List.’ The broker is required to follow your direction and not call anymore. This should prevent further calls from that firm and/or broker.

You can also stop almost all telemarketing to your phone by contacting the State of Florida at 800-435-7352 and getting on the Do Not Call List. The Do Not Call List is a centralized list of numbers that no telemarketer is permitted to call, and if they do, they may be liable to pay you for violating telemarketing rules.

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