if a phone call turns ugly …

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if a phone call turns ugly …

distraction - a wonderful way to get YOUR way… hang up (!) or get “off topic”.

Just occasionally, phone calls can get way off track.  The customer argues, gets unreasonable and tempers start to fray.

In other words, communication is breaking down. If that ever happens to you, try one, or both, of these methods.  

In NLP terms, they’re both pattern interrupts.


Try the old “Hey. Look at that over there” trick. Distraction.

Works really well with children and animals. Works equally well with aggressive debtors too.

Get their mind off the dispute or situation by raising an entirely different topic with them. Preferably something that interests them.

Talk off the topic that got them all hot and bothered. Then, return to it very briefly for a moment or two and then back off the topic again.

An entirely unrelated topic altogether. Keep repeating this on/off process. It will wear them down and they will become more reasonable.

A simple phrase to use is “Sorry to interrupt, but can I ask you something quickly?


If that doesn’t work – hang up the phone, mid-sentence.  

Just push down the button.  (Be sure to keep talking for a second or two after you’ve pressed the button so that the broken connection sounds like a genuine line fault, and not your fault, that they’ve been disconnected.)

Then, call them straight back – immediately. Blame the phone company – “faulty connection” – then resume where you left off.

The time that it takes you to get back to them will totally interrupt their thinking and those valuable stolen moments allows them time to re-adjust their manner.

They are now very likely to be a lot more reasonable with you when you do call them back.

(You can only do this one time to any one customer of course.  Might become a bit obvious if you keep repeating the exercise!)

By way of example … A mental patient kept claiming he was Jesus until one psychiatrist came back with a cross and nails and suggested it was time for the crucifixion.

By | 2020-03-16T08:17:40+00:00 September 18th, 2014|telephone|0 Comments

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Have you ever wondered why a client does business with you and then ignores your invoice like they had no intention of paying it in the first place or they treat you like their own personal line of credit, leaving YOU dangling, waiting months for their payment? Unfortunately this situation is all too common and can even be puzzling for the most experienced business owner. If you’ve ever had to handle outstanding accounts or you are just so over non-payers, then we can help. Real-world skills, solutions, tips & strategies to get more accounts paid on time, and, most importantly, how to maintain customer goodwill while keeping YOUR cash flow in the positive. You will find the blog posts helpful but to get real results, contact us by using any of the forms on this site, by email or by phone. I’ve been involved in the management of accounts for over 30 years, heard every excuse in the book, can spot a non-payer at 20 paces. Finance Companies in the 70s (systematic, tough), professional firms in the 80s (no systems, too gentle) and, since then, just about every other sort of business you can think of. I’ve written books on the topic, spoken all over the place about it and the blog in this website is my way of “giving back”. I hope you find it helpful.

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