Selling By Telephone

This type of investment selling is also restricted to life insurance, unit trusts and many types of personal pension. Loans can also be sold in this way.

A loan salesperson needs your written permission to visit your home they can't just phone you up and arrange to meet. So, perversely, you may find a cold phone call being used to persuade you to take out a loan there and then over the phone. But the deal can't be completed this way. You'll have to sign a properly drawn up agreement. The salesperson may invite you to their premises to sign - and if you do, you'll then be bound by the agreement. But if the document is posted for you to sign at home, with most loans, you'll have a 'cooling-off period'. The lender must send back to you a copy of the signed agreement and you have up until the fifth day after you receive this copy to cancel the deal if you wish.

WARNING Beware of agreeing to a loan over the phone.

You've no way of being sure of the identity of the caller. But they'll usually need personal information which you wouldn't normally make freely available, such as details of your income and your bank.

An investment salesperson will usually be more interested in trying to get you to agree to a personal interview rather than doing business there and then. The sort of tactics you might encounter include:

You: I'm too busy.

Salesperson: Yes, I do appreciate you're an awfully busy person and I'm quite willing to come at any time that would suit you. I could make it early in the evening - say, before you've really settled down or after dinner, if you prefer, to have a chance to relax a bit.

You: I always rely on my bank manager for advice on insurance matters - so really there's no point you coming round.

Salesperson: Delighted to hear that - shows you're just the sort of person my company's products are suited to. It can't possibly do any arm to take a look at what we've got to offer - you might just find we can manage a much better deal. Could I put you down for seven on Friday? I'll be in your area anyway then.

TIP - If you find cold phone calls irritating, put the phone down. Don't say you're too busy to talk - that might suggest you'd be willing to on another occasion. lust say you're not interested and hang up.

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Selling Case History

Mr K received a letter from a finance house asking for his help in a market survey on consumer credit. If he filled in a questionnaire he would be sent a modest number of holiday vouchers. He was promised a rather larger number of holiday vouchers if he decided to avail himself of the finance house's advice to restructure his loans. When Mr K looked at the questionnaire he found that it asked for some detailed personal information, such as his income, the nature and amounts of any loans, and his attitude to secured loans and re-mortgages. At the end it asked if a consultant could call round to show... see: Selling Case History

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