Why would a company deliberately encourage a “boiler room” atmosphere?

I know not everybody has heard that term “boiler room”. It’s an appropriate term. A boiler under enough heat or pressure explodes. The same thing that happens with a machine happens with a person. You’re pushed to make sales, appointments etc. Pushed to object the person on the other end off the phone, not listening to “no”. At the end of your shift you’ve developed a headache because management needs x amount of “yeses” daily. Although yes, sales and marketing is a numbers game, how those numbers are handled is often based on the nature of the business.

There’s a couple reasons for that atmosphere. The nature of the business is one. The product or service, the demographics. In order to be profitable, to make enough money to afford to keep the lights on, space rental and pay employees, a certain number of connections need to say “yes”. Hopefully the business will grow. Impulse purchases, services maybe the toughest for me anyway. I’m very relationship oriented. Impulse is the shortest cycle. Properly present the idea, people grab it. Or not. Next. Depending on results, recraft the message or presentation. Impulse purchases, services tend to be less expensive. Less thought is used going into the transaction. It’s not as big a deal if the product or service doesn’t work for that person. The longer sales cycle, the higher the price, the more companies and individuals might need to engage in dialogue. Consult budgeting and ROI. The call, the communication is handled differently. As a general rule, in my experience, the higher the income, the more polite the rejection is. It’s important, even though you’ve been rejected, to not leave a bad taste in the mouth of the person rejecting you. Be open to future dialogue. The company’s product, service or employees may change and you treating them with respect is huge PR. This may also result in a future referral.

Another reason for the boiler room atmosphere is budgetary. A company may not be able to afford to pay their employees well. May not be able to offer benefits. So people are burned out, looking for results/money first. I’ve experienced this many times both outside and inside the home. Yes, you can burn out working from home.

Management can also be a reason, although that can tie into the nature of the business. People of all ages and incomes can have attitudes, can be difficult to work with. I’ve dealt with boiler room managers. There is a finite length of time they can be dealt with. They operate from a different point of view and there may be nothing you can do about it except to watch for yourself. Through my career I’ve learned to hold up a mirror or put the problem where it belongs should I need to. This, more often than not, has been toward the end of that job. Those whose rank or pay that is higher than mine may resent that I knew an answer to a problem that s/he should have known so I’m shown the door.

The boiler room atmosphere is great teacher on a couple levels. You learn what you can deal with – and what you can’t.

I expect the boiler rooms still exist although I haven’t been in one for a long time. The increasing need for sales being as much customer service may decrease their existence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s