Didn’t Do Your Research? SCRAM!

Two consecutive columns on telemarketing? I know…my apologies.

But the phone just rang, and Caller ID showed an unknown 858 number.

I picked up the phone warily and said nothing. After a few seconds of silence, a woman came on, still talking with her friend. The following conversation then transpired:

“Hello?” “May I speak with the owner, please?” “No!”

As I hung up I considered how rampant telemarketing has become. Perhaps, because I have a home-based business, I’m targeted more than most. My being on the FTC’s Do Not Call list apparently means nothing.

I might not mind as much if these order-takers were selling things appropriate to my ad agency, but we don’t have many uses for grocery carts and similar items.

Yes, it’s true…we’re still getting fallout from when we were placed on that list a few years back as one of San Diego’s top grocery markets.

In fact, most of these callers don’t know what we do or who works here. Given their objective of making a sale, one might reasonably expect them to know whom they’re calling.

Especially since, by law, we are supposed to have a pre-existing relationship before they call us.

So in addition to either screening calls with an answering machine or caller ID, when I do pick up and don’t recognize the number I remain silent until I hear background sounds. Dead silence is hung up on.

And if you don’t request a legitimate staffer’s name (present or past), you’re getting booted. FAST!

Because after 21 years in business, I’m fairly certain there are mailing lists and directories that name me as the owner, president, or decision-maker. I have no time to waste on any caller who knows nothing about my business.

Selling is never easy. You can know everything there is to know about a company, spend years courting them, develop well-constructed proposals working within their budget and targeting their customers…and still see the contract go to cousin Jerry.

But if your sales people aren’t even trying…if your company’s phoning it in, as it were…then it doesn’t sound to me like you’re very serious about making that sale.

And if you’re not serious about getting my business, then why are you wasting my time?

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Learn how to reach your customers at www.marketbuilding.com.