Antenna Guru

RF is not 'black magic' – It's Synthesis, Optimization, Analysis and Realization.

Tag Archives: telemarketing

There oughta be a…

Complaints to the government are up sharply about unwanted phone solicitations, raising questions about how well the federal “do-not-call” registry is working. The biggest category of complaint: those annoying prerecorded pitches called robocalls that hawk everything from lower credit card interest rates to new windows for your home.

So, the way it is supposed to work in this society is that when some sort of noxious behavior gets bad enough, we complain to our lawmakers who, when the lobbying gets strong enough, enact a law. We have such a law against unwanted telemarketing. We also have laws against running red lights, passing on the shoulder, bank fraud, insider trading, …

… but only nice people obey laws, so we have telemarkers, redlight runners, passers on the shoulder, fraudulent bankers, inside traders, … a whole host of human beings who want to get ahead at others’ expense.

One solution is enforcement. Enforcement leads to higher taxes, police brutality, choked court systems and overcrowded prisons.

Another solution is vigilantism. Except for certain survivialists, e.g., the ones with huge stocks of weapons and ammunition, we moderns take a dim view of that method.

I propose a third solution: Talk up noxious behavior as extremely un-cool.

Ever seen a fellow with one pant leg hiked? He was unwittingly copying somebody who rode a bicycle with street clothes who didn’t want to get chainring grease on his pants. I used to get a kick out of the poseurs who rolled up their left pant leg.

How about people who wear their pants around their thighs, with three pairs of boxers over a pair of briefs? Those guys are mimicking some ‘cool’ person who lives on the street and cannot afford clothes that fit.

I say, why not find that cool homeless person and give them some decently fitting clothes?

I say, those of us who have ‘made it’ need to engage young people in a way that makes them want to emulate us, not some skanky drug dealer. Come on, we’re smart people, can’t we be as engaging as a skanky drug dealer?

I have a friend who combats telemarketers by talking to them. He asks them how their day is going, how many sales they’ve made, talks about his family (no names, of course) and so on… knowing that they don’t like to hang up on people. So, he just keeps them talking and talking, wasting their time, never letting them get to their sales pitch. I like that method.

The other day a door-to-door salesman knocked on my door. I live in a private community with gates and a big sign that reads, “…” Well, you know what it reads. Still they come. So this fellow human rings my doorbell and I answer it. He starts in with some well-rehearsed line to engage me and I change the subject.

He goes back to his line of lingo.

I change the subject.

He goes back to his line of lingo.

I say, “We’re not really listening to each other,” and frown my saddest frown. (Playacting, of course.)

He stops his lingo. I close my door.

Marketing 411

(written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz)

My wife, Debi, got a call the other day on her cell from an annuity lawyer’s bird-dog. This fellow human being was asking about a long ago cashed-out structured settlement that had involved my late wife.

Someone calling to ask for the-deceased-woman-who-had-once-lived-where-she-now-did felt to Debi like a hard kick in the stomach. With a stricken look, she handed me her cell phone and whisp- / whimpered, “Talk to her, please?”

Now I am not exactly the man I remember I used to be –the older I get, the better I was– but when somebody hurts my Little Lamb, I taste blood. I asked the woman on the phone what she wanted, and she replied she was trying to contact [the late Mrs. Ingalls].

“How did you get this number?”

“It is in our database…”

Then I did something on purpose that I never, ever do– I unleashed a torrent of profanity into the receiver. “Well, your database is [expletive]!,” I thundered. “The person you are trying to contact is deceased! Get this number out of your [expletive] database!”

“Well, I don’t have to listen to this,” she said quietly as if to herself, and hung up.

So here in order of worst to first, is how I believe marketing ought to be done:

9. Call the wrong person and say something that hurts or embarrasses them.

8. Call the wrong person with the wrong information that simply misleads them.

7. Call the right person and say something that hurts or embarrasses them.

6. Call the right person with the wrong information that simply misleads them.

5. Call the wrong person with nothing really to say.

4. Call the right person with nothing to say.

3. Call the wrong person with something useful to say

2. Call the right person with something useful to say.

1. Have something useful to say, but wait for the right person to call you.

You say it best when you say nothing at all. Wait for the question before you try to give your answer. Stop talking when you run out of things to say. If you can’t say something nice about a person, don’t say anything.

So, I chose “Option 7” from the above list; I deliberately said something that hurt and embarrassed the ‘right’ person, when I could easily have chosen “Option 1.”

Why?

Because we have been bombarded by these types of calls. We have tried to explain their errors to the callers. The calls have not slowed down. So I decided to make the callers’ experiences a bit like the experiences we feel: I wanted the caller to wince.

I was wrong. I could have done better.

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