- "You answer the phone and someone asks you if you can spare five
minutes to answer a few questions".
- I tell them I'm not interested, and promptly hang up, in much the
same fashion that I close the door on the Mormons or the Witnesses,
even when they have their foot in in, or throw out all unsolicited raffle
books and Xmas cards. And yet I support many charities on a regular
basis- many Jewish ones of course, but also the Deaf-Blind, Children
with Cancer etc. I can't remember how these charities found me in the
first place, but I doubt if it was on the telephone then, although it
is most likely how new donors are found today. Today they wouldn't find
me through an unsolicited telephone call.
- "Does it matter if it is a charity wanting to know how to market
more efficiently and find a target audience?"
- If in the unlikely event that I hung on long enough to hear the question,
I might suggest that a person knocking on my door would be more successful
than one telephoning me.
- "For the telemarketer, it is just a job. Do you let them get
on with it or try to make more human contact, risking their job?"
- I don't understand this question. Why would my initiating more human
contact with the telemarketer risk them their job? On the contrary,
if I were talking with the telemarketer, I would prefer a personalized
conversation, rather than a standard format computer generated exchange,
and should they comply with the former, they would be more likely to
achieve their end, thus keeping them in their job. Another thought ....
Why is it that people who have few "people skills" choose
professions and businesses and jobs which necessitate them dealing with
people? I think of restaurateurs, and school teachers, and psychiatrists,
and commercial gallery directors, and, and, and .... Why don't these
people just sit behind a computer? Perhaps because they really do want
to deal with people, but just don't know how. Is it too late to start
hugging them? To be or not to be .. human? Like Hamlet, what choice
do we have? We are human, whatever that means, and for as long as it
lasts. And we can only do what feels right to us, so long as we remember
that if we think we are right, it does not make somebody who disagrees
or who has a different way, wrong. We may both be right, or wrong.
I usually tend to be assertively polite and express my lack of interest
immediately - and am becoming quite efficient at dealing with the ubiquitous
fertiliser companies. However I do make an exception for the RSPCA because
they have to read out their catalogue over the phone, (this is kind of
perversely enjoyable) have high quality goods at a cheap price and the
cause is one I support. I especially like it when the labrador or the
kelpie phones me! So I usually order stuff twice a year. On the other
hand, my father will buy anything and everything over the phone - he seems
to think someone wants to be his friend and is radically and regularly
exploited, to the exasperation of his children. Aluminium windows @ $7000.
hundreds of shitty biros, and now a $300 burglar alarm for a bargain $2,
500!. I really hate this but it seems to make him feel appreciated and
that he's helping people.
Jerry Seinfelds method of asking telemarketers for their phone number
so as to ring them at a more convenient time has intrigued me although
I have never had the guts to actually do it. I think what bugs me the
most about being called up out of the blue is continually being called
Mrs Hutchinson - they all seem to assume I am married. I often wonder
if married people are statistically more likely to purchase or answer
questions for them. My general rule of thumb is to quickly ascertain what
they actually want and if it is to sell something I say no regardless
of what or who it is, if they are asking for donations I consider whether
to give, if they are carrying out a survey that may lead to better services
for myself or someone else I participate in it unless I cannot spare the