Telemarketers. I try so hard to have compassion for them as I grit my teeth and resent their intrusion. â€œTheyâ€™re just doing their job,â€ I remind myself. It takes dedication to achieve that nonstop talking cadence in an attempt to keep prospects from saying, â€œNo thanks.â€ I listen, hoping the telemarketer will run out of breath. I remain silent, waiting for the question, the offer, the hook. Eventually it comes.
â€œWeâ€™d like to send out _________. Your address is _______. Okay?â€
â€œIâ€™m really not interested. My husband and Iâ€¦â€
â€œI completely understand, but this offer includes_____. Weâ€™ll mail it right out, okay?â€
â€œWe donâ€™t accept phone solicitationsâ€¦â€
â€œYes, of course. Times are tough. But surely you can find $19.99 to own this _____. Okay?â€
â€œNO. Please take my name off your list.â€
My husband says Iâ€™m a kind person for hearing them out because he either gets mad, hangs up, or both. And because Iâ€™m trying to be niceâ€”Minnesota niceâ€”it offends me when the telemarketer rudely hangs up like Iâ€™m wasting his or her time instead of the other way around.
Once in a great while I get a pleasant telemarketer. The pressure is the same, the tactics similar, but at least thereâ€™s a cheery voice on the line.
A few days ago I had a call from a woman soliciting money for a childrenâ€™s cancer foundation. She was upfront about being a professional marketer, which I appreciated. Transparency is good. (Do you ever wonder how much of the solicited donations go to pay professional marketers? I do.)
What made me chuckle was her opening line. â€œIs this Mrs. Gates? Youâ€™re harder to get ahold of than the last pickle in the jar.â€ As I was pondering the depth of that comment she launched into her practiced dialog. A dialog, I might add, that was heavily laced with guilt.
When I told her, for the second time, that we do NOT accept phone solicitations she barely paused. Didnâ€™t I hear our donation could save a childâ€™s life? A childâ€™s life! Wasnâ€™t that more important than my self-imposed phone call boundary?
Okay, that stung a bit, but I was strong. My husband and I decide which charities to support based on our values, and not guilt. This smoothy wasnâ€™t going to get to me with her cute lines and psychological ploys. When I refused her plea, she too parted ways with a rather abrupt disconnect. Oh well. At least I heard a one-liner that I might use in other circumstances. Sweet! Like scoring the last pickle in the jar, it was the best part of my day.
Annette Vaillancourt, Ph.D. says
You’re more patient than I am. I just hang up. Life is too short to waste on telemarketers, says the post menopaussl woman.
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