I received a call tonight from someone selling something. I felt inspired to lay a little marketing knowledge on you, in the event that any of you are in the field.
One of the first rules of advertising is it has to be memorable. The fact that I don't remember what this jackhole was peddling isn't a good sign. My friend Sushi Sue hates the Head-On advertisements, but at least they stick with you, even if it's for the wrong reasons.
I guess I'll start at the beginning. He called and asked if Benjamin was home, putting on his best "this is a long, lost buddy of his" voice. I confirmed he'd reached me, but the use of my full name was an instant tip off. I knew where this conversation was headed, which, in the world of telemarketing, is a no-no. You always want to lead your mark...err...customer.
Once he knew he was talking to the person he wanted to talk to, he opened with a joke. Something about talking to all the grouches on earth until now, and it was good to hear a friendly voice. I think he intended this to serve two purposes:
1) Break the ice, disarm me, and open my mind to speaking with him more.
2) "Please, buddy, even if you hate me, don't abuse me. I hate this too."
It sorta made me want to sodomize him with my phone, so the latter was unsuccessful.
Over the next 10 sentences, he mentioned my name (Benjamin) 7 times. This was a poor attempt at strengthening the connection he hoped he established, but didn't. People like to talk about themselves, and they like to hear their name mentioned. It's psychological fact. It feeds our super egos. That said, not only was 7 times overkill, but the fact that it was Benjamin (which is a mouthful) and not Ben (which is more familiar and comfortable to me), it also had an opposite effect. Hearing two extra syllables seven times mostly made me tune him out and hate him.
The one thing he did right is kept talking. It's hard to hang up on someone if they never shut up. Unfortunately, I think it's a bogus tactic. He rambled on for two minutes, and I wasn't even listening. I was waiting for a pause to tell him to take a hike, or continue at his own peril in the form of a verbal lashing so brutal, he'd likely quit his job and leave his wife. It also didn't help that he called 15 minutes after my son went to bed.
To the guy's credit, I did feel a little guilty when I told him to shove it and hung up.
When I still lived in good ol' Pennsyltucky, there was a website called "nocallsplease.com" that you could sign up for, and once you were on, they took you off of all telemarketing lists. Telemarketers who called anyway were subject to a $10,000 fine, and could be sued for additional harassment fees. Finally, something besides music that I miss about Pennsylvania.
Massachusetts has a list too, but it doesn't become effective until next month. I forgot what it was like to get these calls every night.
Say Something Nice
1 hour ago