General discussion


Do I have to return sales calls?

By txiso ·
As an IT manager, I get lots of sales calls, especially after I've attended a conference and vendors get my name and title off the attendance list. A lot of the calls are shameless: they say I stopped by their booth (I didn't; I keep materials from every vendor I visit), or they tell the administrative assistant that it's "not a sales call, they're just verifying some information I gave them."

Some write to me in email and say, "Let me know when we can meet next week to discuss <whatever>. I'll call you to set up a time."

Do I really have to respond to these people, even if it's just to say, "Not interested," or can I just ignore them? If I ignore them, am I being unnecessarily rude, or will it just encourage them if I answer them (like spammers)?

I know they're just trying to do their jobs, but they're interfering with MINE if I have to take time to talk to all of them.

What do you think?

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Cold Callers: No, Others: Be Polite

by Wayne M. In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

In general, I ignore cold callers, but if I have opened the door to conversation, then I will respond, even if it is to say "No interest."

For a cold caller on telephone, I will break in at the first pause and say "Thank you for calling, but I am not interested." and then hang up. Voice mails and e-mails I will delete without thought.

At a conference, I will typically only visit booths that I have some interest in. I will not give out my conference pass card, business card, or any contact information unless I want follow up information. I tend to come out of conventions with a nearly empty shopping bag, because I only visit booths that I want a follow-up call from.

Be selective in who you give contact information to. If you are truly interested in something, be prepared for a follow-up call and demonstration.

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More on tech show "Ethics"

by noyoki In reply to Cold Callers: No, Others: ...

I like the sales guy that read my name off my badge (I saw him "discreetly"(yeah right) take a peek at it as I passed) then as I got closer he jumps on me with "Heey! tear!(insert real name) How's it going?", like he knows me or something. I'd never even heard of his company. (I'm horrible with names, but I don't forget faces or logos. He was probably counting on my having met so many people that he could trick me into thinking I didn't remember him.)

I'm a rather shy and private person. That sort of thing caused me to flip the badge for the rest of the 3-day show.

Oh, and I'm sure not doing business with him either. While not yelling at him that this tactic is innapropriate, nor being rude, I think I got my point across without saying more than 3 words.

The pity of it was, (true to form) I don't remember the company name, but we were actually looking for the type of software his company provides, that much I do remember.

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by Absolutely In reply to More on tech show "Ethics ...

Everybody has been cold-called in their own home, and even people who do it for a living hate getting these calls in their personal time. Sales workers know the score. They don't expect to be treated universally with the same respect as other professionals, even if they do know their technology thoroughly. Don't worry about simply ignoring them if you don't have a previous relationship. And if they aren't selling something that you are now or will soon, likely be interested in buying, you'd be wasting their time with a "polite" message telling them you aren't interested. Good salespeople know that. If they pester you, you'd be doing a favor to just let your temper get the best of you. In the future, they may develop a more rational approach to the craft of selling.

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Conference Ethics

by zclayton2 In reply to Cold Callers: No, Others: ...

There is more to getting cold calls from a conference attendance list than just deleting voice and email. I forward Cold contact emails from companies to spam lists just as I would any other. Why not? I went to the conference to make certain contacts or check out certain products. my presence there is not an opt-in to get spammed by the other companies present. Further, IF I recognize that the spam is conference related I will add the company to a rotating no-buy list and respond(!) to the general company site that because they spammed me I will not consider them as a reputable source. The smart ones will let it go at that point. - I purge that list periodically. The dumb ones send an appology, proving they didn't get the point. They get a second entry on the list. The idiots that will go to a "No Way Ever in ****" list try to argue about what they emailed. Most of those companies are out of business after a few years anyway.

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This is "smart" behavior?

by Richinnameonly In reply to Conference Ethics

If I understand this, you go to a tech show, expecting the guys who make their living as salepeople to NOT send you follow-up literature when you stopped in their booth. Of COURSE you didn't ask them to -- their job is to INSPIRE and CREATE a desire for their product, and then to follow up on that interest until it dies or blossoms, sometimes years later.
In an industry as frenetic as I/T always is, today's solution just may be the answer to tomorrow's problem -- that you didn't even KNOW you had until a salesman informed you.
An ethical I/T salesperson has always been one of the strongest sources of good information about problems, solutions, and opportunities. It's no secret -- from their viewpoint, they CAN know more about your company that you do yourself! Those who wish to manage this free partnership wisely, can gain an invaluable linkage to a worthwhile knwoledge resource; those who don't, may risk being blindsided by ignoring the very solutions that they sell.

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by noyoki In reply to This is "smart" behavior?

If someone shouted in your face years ago that e-mail was the next biggest wave, would you go with that company? If they were incredibly rude to you, would you deal with them on any level?

The "smart" sales person knows when to start, and when to quit. The stupid ones don't get the sale. It's really just as simple as that.

There are plenty of companies that offer much the same services*. I choose the best product with the best representatives. Afterall, I will have to deal with them alot afterwards! I'd better be comfortable with them. There will always be someone down the road with the same or better product, so what makes that company's reputation, representative or product better than everyone else? What sets them apart?

They better at least represent the company well if they want me as a client.

Just as you are judged by your appearance, (IE a potential employee showing up to an interview in jeans and a NIN t-shirt, the interveiwer will assume you are a slacker and not hire you), so are products judged by their sales people.

*Unless you are M$... Then you created a monopoly the rest of us are stuck with likely until the end of time.

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No you don't

by maxwell edison In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

You don't have to return sales calls. And there's no reason you have to follow their lead when you take sales calls. If I'm not interested in discussing a product or service with a sales caller, I come right out and say so.

I often interrupt and say something like, "Look, I'm really not interested, and I don't want to waste my time, and I doubt that you want to waste yours. So since this phone call is a waste of both our times, perhaps you'll do better with the next guy on your list." That usually keeps unwanted sales calls in the 10-15 second range.

I'm usually very blunt and to the point, but never rude -- unless they persist, that is. Then, depending on what they say and how they say it, I'll either just hang up or go into the verbal edition of my idiot link.

My phone is for my benefit, not anyone else's. And the same applies to my time, only more so.

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and right

by rob mekel In reply to No you don't

you are maxwell.

Time is money and time spend bad is bad spend money is like money down the drain.

Don't like my money going down the drain, same is true for company money.


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by maecuff In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

We have a handy little feature on our phone system, Send to voicemail. If I don't recognize the number, it gets sent to voicemail. 90% of the time, it's someone cold calling. If I'm interested in what they have to say, I call them back, if not, I don't.

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Not really

by Cactus Pete In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

But you might want to in some cases.

Most of the time I ignore them. But some people are persistent. For them I give them one chance to listen to me tell them I'm not interested and if they call again I sternly remind them of the last call. At that time I throw in the word 'harrassment' which has always worked so far.

Also, with caller ID, if the phone rings Private I don't answer. If it's a number I don't recognize, I don't answer. I let my vendors know this, to be sure they leave messages in case they call from a new number or if I have a mind lapse and forget who they are.

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