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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No, you don't.

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

Simply when I get one of those calls, I don't wait. When I've established what kind of call it is, I say "I'm sorry, I"m not interested" and hang up. I simply don't have time to talk to them.

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With a suggestion

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

Responding to these sales calls is nothing more than a judgement call. There really is no proper protocol. While you can't avoid these people, there are some things to help minimize the irritation. I never give out direct contact information. The email addy I use has an auto responder message nicely stating my contact personal requirements. My ROE (rules of engagement) if you will. The phone number I give is for voice mail. If a sales person has to resort to deceit to get to see me then I personal have no compulsion to be nice.

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Ignore them or **** them off politely

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

I only talk to sales people who represent company from which I have requested information, or who have a product I am interested in.

Any others that get through, I tell sorry but I have no need or interest at the present itme. If that changes I'll give you a call.

If you can avoid giving all of your contact information, do so; it can cut down those sales calls a lot.

You have to do whatever it takes so you can get your job done.

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No way reply to all calls....

by techy1 In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

I've been where you are. It was very hard to be rude, but if you don't learn it now, you will eventually. Only call the vendors you are interested in. Otherwise, it's a waste of your time and theirs. I don't believe they really expect IT managers to return their calls anyway. It's not personal, it's business.

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Ignore them

by kbmosher In reply to Do I have to return sales ...
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by bigaldepr In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

I generally give everyone a couple of minutes to present what they do or have to offer even if it does relate to what I am doing at the time. It is surprising how many times someone has presented something, that at the time seemed of minimal value, turned out to be very helpful in the following weeks. Get the main idea, keep the contact information, but if they get pushy well then it is time ignore them.

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It really does depend

by rdavis In reply to Depends

Before I started reading this thread, I was definitely of the "No, you don't." But after reading a couple of posts and thinking about things, I have started to re-evaluate my position.

Over the past 6 years, I have been running into all sorts of various people, involved in IT, that I never thought I would meet again. And in one instance, because I had met them on a "cold call" and was polite and gave them a few minutes of my time, it allowed my company to save some money on a deal because the guy remembered me as well and my politeness meant something. The staff, and my new boss, was quite surprised when after shaking my boss' hand, that the sales guy came over to me rather than any one else that was at the meeting.

As an IT Manger, often with purchasing authority, one is a face of a company. What face of the company do you think the head guy wants to have presented to the public? What aspect of the company do you think the head honcho would want to have remembered? That you were dismissive of a potential contact for the company? A contact that could have positive results for the company and for you.

Yes, you have to balance your work demands with cold-calls. But one never knows when 30 seconds given to a stranger could be the best 30 seconds spent in your career. Even if all you say is 'No Thank You.'

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thanks ...

by txiso In reply to It really does depend

rdavis, you hit the nail on the head with that one. I do business with quite a few vendors, and you never know when a contact can turn out to be very useful. (It's even led to new jobs for me in the past.)

But I don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the caller ID, and I delete voicemails if they're just a callback number or if I know I'm not interested. (One vendor salesman left me SIX voicemails after I started keeping track. SIX! And I never responded at all!)

I do have a little more of an urge to reply to vendor email spam, especially if they're targeting me directly or claim to have talked to one of my bosses (usually not as much as they make it out to be). But I'm working on that.

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Voice Mail "Filter"

by TelecomDotCom'r In reply to Do I have to return sales ...

I agree with Donstrayer: Answering ever call can be a large timewaster. If I do not recognize the caller ID on the call, I will let it go to voice mail. You would be surprised how many cold callers do not leave a message. If they do, you can delete it without causing offense (if that sort of thing bothers you :). And there is always the possiblity that the product/company can be useful. Admittedly, not most of the time.

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Try this the next time they call

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

I get a lot of calls in regards to salesman attempting to get me to buy expensive toner cartridges for my printer; or saying that we have a standing PO for the cartidges, and wouldI like to have that filled at this time.

I simply tell them that I have a service contract with the HP, therefore I must buy my cartridges from HP. But if they will honor that contract, then I will buy from them.

All of them have said a quick goodbye after they hear that.

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