Please Get to the Point Already! The clock is ticking....

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

 Okay, I see that I have a call coming in from an unknown number.  Is it a potential client relocating to Austin?  Is it something productive?  Sadly, no.  It is a sales call - again.  I have registered all of my numbers on all of the "do not call" lists available, yet I still manage to get at least several of these each week.  I noticed that they don't call my home anymore, which is a blessing, but the office number and my cell phone are still targets. 

Granted, the types of calls are more targeted now, which is good and bad, I suppose.  On the good side, they are not trying to sell something completely without value to me as a real estate broker.  Conversely, they are trying to SELL ME SOMETHING OVER THE PHONE.  As such, I wish they would have mercy on me and make it brief.  State your business and see if I have even a modicum of interest in your product or service, then move on with your life after I tell you that I do not.

 

Here is a verbatim account of a call that I received today at my office:

ME: Austin Texas Homes, this is Jason.

RANDOM ANONYMOUS TELEMARKETER (RAT for short): Hello, sir, this is ____ with ____.com.  I see here that you had expressed interest in one of our programs.

ME: No.

RAT: Well, I show that you used our _____ program and I wanted to see how that work ed out for you.

ME: I don't know what you are talking about - I'm sorry.

RAT: We had a program back in the day that allowed you to work a lead and pay a referral fee, rather than an upfront fee.

ME: Oh, yes.  That was a long time ago. 

RAT: Yes, well, we have some other programs that will allow you to (inaudible) or just (inaudible) and not pay any referral fee. 

ME: Mm hmm.

RAT: We work with all of the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN.....

 

It was at that point that I gently put the phone back on the cradle and disconnected the call.  I usually don't give them as much time as this guy had, but I was feeling generous today and maybe he had something to offer.  He also seemed so, I don't know, pathetic?  For the record, the service he mentioned was something that I used EIGHT years ago.  Wow - they must have a massive pipeline of previous customers if there is an eight-year lag to get back in touch.  No, I am not exaggerating - I remember the clients well.

 

 

 

At any rate, I was willing to listen to him for a few seconds.  I just realized how he managed to keep my interest beyond the initial greeting.  Telemarketers have a terrible habit of asking how you are, then when you

respond, "I'm doing well.  How are you?" they inevitably say somewhat manically, "I'm great!  Thanks for asking!"  I have yet to speak with anyone in the normal course of a week who says these words that is not trying to sell me something.  If I call my wife during the day, or my mom, or my best friend, or a client, they NEVER say, "Thanks for asking!"  I am not a big-time poker player, but this is the biggest "tell" that a telemarketer has.  In other words, I know in the first three seconds what their objective is.  From there, sadly, it is downhill for them.

I have a new habit with telemarketers and I admit that it is a little cruel.  Whenever someone says the key phrase ("Thanks for asking!"), I usually begin my next sentence and hang up the phone in the middle of my own sentence.  I simply don't have time to listen to their scripted sales pitch, and the only time that a telemarketer has ever been successful with me is when they are asking for a donation for a worthy cause (such as Special Olympics, National Children's Cancer Society, VFW, etc.).  The non-profit guys never start with a script - they just introduce themselves and their organization, and I will give them the time of day.  Maybe the other guys could learn from this.

On a related note, I recently complimented a waitress for saying, "My name is Janet and I am your server.  Can I get you something to drink?"  RATHER THAN, "My name is Janet, and I'll be taking care of you this evening."  Who started that?  Taking care of me?  Will you pay some of my bills for me, or watch my kids while I go to a movie?  Or is there some seedy other meaning that I am not catching?  I realize that they are probably trained to say that, but I still don't have to like it.

Sorry for the rant - Jason Sardi should be happy to see this post.  He mentioned that he would like to see me rant sometime.

Thanks for reading about some of my various pet peeves.  I welcome your comments.

Copyright 2007  Austin Real Estate

 

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

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Rainer
54,749
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

A couple years ago my wife agreed to host a tuperware party.  The morning off a Telemarkerter called early in the morning.  I was actually looking through the cataloge so I let them do their speach.  I then borke out my speach on the benifit of Tuperware and why they should place an order.  We will gladley accept a major creditcard over the phone as well..........

The telemarketer actually hung up the phone on me!!! 

I know its not nice to mess with the telemarketer, they are only doing their job, BUT IT IS FUN!!! 

One other thing:  If the Telemarketer calls from a charity though, and you are interested in donating, do not do it through the telemarketer as they keep a huge portion of it.  Send it directly to the Organization as they then keep 100% of it.  MOst charities sub out the task of marketing due to funding.  They will take a small amount for a mass marketing campaign because they can not afford to man so many phones themselves. 

Sep 27, 2007 07:37 AM #36
Rainmaker
549,865
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

I just tell them that I don't buy from solicitors.... EVER!!!!!

Then hang up.

I know it doesn't do any good.... the calls will keep coming. But it makes me feel better

Sep 27, 2007 07:47 AM #37
Rainmaker
718,263
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

From Chad:

<<A couple years ago my wife agreed to host a tuperware party.  The morning off a Telemarkerter called early in the morning.  I was actually looking through the cataloge so I let them do their speach.  I then borke out my speach on the benifit of Tuperware and why they should place an order.  We will gladley accept a major creditcard over the phone as well..........

The telemarketer actually hung up the phone on me!!! >>

 A friend's mother had a similar method for dealing with telemarketers...whenever she would get a call from a telemarketer, she would start off "I'll be glad to talk to you about your product "X" - but first let me tell YOU about my vinyl siding company!"  They would all hang up!  No, the lady had nothing to do with a vinyl siding company - it was just her way of getting them off the phone - she was too polite to hang up on them - so she let them hang up on HER!  I thought it was a great idea. I haven't thought about that one in a while - thank you for reminding me.

Sep 27, 2007 02:14 PM #38
Ambassador
1,296,336
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
MET - I have actually done that before - I think it was back when my third child was born and someone was bothering us during that week.  As an interesting side note, when my father passed away, we had all of his mail forwarded to our home.  I got a letter from the hospital where he DIED asking him for feedback on his experience as a patient.  It was really tempting to fill it out and say, "Well, it could have gone better, since I died there, but overall, not too bad."  Can you believe that? 
Sep 27, 2007 02:47 PM #39
Ambassador
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
CHAD - Good one.  I have spoken to many telemarketers and service people over the years about real estate.  Thanks for the advice about the non-profits.  I hadn't thought about that before. 
Sep 27, 2007 02:50 PM #40
Ambassador
1,296,336
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
TOM - I have had a few of the solicitors that I have told to remove me from their list, but they never seem to do it.  I guess next time I could use your method instead.  It seems like everyone has some creative and unique ideas for how to handle these pests.
Sep 27, 2007 02:51 PM #41
Ambassador
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
RUTHMARIE - I like the idea of launching immediately into a sales pitch of your own.  I have been approached with Amway maybe 13,972 times over the years, and I have found the most effective answer is, "I don't know what I would do with more money.  I have far more than I could ever possibly spend or give away."  If you can pull this off with a straight face (which I can), they will never ask again.
Sep 27, 2007 03:08 PM #42
Rainer
39,748
Shane Sarae
Honolulu, HI

I am thinking if all your numbers are on the DNC list and you get their name and call back numbers, each violation is $11,000...

 

Sep 27, 2007 04:56 PM #43
Ambassador
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
SHANE - That may be true, but how do you actually go about getting these guys in real trouble?  By the way, good to see you again in the comments!
Sep 27, 2007 04:59 PM #44
Rainmaker
158,377
Rita Gibbons
MacDoc Realty LLC - Fredericksburg, VA
The Gibbons Group

Yes - they can be extremely annoying - I think I like the idea of asking them for their home phone number and tell them I'll call back at dinner time  :)

Word of caution on the "non-profit" telemarketers - ask them this one question:  "How much of my donation will go to the {charity}?"  They will hem and haw ... but insist on an answer ... if they say they don't know - ask to speak to their supervisor.  9 out of 10 times, 15% of your donation goes to the charity and the 85% goes to the telemarketing company!!  I proceed to tell them I will contribute directly to the organization.

Thanks,

Rita

Sep 27, 2007 05:05 PM #45
Ambassador
1,296,336
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

RITA - Thanks for your great comments.  Chad mentioned something very similar above.  I haven't given a lot of money via telemarketing, but I have given some.  Thanks for your sound advice!

Most of the giving that I do goes directly to people who need it:

Giving of your time, talents, and treasures

Sep 27, 2007 05:11 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,267,934
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Jason:

 

Nice post. Reminds me of lunch the other day. Ha

Hey how do you get the bookmarks on your blog?

Later

Sep 27, 2007 05:28 PM #47
Ambassador
1,296,336
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

ALAN - Thanks for reading and commenting, buddy.  What bookmarks do you mean?

Sep 27, 2007 05:30 PM #48
Rainer
20,292
Jaynee Acevedo
Capital Style Home Staging - Kensington, MD
Capital Style Home Staging

Oooh, baby, this one always makes my blood pressure rise.  Aren't we all caught in the trap of being taught to be NICE?  I just love your idea of hanging up in the middle of YOUR OWN SENTENCE.  Baa haa haa!  I'll be using THAT one, I assure you!

Thanks, buddy!

    Jaynee

Sep 28, 2007 05:16 AM #49
Ambassador
1,296,336
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
JAYNEE - I have been using that technique for several years now.  It seems to work the best for me.  Other times, I just respond by saying, "Mm hmm.", then hang up.  Thanks for your comments on this one.
Sep 28, 2007 05:23 AM #50
Rainmaker
595,563
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
I actually took my cell phone number off all my web sites so the telemarketers would be forced to go through my office. Granted, my office just forwards them to my cell phone, but with the extra step, it seems to have cut back on these idiots, I mean people. No, I really meant idiots.
Sep 28, 2007 07:19 AM #51
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
LISA - That is a good idea, and you were right - "mouth-breating imbeciles" also comes to mind.
Sep 28, 2007 08:23 AM #52
Ambassador
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
I couldn't help myself.  For anyone who happens to be following the comments here, I received a phone call today from a telemarketer who wanted to thank me for our past support.  I was incredibly tempted to just say, "Well, you are certainly welcome." then hang up the phone. 
Oct 06, 2007 03:23 PM #53
Rainmaker
558,250
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com

Thanks for asking!

Aug 15, 2008 08:41 AM #54
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Jer - ???

Aug 15, 2008 09:03 AM #55
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