In real estate, we real estate brokers and agents can get very jaded because so many vendors call us to persuade us to buy their product. After awhile, you kind of know their spiel; that, and the fact that their caller ID says they are often from out of the area.
Invariably, they start out with "How are you today."
Well, 90% of them do, then slide in their FIRST name like you should know them. They sound friendly as all get out -- that means "an expression of disbelief, usually something too good to be true." Yep, that kind of friendly is too good to be true!
But every now and again someone starts the conversation that way, AND REALLY MEANS IT.
Had this happen the other day when the lender of a buyer called me to set up a visit by his appraiser.
Here are some other FIRST LINES that could spell trouble:
1. "Is this Hella?" - ok, this could be BIG trouble, because there is no way I am going to say "yes" because I've read the same articles you have where BAD People can use this "yes" after you've hung up to mean that you have approved buying something.
What I say in response is: "Hi, who is this?"
2. "This is Lisa from Mumble-Mumble company" - I never let that slide, I want to know (1) what the name of the company is and (2) what it is they do.
3. Then I wait for the "meat" of their calling me and let them talk until I'm clear that (1) that it's a marketing call or (2) all others.
4. When it's a "marketing call", I do listen a little longer to those who are just following up from previous contacts. And that includes, yep, Zillow, Loopnet, Skyslope, and companies of that ilk. When I hear that GOOGLE is calling, I just hang up because I know they are lying - unless I have a call in to them. GOOGLE is great, but all the wannabees are not!
5. All others: Call away, just know that I might not be as chatty as I normally am until I've figured out exactly who you are and what you want.