On bad days, on top of everything else I get to do at work, I get to answer the phones. Six or so times a day I get sales people cold calling to sell photocopiers, toner, document storage, office supplies, 401(k) management, and all the other awesome things a small business uses. Here are some common signs that the person who called needs none of my time.
- I can hear your five hundred chattering coworkers in the background. Seriously, noise-canceling headsets can’t cost that much.
- English is not your first language. I know, but it’s true. It’s bad enough when I place the call and end up talking to a “Randy” who sounds like Samir from Office Space, but when you call to ask what brand of copier we are running so you can send us toner and you have to say “photocopier” three times before it makes sense, it’s hang-up time.
- You sound about 20-25 years old, but you try to affect this “holy crap I’m busy and I bet you are so just transfer me” tone in order to get to one of my bosses, whom you invariably refer to in an overly familiar way. The only people that young who sound like that as often as you do are on a trading floor or in active combat, and they don’t have much occasion to call aging real estate attorneys.
- You want to “come in and introduce my company” or “see where you’re at with your document flow/management systems.” No you don’t, you want to sell me a photocopier. I don’t even know what document flow/management systems are, but talking about them sounds damned boring.