It’s my second week in Los Angeles, and I’m still setting up my new home office. The PC we ordered from Dell is well on its way, and should be here in a few more days, so here I am doing my work on my travel laptop (my Asus EEE PC).
I can’t believe the amount of telemarketing calls I’ve been getting since I got here. You get cold calls for just about everything- magazine subscriptions, satellite TV services, credit review, timeshares, discount programs, home business pitches- it seems that this house probably gets about 5 to 10 of those calls in a day.
Back in the Philippines, I used to run my own unit of customer service reps and sales reps doing the exact same thing, calling households in the US and in the UK. And for various campaigns as well. So, in a way, I’m rather curious to know how it is to be on the receiving end this time.
Here’s how I see it: all these telemarketing calls is simply an indication of a potential for good business. For companies to invest so much in time and manpower and have people continuously call households to pitch something just means that it’s probably worth all the effort.
Other interesting observations: most of the calls still originate from within the US (I can tell from the way they talk and respond). Many are now calling from home- which means there’s an increase in work-at-home setups. Some calls are legit, and some are rather dodgy- hoping to catch you off-guard with a quick series of questions or attempts to bluff you.
And it works both ways too: watch TV, listen to the radio, pick up a newspaper or a magazine, or go online- there are 1-800 numbers everywhere- which means there are a whole lot of other service reps out there positioned to take in millions of calls from all these sources.
In a way, having been in this kind of an industry has given me an appreciation on how things work- a greater appreciation of the whole world of business by phone.
So be nice to your telemarketers. No need to be rude, although yes, they really have some bad timing when you’re having a real bad day. A simple ‘not interested’ will do, if you don’t want to hear what they have to say- so we don’t waste each other’s time. Or, sign up for your local Do-Not-Call list if you really have no patience for it.