Ring. Fumble. Where is my cell phone? Ring. Fumble. Aha. Ring. Hello?
Jason Truesdell, Yuzu Trading Company... Hello?
Yuzu Trading Company, how can I help you?
"May I speak with the owner?"
What do you need?
"Hello? This is [unintelligible] with Domain Names and [blah blah blah]. Can I get your fax number to send you a packet of information [unintelligible]?"
"Uh... I ..."
No, I already have information on domain names. Thanks. I don't need anymore. Especially sent to my fax number, I think silently.
"Well, I just [unintelligible] mrpfhfmphf."
No, thank you. (Click)
Granted, I have some sympathy for people making cold calls... I've been there, done that. It's no fun. But the last thing I want, when on the receiving end of such calls, is to give implicit permission to send even more marketing material that I don't want. Especially when it's the in the first semi-intelligible utterance in the conversation.
I have this instinct that makes me immediately suspicious when I receive a call and the person on the other end of the line doesn't respond like a normal person... if they say hello before I do, or if there's a second or two of supernatural silence before a clicking sound, I just know it's a marketing droid and I immediately activate my "fight or flight" defenses.
However, I've had those defenses successfully disarmed, at least long enough to listen to the key message.
It just takes a little more effort. Not that I want more marketing calls, but just as an example...
Jason Truesdell, Yuzu Trading Company...
"Hi Jason, I was just looking at YuzuMura.com... It's a beautiful site. You have some really interesting products I've never seen anywhere else."
Flattery will get you 15 seconds of my attention... "Is this a customer?" I wonder? Oh! Thank you, I say.
"I know you're busy... I'm with [name omitted] publishing company that produces a number of books, some of which cover Asian art and travel topics... Would you be interested in taking a look?"
Oh, it's a marketing call after all. But wait, she actually knows something about my business, and has something potentially relevant to offer.
Well, I'm certainly willing to take a look... On my web site I really need books that have a coffee-table format, or otherwise have a production style that would be appropriate for the gift market. At the moment, I have some hurdles with books because my storefront's software has some issues with shipping calculations using multiple shipping methods, but it's certainly something I've been considering...
"Yes, that's pretty much all we produce. Would you be interested in..." (the conversation continues)
To be fair, I haven't yet ordered from that second company yet, either, but I have a positive impression of the company, and the salesperson put me at ease. She appeared to take a serious look at my business, even if it only means she spent 30 seconds skimming through the text and photos on the top page of my online shop. She tried to offer me something she thought would be compatible with my business.
Not everything works out instantly, but guess which company I'm likely to call back when I need something they offer?