There is nothing more infuriating to me than someone who insists they absolutely, positively, must speak to me urgently at the office, who have associates interrupt what I am doing to take an ‘urgent’ telephone call from someone soliciting me because they have decided I MUST have the product they are selling. From Financial Planners, Insurance Agents, Computer Repair companies, Charities, Telephone and Internet providers offering great deals (why didn’t they offer the great deal when you signed up originally?) My immediate reaction to these individuals is to tell them to remove my name from their list and never call again, ever.
Perhaps (probably) I am old fashioned, but as a customer, I should be able to decide what I want, when I want it, from whom I want it, and when I want it, and not have an overly aggressive telemarketer make that decision for me.
The most hilarious ones are those who, when hearing a female voice, order you to pass the call to the President of the company. .My response, ‘How may I help you?” then more aggression…..and insistence that they speak with the President.One went so far as to ask for my name and threatened to report me to my supervisors, I continued to politely inquire who was on the phone, the reason for the call, the name of their company and then their supervisor. More screams. I finally let the abusive telemarketer that I was the President of the company, and this behaviour was not acceptable.
The best sales individuals are those who ask if it is convenient to speak and if not, when it would be appropriate to follow up. Let the client set the parameters.
One can argue vigorously on both sides of the equation, that timing is everything. You could miss that golden opportunity when someone else gets there first and makes the sale of the century. Unfortunately, the flip side is lurking in the background, the client finds the calls annoying and requests that you never call again, when do you draw the line?
With email, voice mail, Blackberry’s,Iphone’s, and all the various and sundry communication devices available today, a remarkable number of people have completely forgotten about etiquette. If someone calls you, regardless of whether or not you think you want to speak with them, RETURN THE CALL. You never know. Someone could be trying to sell you a service or product you don’t want, take the call, politely spend one minute with them and give them the benefit of the doubt. Then, in the event you are not interested in them or their product, advise them that it would be a waste of time to call again, and as everyone’s time is valuable, it would be in everyone’s best interest.
We call people all the time, sometimes it is for references, information, product information, or to follow-up on a referral. It is incredible the number of people who don’t have the common courtesy to return the call.
We have discovered over the years, that it is one of the easiest ways to establish their actual level in a company and relative salary. Our rule of thumb now is that the more easily accessible someone is, the higher up the food chain they actually are. The more difficult they are to reach by email or telephone, they are trying to show the world how important they are and how busy, but in fact they are low level managers on the fast track to nowhere.
We hear that in the world of dating, people now leave voicemail messages that they don’t want to continue their relationships, and ‘have a nice life’ …which is the height of disrespect. If you no longer wish to be with someone, and have shared time together, do the right thing, and speak to them in person and tell them, even if the conversation becomes unpleasant. You never know where or how you will run into the person in the future. If you once cared about them, and things have changed, it is no reason to be rude.
In the world of social climbing, it is also the new way for people to cut out those who they no longer deem to be socially acceptable. There are endless stories of people being un-invited to events and the message being left on voice mail. Would you like it to happen to you? Do you REALLY think you are that special?
Don’t ever forget, what goes up comes down even faster, harder and messier…..it can be your social life, career, anything, and people do remember rudeness, and as is human nature, it will be their great pleasure to give you back what you gave to them…..