Friday, December 04, 2009

If You Want To Win Me Over With An Unsolicited Sales Call...

...try pronouncing my name right, idiots.

Unsolicited sales calls bug the heck out of me anyway. I wish it were possible to outlaw them. So late this morning, I'm at work, and my phone rings. I don't recognize the number, but I answer anyway. My wife refuses to answer any number she doesn't recognize. I'll normally pick up the phone.

I hear some noise in the background. I say "Hello". More talking in the background. I say "Hello" again.

"Mr. Muller?" a stereotypical New York City accent asks me.

This sets me off immediately. I don't know a single person who EVER mispronounced Ferris Bueller's name. Put an "M" in front of it, and suddenly every idiot who gets my phone number can't pronounce it.

So, in a very annoyed voice, I say "It's Mueller!" Seriously, people, how hard is it? If I wanted to be Mr. Muller, I'd get the e dropped. If I wanted to be Mr. Maller, or Miller, I'd get it changed. But it seems like every buttplug idiot telemarketer is incapable of looking at the spelling of my name and getting it right. Seriously, how hard can it be?

So this New Yorker apologizes and tries to sell me a refinance on my mortgage.

Look, I don't work in sales for a lot of good reasons.

If YOU work in sales, seriously, the least thing you can do is TRY to correctly pronounce the name of the person you want to sell to. If you're not willing to do that much, then get a job cooking hamburgers or digging ditches or something.

You're not likely to get a sale if you've already got your prospective customer pissed off before you even confirm that you're talking to the right person.

Here's a VERY simple technique that you can use if you're actually serious about making a living in cold contact sales. Try this: "Good afternoon, Mr. (or Mrs., Ms, etc), I'm sorry, I don't want to be rude, but I'm unsure how to pronounce your name. How do you say it?" Then thank them, and start your sales pitch. I've never gotten angry with anybody who asked me how my name was pronounced (like it's that hard) rather than just plowing through it like a moron.

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