Sales Pitch Dead Giveaway

Word or phrase which reveals that the speaker has his own agenda and is not necessarily being straight with you. Usually a phrase which lets you know that the speaker is trying to sell something to you, perhaps regardless of whether you need it. The SalesPitchDeadGiveaway is what warns you that you should be on your guard, as this is not just a frank conversation.

Example: When you get a call from a stranger and ask, "Are you trying to sell me something?" it is a SalesPitchDeadGiveaway for them to say "No, I'm just offering you an exciting opportunity". From this point onwards, you mightn't trust them.

Any phone call from a stranger that begins, "Hello, Robert, how are you today?" The idea is you are surrendering control, because nice people don't respond to that question by hanging up. After years of practice, and a few expensive failures, I have learned to just say "not interested" and hang up. DontEvenTryToArgue??. -- RobertField

This is especially true if your name is not Robert. --PeteBevin

I answer the phone with "Hello; this is Jeff." <short pause> <click, followed by greeting with lots of noise (talking) in background...> They say: "Hello! May I please speak with Jeff Greg?" (Hmmm... )-:

The telephone solicitors auto-dial numbers, and a human solicitor is put on the line only when it is answered. From my observation, the better calling systems can determine if an answering machine has picked up rather than a live caller. -- RobertField student of TelephoneSolicitingPatterns??''

(The magic here is that humans usually answer with a short speech, "Hello?", and answering machines with a long speech, "Hi, we can't answer the phone because we're in the basement making a perfect sphere out of fissionable materials, please leave a message." -- DW)

I've heard differently. Answering machine recordings have a different frequency pattern introduced by the magnetic tape and/or digitization of the recording. So dialers can actually detect if it is a recording, regardless of its length. Is this how those telemarketer "zappers" work, perhaps? -- by putting a recording on the line to fool the dialer into hanging up?

The telezappers emit a tone on the line just after you or the answering machine that simulates a "number has been disconnected" signal. The autodialer then removes your number from its list to call in the future, figuring that there is no sense in calling a disconnected number.

I respond to telemarketing in a way that gives me satisfaction, *almost* makes up for the annoyance of the call and does not cost me any energy. When I hear the familiar "Hello, may I speak to Mr. X", I respond nicely and a little enthusiastically with "Okay, but can you hold on just a second ?" and they always reply "Sure !". I then put the phone on the bed and go back to what I was doing, chuckling whenever I hear the tiny little voice say in a puzzled tone "Hello ? Hello ?"...

The problem is you're punishing the wrong person. It's not the fault of the minimum wage earner that s/he is doing that crappy job. It's not like they enjoy it, which is why you usually have to sign an indenture for six months or so. The staff turnover is ridiculous. Just like it's not worth yelling at the clerk at McDonald?'s because they can't be made to care.

If I can make people leave there faster and not come back, do I not make the telemarketing company hurt, and therefor die?

Funny, the worse you're paid, the more people expect of you and the more people dump on you when you screw up (both managers and customers). The more you're paid, the more leeway you're afforded (e.g. software companies are reknowned for letting their employees sleep during office hours).

I have a rule: Never be a jerk to a low wage earner unless they're being a jerk to you. Then, of course, they deserve it. Just be courteous, say "Sorry, no thanks. Good bye." and hang up. -- SunirShah

It could be argued that you needn't be too polite, though - "But.. I'm getting money for doing it!" isn't the most welcome excuse for causing me annoyance :-)

When in a really bad mood and wishing to punish them, act like your interested (or at least listening) and waste their time for a while. Be sure to say "no" and refuse to buy anything. They can only earn money if they efficiently pester lots of people until they find the suckers. You can hurt them by slowing them down. -- AnonymousCoward

I understand your reasoning, Sunir, but you are passing up a great humour opportunity. You know, the low-wage-earning-job-hating-telemarketer can get a laugh out of it, too, if you do it right. eg:

Telemarketer: "I'm calling from AT&T Long distance and we have the most amazing deal on long distance you've ever been offered in your lifetime or any other!!!"

Me: "Not interested."

Telemarketer: "We offer the best rates in the industry, plus a free gas powered combination indoor grill/electric wok/food dehydrator/peach pitter/pneumatic drill/bidet/massage-unit/hair clipper/deli slicer delivered right to your door, all for the amazingly low price of $39.99 a month for only 99 months!!!"

Me: "AT&T has directly caused the death of two dearly loved family pets. Not interested."

Telemarketer: <Stunned silence...then uncontrollable laughter>

Me: <Click>


I am prone to chat up telephone soliciters for a laugh and find that most enjoy the break in their day too. I like to put them on speaker phone when I have friends visiting. I met an independent filmmaker this way once. We had espresso together a few days later and we wave to each other at CreEightCon. -- WardCunningham

At the first indication of a telemarketer, incant as follows: "Please add me to your do-not-call list." After a year of this, our evening meals are rarely interrupted by telemarketers. --DaveSmith

There is a good script for dealing with telemarketers on my site, and how you might be able to sue them for $500:

I had a lot of fun with one telemarketer whose autodialer was broke or misconfigured, and kept dialing me over and over. So I tried calling them over and over, here is the story:

    * "I've been [calling them and] exploring the rest of their services: The one thing they do all seem to know is the time. Call and ask what time it is. They cheerfully tell you. Then you can hang up. It appears to be a free service that they offer.... They are in California, ... so call them if you ever need to know what time it is at my house."

I found out about a telemarketer that was giving out a domain name claiming it was their company website. However, it was a domain that wasn't even registered. A day or so later, someone created a great website on that domain about how to avoid telemarketers, and also completely exposing how the scams of that telemarketer work. I actually had one of the supervisors at that company admitting to me "When the free calling card runs out, don't call us back to order another one."

Finally, it takes me a few moments to bring it up, but if I have the chance when telemarketers call, I bring up a page on my wiki where I have a nice hall of fame for all the details about the various telemarketers who call to bug me:

-- GarnetChaney

I work at home, and get calls from people I need to talk to who don't export caller-ID, so I have to answer the unknown calls. Unfortunately, this means I also get to answer the telemarketers. So, here's the telemarketing challenge: In under 60 seconds, get them to swear at you and hang up. You're not allowed to be abusive about them personally, or swear at them. It's doable, but even someone as abrasive as me has to work on it.... -- KatieLucas

    * AlarmBellPhrases 

Somewhere on this wiki are some conversion scripts to mess with sales callers. I couldn't find it after 15 tries.

That's just what I was looking for, thanks!

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