|What’s it going to take to get you into something
you and I know you don’t need?
I was having coffee with a former colleague and he told me a story about an annoying rash of calls from vendors after attending a conference. He went on and on about he was deceiving them and is going to sporting event but doesn’t want to sit through the 2 hour presentation to get there. Then I thought about how I deal with cold callers and thought I’d throw some thoughts down.
Originally I was going to call this post Do You Lie To Salesmen, then I sat back and came to conclusion that we all lie to vendors. I will say you are a liar if you say you don’t lie. It’s doesn’t have to be a big lie, a small deception will do to classify it as a lie. But why do we do it and how can these cold callers keep doing the job when they know most of the info they get is mostly BS?
Let me detail the scenario. You work in IT, plugged into the social networks, active on LinkedIn and are having a normal work week. Then you start getting calls from vendors and salesmen you have never heard of peddling services you don’t even work with. Why you? How?
They get your info from all the public information you have out there and they make you into a far more important role than you really have. These vendors are using any and all avenues into your company and you are the next attempt to penetrate. What do you when you get these calls unexpectedly and repeatedly?
You lie… at some level.
You lie about what you do, what you control, what you use and what you need. All to get this person off the phone and in their head you are not the right person to call. In large organizations, especially in IT, your year is planned and probable next year and if you are really big 3 years out is laid out for major functionality improvements and goals. A cold calling, one off service has a slim chance of getting past you for a service you don’t need and probably if they don’t have a standing relationship with your company already the service isn’t Enterprise level quality anyway. The primary reason you lie is to get back to your regular work day. Unsolicited calls are annoying no matter who you are.
I know lots of people that deal with this everyday and everyone has various levels of approaches to this. Some are flat out open and rude and others purposely string the vendors along as far as they can go getting invited to as many free events and getting as much free stuff as they can before the vendor realizes it’s a dead end and moves on. That one I heard called once “If you are going to waste my time I am going to waste yours” method. I don’t agree with that one, but I won’t deny I have attended really cool events with vendors I had no intention using. It’s kind of like a timeshare meeting, sit through a 1 hour presentation, pretend you are paying attention to get the free tickets to the show and suffer the spam for the next 8 months.
Personally, I am more upfront and honest with cold callers than most people. Do I exaggerate? Sure. Do I lie? Not really. Am I rude like I am to a telemarketer? Absolutely not. It’s critical that you are not or leave an impression that you are difficult to work with and I will tell you why. Today that cold calling salesmen is in a struggling position getting sales from the phone book. Tomorrow he might become a sales rep on an enterprise account that you rely on or may even come work for the company you do. Now what? Do you want to be remembered as a guy that is rude or as one that was pleasant. This rule goes for anyone you work with, do business with, or compete with. You have heard of the 6 degrees of separation, in the IT world that number is 3. Everyone knows everyone and it doesn’t take long for word to spread, even in a big city. Salesmen talk, consultants talk, employees move on and talk. You are not protected by the walls of your company by a bad reputation.
The best business motto you could live by –
“Be careful of the feet you step on today because they could be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.”
End of Line.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.