Telemarketing works. If it didn't, companies wouldn't sink so much money into annoying people with cold calls. Since I've been freelancing for a living--which means working in a home office--I've had the dubious joy of entertaining all those telemarketing calls during the day.
Usually, I just hang up once I determine that, yes, it really is just a sales call for yet another product or service I neither want nor need. Sometimes, I like to have a little fun, though. This past weekend, I received a call from our internet provider trying to sell us a direct TV subscription that we neither want nor need. After my polite response of, "No, thank you. We're not interested," the telemarketer persisted: "What do you do for entertainment?"
I could tell she was puzzled, as though no person called had ever responded in such a manner or as though she wasn't familiar with the concept of reading.
"Yes, read. You know, like books."
Lately, we've been getting sales calls from DP&L (formerly Dayton Power & Light). I'm not exactly sure what they're trying to sell me, because I cut them off before they can get the conversation really rolling.
"I'd like to talk to you about your DP&L service."
"We don't use your electricity."
"You don't use DP&L?"
And then there's "Consumer Services," which wants my credit card information, fraudulent calls from Microsoft about a glitch in my operating system that will soon affect computer performance, and collections calls and subpoena notices for "Alan David," whoever that guy is. The thing is, if my computer is acting up, I'll make contact myself. If "Alan David" lived here, I would have turned the rotten fink in by now. And I'm content with my credit card, thank you very much.
Look, if it's really official and important, go back in time and send a letter. I'm more likely to open it, read it, and give it more than two seconds' attention. Otherwise, the calls do nothing more than suck up time and annoy me.
Which brings me to the very subject of marketing, which sucks up time and annoys me. I hired a publicist in May to do that sort of work, because (1) she's better at it than I am and (2) I loathe doing that type of work. I'm grateful that she's not the type to annoy potential customers by cold-calling people and that she genuinely enjoys her chosen field. So, if you think that my marketing has increased, you're right. If you think it's improved, let me know. If you have an effective marketing idea that can be accomplished on a shoestring budget, then definitely let me know and I'll forward the information to my publicist.
In the meantime, I've got work to do.