Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where Will I Be?

I think there are definitely different types of people. The last guy wanted to get information so he could make money and avoid accidents. Someone in control of their future.

Much more common are people who act as if their future is something that happens to them. Something that cannot be avoided. It may be that people who end up in phone sales are the type of people who do not take control of their future.

Some typical responses are like:

I would like to know where I will be. Will I be married? Will I have kids?

Another person:

What will my career be? What kind of job will I have?

And another:

Will I be successful? Will I make some good money?

To me, these seem like things that a person has some control over. I will grant that these are probably young people who are in the phone slug job just to get by. But still, they sound like people who are just waiting for something to happen to them.

Financial Information

What would I want to know about the future?
That depends. First I would capitalize on financial information - stocks and that. I would also like to know how to avoid illnesses and accidents.

This is a very practical person and someone who feels that they can control their future.

I wonder why they are working at telephone sales of extended car warranties.

No Way To Live

A guy who wanted to sell me a computer with absolutely no credit check did not want to know about the future at all:

I would not want to know anything about the future. That is no way to live. Why would you want to know anything about the future?

A better way to live for him, I guess, is by selling over the phone cheap computers at ridiculous interest rates.

Which Resource Runs Out

What would you like to know about the future?

A guy who was trying to sell me an extended car warranty says:

Which resource will run out first?

Hmm. So you can invest in it?

No. I just would like to know which resource is the first to run out.

Keep your day job.

We Don't Talk About That

I asked question 1 of a lady who wanted to reduce my credit card debt:

We don't talk about that. We do not talk about the future. We only reduce credit card debt.
This is a yes or no question. Do you have over twenty thousand dollars in outstanding debt?

I don't like it when they go back to their message. No fun at all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

When Will I Die?

A guy trying to reduce my interest rates wants to know:

When will I die?

He did not explain why he wanted to know that. I wonder how important it is to him. This is something that a person does have some control over. You can always end your life whenever you want.
I think he may have meant that he would like to know how long he had to live. That would make more sense to me - you could make plans. But still, knowing when you are going to die does not seem as important as how you will live.

This also shows that some people really do not feel that they have any control over their life at all.
This guy did not give any indication that he would attempt to change when he would die. He spoke as if the time is set - he wanted to know when.

I have gotten this answer twice more lately. One guy wanted to know in detail:

I want to know when I die - the date, the time and the place.

If I Go To Heaven

I would like to know if I go to heaven or not. And if I don't, then what did I do to stop it?

Some people think very far ahead into the future. Like to after they are dead.
If this guy does not make it to heaven then I would say that it is because of his job trying to cheat people over the telephone with a credit card refinance scheme.

This really shows that there are different moral codes. I think that scamming people on the phone is the kind of sin that may not look so good on judgement day. Evidently this guy thinks it will get him into heaven.

So I Can Get Rich

A male trying to sell diabetic supplies finally gave what I think is the most obvious answer:

I would like to know future stock prices so I know what to buy to get rich.

Good answer. But selling diabetic supplies? The call starts with a recorded voice from a guy that says I was recommended to him by a friend or family member as someone who has diabetes. I can get blah, blah blah...

This is confusing to me. Where did they get this number? I know none of my friends or family members would give my number away to any phone solicitor. (Unless they were trying to get back at me for something.) Especially since I do not have diabetes.

If they purchased this number then they got cheated. I am not a very good prospect for selling diabetes supplies.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Have No Idea

I guess the second most common response is a total blank. Many callers are are simply stopped in their tracks by someone asking them a question off their topic.

While I was entering the last post I got a call from a company wanting to sell me a trip to Cancun, Mexico. I asked question 1

I don't know. I have no idea.
Do you want to take a vacation in Cancun?

No. You don't have any ideas for what you would like to know about the future?

Nothing. Why don't you want to go to Cancun? the resort vacation includes..blah blah blah...

I really don't have the time to listen to their schpiel.
This guy was not typical because he went right back to his message. Usually the caller is lost for a second and cannot continue. Sometimes I count them as "no play".

One lady told me she would get in trouble if if she thought about things like that right now. I wonder if she was a slave or otherwise indentured to make phone sales calls all day.

As I get up to date entering all of the old responses I will try to post more of the actual quotes of the conversations. They are usually very short. I don't normally prod the person for more details. I just take what they give me. As you will see later, sometimes I get much more than I expect.

Sometimes the "no idea" response is because the question is open ended. Two people have told me that they would need more time to think about it.

There was one lady the other day who sounded really sad. She answered with a heavy sigh, "What would I want to know about the future? Nothing.... there is nothing at all." They way she said this, with such a sad sort of resignation, it sounded like she meant that there was nothing at all to the future. I thanked here and hung up but wondered if she was suicidal.

There is no way for me to know who these people are. They usually disguise their caller id so I do not even know where they are. I picture them as a rather sad group though - my prejudice only because phone sales would be about the last job I would ever want.


If there is any pattern to the answers so far, it would be that people worry about their family.

The most common response to question 1 is about family. I have 5 responses so far that are somewhat the same. Here are a few examples:

- What about my family? Will they be okay?

- Will I have kids and will they be okay?

- Where are all my people at?

The last example listed was my interpretation. It sounded to me like the caller actually said "Word my peepat?" I had to ask a few times to piece together something meaningful to me.
In my opinion, this person is not the best choice for a phone sales job. I do not remember what they were selling. It may have been something directed toward customers who are more fluent in Ebonics than I.

Results So Far #1

Just this morning I got the most hostile response that I have ever gotten by asking a survey question. The lady called to find out if I wanted to extend my car warranty. The recorded introduction said it was URGENT that I act now because this would be my FINAL opportunity for this offer. I bet.
I asked my question 1. I thought I was as polite as ever. The lady was indignant:

Come on. What is this?

Just a survey question.

What are you trying to pull? I can tell by your voice that you have an issue with this call? What do you want?

It's just a survey question.

Yeah. Right. click

This belligerence surprised me because usually if the caller does not want to play they just hangup. They are, after all, professionals in the field. They spend all day interrupting people to beg for money. One would think that they would cooperate.

I have records of 36 calls. Of these 12 hung up. 24 decided to play.

I will enter the old responses as I have time and the new ones as they occur.

Calls 36
Play 24
No Play 12

Question 1

Script for question 1

I am not going to ask for any personal information or try to sell you anything, just ask one randomly selected survey question:

If you could find out about the future, what would be the most important thing for you to know?

Question 2

Script for question 2

I am not going to ask for any personal information or try to sell you anything, just ask one randomly selected survey question:

When you are planning for the future or thinking about your future, what is the biggest unknown that you would like to know?