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?