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Friday, August 12, 2011

The right way and the wrong way to make a business call

Today I want to rant about something which is obviously not being taught to people any more: the art of making an outgoing phone call. This mostly applies to the business situation, but it could also apply to a personal call when you're ringing a shared phone.

Incidentally, this particular rant is brought to you by Network Solutions and their database abuse for an attempted sales call.

The other day, I got a phone call from a random number which had tried me earlier in the week and did not leave voicemail. Some web searches revealed it was Network Solutions, and I do have domain name registration business with them, so when they called back, I answered.

The first thing out of this guy's mouth: Can I talk to Rachel?

It's like, well, no, maybe, maybe not. Who the hell are you, and what do you want? Once we get those things established, then we might get somewhere. Otherwise, forget it.

When I used to make outgoing calls, albeit not for sales, but rather to contact a customer to let them know something was going on, it sounded like this:

Dial.

Ring.

Hello?

Hi, this is Rachel calling from $company. May I speak to $name, please?

If the person who answered the phone knew that they had business with us, they'd be like, oh, okay, cool, this is legit. Otherwise, they knew they had to confer with whoever. Since I had already told them who I was and who I was with, they could just say "hold on" and go check. Some of them knew to ask why, and I'd say, "it's regarding the web hosting" or "about your server hosted here", or "I'm following up on a FooWatch XXYY alert" or whatever it might have been.

Compare that to the totally-out-of-the-blue call where some random, unidentified voice wants to talk to someone by name. The way I was raised, you just don't ever do that. Now, granted, with phones being what they are today (automatic caller-ID and such), you usually don't need to do this when you call someone who already knows you. I get that, and this isn't about that.

So, back to NSI. They were calling me "about a security issue". "Apparently" my rachelbythebay.com SSL cert is going to expire. Guess what, you slimeball, I get my certs from someone else. But wait, there's more. How'd they get my phone number? Odds are, they did a whois on the domain. But hey, that domain has private registration! Oh, but it's privately registered with them. Obviously they can see through it for their own needs.

Losers.

I'll renew that cert when it's time and not a moment before, thanks.