How to piss off a prospect…
Time for a rant. This was precipitated by an unsolicited phone call early one Sunday morning, from a so-called “marketing firm” run by a so-called “consultant.”
Too bad he is giving consulting such a black eye.
Normally I’d let the phone ring, but for some reason I decided to answer. Actually, I was kind of curious as to what kind of jerk would call early on a Sunday morning.
Here is a short summary of the conversation:
Who is calling please? –Mumble, mumble, mumble.
Who? –RKX Research. (Not the real name*)
And who are you? –David.
David who? –Sorry, I can’t give you my last name for confidentiality purposes.
OK, David. And just where is RKX Research located? –Sorry, I can’t give you that for confidentiality purposes. But you can Google it.
OK, David. Then who is the CEO of RKX Research, and what is his number? –Sorry, I can’t give you that information for confidentiality purposes. But you can Google it.
OK, David. Did you know we are on the DO NOT CALL list? –(Haughtily) We’re a market research firm, and we are excluded from the FTC rules on DO NOT CALL requirements.
OK David. So does that give you the right to call a complete stranger on a Sunday morning? — Well yes, legally we can call…
OK David. I don’t really give a damn about your legal interpretations For your information, I consider your call legal harassment. — Uh, would you like to talk to my supervisor?
Sure, put him on. — Pause
Who is this? –Yohan.
Yohan what? –Yohan K…
Well, Yohan, if that is your real name, I just talked with David, if that is his real name. I explained that I don’t really like getting unsolicited phone calls on a Sunday morning. — Well this is a marketing research call, and we are exempt from FTC rules..
OK Yohan. As I explained to David, I consider your calls legal harassment and will take legal action if you ever call again. Are we clear? –Do you want me to remove your name from our call list?
Sure – you go ahead and do that. One more thing. Who is the CEO of RKX Research, and what is the address? — Sorry, I can’t give you that information …. but you can Google it.
END OF CALL…
So, I decided to Google the mysterious RKX Research. Here is what I found:
- RKX Research is located in New Hampshire.
- The owner is KM. Had to hunt a bit to find this, but yes, you can Google him.
- The web site is self aggrandizing. No list of owners or executives.
- The FaceBook page has not been updated since January 2013
- The Twitter feed has one tweet in 2012.
- LinkedIn. Forget it. At this point, didn’t feel like paying LinkedIn to learn more.
Kind of interesting. If this company is a legitimate marketing company, why so little Internet presence? Why so evasive about ownership? Perhaps they are not proud of what they are doing?
So what can we as consultants glean from this? Lets look at it upside down. Imagine you want to break into market research consulting, and you really want to piss off prospects. Here are seven quick ways to do that:
(1) Ignore common courtesy. Call complete strangers at odd hours. Sunday mornings are particularly effective.
(2) Hire snotty kids to make the calls. Then teach them to be obnoxious and patronizing.
(3) Prevaricate. Tell people you’re just doing “market research” even if not completely true. This lets you hide behind a technical loophole.
(4) Be difficult to reach. Hide your identity and personal email address.
(5) Don’t monitor/upgrade social media for years at a time. This has the added benefit of showing how (in)competent you are at marketing.
(6) Ignore common sense. After all, most people are just waiting for a thinly disguised sales call from some stranger – particularly early Sunday morning. Their time or privacy are not nearly as important as you are.
(7) Brag about what a great outfit you are on your website. Who knows? Maybe your mother will believe it. Or maybe not.
Would YOU hire these clowns to piss off your customers or prospects?
Finally, I’m not opposed to market surveys. I regularly participate in those sent by email from companies and organizations I know and trust. I do NOT respond to fishing expeditions from strangers, particularly on a Sunday morning. Nor should you.
End of rant.
* Decided not to include the real info on RKX Research as originally planned. No need to hurt or humiliate anyone – even though they might deserve it. Rather, decided to share this rant as a lesson on how NOT to act as a professional consultant.
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