A long, long, time ago, in this galaxy, we used to answer the phone. (We only had one phone per family back in the olden days.) Because we had no idea who was calling. And honestly, it was exciting to hear the phone ring. You had to run faster than your siblings to grab the receiver from the wall, and find out who was on the other end. And it was a complete joy to know it was for YOU, and you smugly glared at your sisters as you stretched the phone cord into the other room for some private chat with your friend.
Those days are gone, and now it seems the phone call is no longer your friend. Or anyone's friend.
Now we each have a phone, and caller ID, and everyone everywhere on the planet seems to be calling you.
I don't know about you, but there are three types of calls that I get nowadays. First, you've got the good one - family and friends. (Well, I guess it's only good if you like your family and friends!) Those are the calls I answer. And if a call goes to voicemail, I'll call back.
Then you've got the good business calls. These are also calls to be answered or if a voicemail is left you can make the call back. You know, it's the dentist calling to confirm your appointment, or it's the state lottery official telling you you've one a million dollars (I'm still waiting for that call).
And then...the third call. The sleazy, salesy, going to try to trick me into engaging with you kind of call. I just got one (thus the inspiration for this post) a few minutes ago. It went something like this:
Hi Andrea, this is Sue (not really the name she gave). I was told that you were the right person to talk to, so please give me a call at 123-456-7890 because I have some questions.
No thanks. I'm not calling you back. I know, I know. It seems innocuous. Maybe someone did tell her I was the right person to talk to. Maybe she does need help. Fortunately, I have been using the phone my whole life and I know when I phone call is a real call versus a sales pitch. Here are the flags that pop up on messages like this.
#1 - No last name. C'mon sales person, you can at least provide a fake last name.
#2 - No mention of the person who told me I was "the right person" to talk to.
#3 - No mention of the business
#4 - No mention as to what kind of help she needs
Of course, what seals the deal is being able to Google the phone number and find out who she is and what kind of business she's in. This allows me to completely know she's just trying to sell me something I absolutely don't need. Always do a phone number search. Always. I mean it.