Cold Call

It happens over and over, and over again. Note to sales people in all fields; you might want to learn at least something about a business, or at least take a cursory glance at their web site before you call them and offer your services.

Today I got a call from a company that makes enhanced web site features for the visually impaired. I asked him if he (who offers web services) looked at our web site, “…because I don’t think you have.”
He says “Well, that’s something we would do…”

We sell gun stuff.

I’ve gotten several calls from advertisers asking for our address (?) asking what kind of business we’re in (?) what kind of corporation we are, etc., all of which is public information and most of which is blatantly and repeatedly displayed on our web site. I get several calls a month from various “yellow pages” companies (people still use those?) asking what business we’re in.

Sorry, but if you’re that unobservant I don’t want to do business with you even if you’re offering something I might want. It’s an extremely simple and highly relevant filter. Same goes when someone wants my vote or other political support. It usually only takes a few seconds to know who’s done their homework and who is just playing a game they don’t really understand.

Then there was the guy who called me last week, openly and for no practical reason telling me he was willfully breaking the gun laws in California and wanted my participation in the form of selling him stuff to help him break the law. When I explained it to him in just that way, and said I’m not doing business with him for that reason, and apologized to him saying none of this made any sense, I understand, and it makes neighbor suspicious of neighbor but unfortunately there it is, he asked me what I was talking about. “I’m not going to argue about it. Bye” and that was that.

I may really like your spirit, but… geeze.

15 thoughts on “Cold Call

  1. Good one. I’ve run into this sort of thing also. In my case I have another handy filter: our little company was bought by a large company 6 years ago, so whenever I get a cold call (or cold email) where the other end clearly didn’t know that, I can stop right there.

  2. When someone calls you out of the blue and starts talking about doing things that are clearly illegal, your spider sense should tingle like Chris Matthews’s leg.
    I know people who, thanks to that sense, avoided trouble that came at them with all four paws, claws out, and I can think of times where my sense enabled me to avoid trouble, even though for me I never actually saw the claws.

    • Yeah we used to do gun shows, so we’re very accustomed to that sort of thing. One guy we saw at shows all accross the Northwest. He was your favorite uncle/best friend sort of dude, and he’d go from table to table trying to get people to break laws. He came to me saying “I know you guys can convert a semi to full auto, so how do you do it…?”
      “No problem” I said, “Anyone can do it and it’s very simple. Just give the BATF a call and they’ll set you up will all the necessary paperwork…”

      For some reason, he was not amused. He gave a sort of nervous chuckle and left. Some people have no idea how blatantly transparent they are while they think they’re being ever so deviously and deliciously clever.

      The guy on the phone the other day was playing out the red-neck Bubba stereotype, saying F this and F those F’ing feds and whatnot, like it was his ticket to my immediate and undying fellowship and trust. Now that I think about it, his demeanor was precisely that of the guy at the city park who tried to lure me into the bathroom alone with him and show him my underwear for five bucks when I was a boy. When I turned around and walk away very fast he shouted back; “Hey! Five dollars is a lot of money!” I KNEW I recognised that personality, and I just now figured it out. This latest guy was offering a two or three hundred dollar sale, for basically the same thing.

      • interesting. They way you wrote it, I thought it was obviously what you were trying to imply was obvious – they were either LEO or a front man for them trying to set you up, and you saw through it. I guess they aim to frame the idiots, not actually catch real criminals that are causing real problems. Malum prohibitum laws are safer to frame people for that actual malum in se activities (the later involve actual dangerous people, not people with assets to confiscate).

        • That’s the truth. Ayn Rand said that it was easier to make criminals out of honest people and then prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, as they are surprised by being on the wrong side of the law and are less dangerous to everyone involved than actual bad guys who lack the socialization that keeps people from killing one another over such things.

        • Oh, and I remember some yahoo (in the Swiftian sense, not the computer site sense) at a gun show back in 2005 who tried to convince me I could buy a rifle in CA as one of two private parties in a f-2-f transaction without going through an FFL.

    • Your spidey sense should tingle even more if it is somebody you know, particularly if they have gotten into some kind of trouble in the past.

      • That’s classic leftist protocol– get neighbors suspicious of neighbors, neighbors informing on neighbors, kids informing on their parents, etc. Everyone suspicious, everyone looking over their shoulder, everyone intimidated, no one speaking openly, everyone afraid. I touched upon that in the post.

        • I think it’s been established that those alphabet agencies use paid informants, usually people who’ve already been convicted of one thing or another. Who better to infiltrate the circle?

  3. Which makes me wonder – if they tried it with you, they tried it with others, and I’d be curious if they found anyone in the biz who would bite.

    If it didn’t mean deeper involvement, none of which would earn any money and which would increase complications, it’d be interesting to drop a dime and see what happens.

  4. I’ve had those sort of calls and emails because of posts on usenet and my blog.

    The first time I sold someone in California a few rounds of steel core 7.62×39 ammo. He followed up with a question asking if I had anything more “interesting”. The first transaction was strange enough that I almost didn’t go through with it and his second request caused me to go on full alert. I then discovered that the ammo couldn’t be used in California anyway and I declined further interaction with him.

    Since then I get a clue within a few seconds and handle it differently.

  5. Totally aside from the gov trying to entrap you, a lot of those “Yellow Pages” calls are scams. If you confirm your business information you’ll get an invoice from them billing you for being included in their “Business Directory” or some such.

    • That’s ok, it’s a gift and you don’t owe them any money.
      Meanwhile, on the original item, that sure has a Ruby Ridge smell to it.

  6. I’d gather the shop, put the phone on speaker, and everybody on 3 yell “found the Fed”, then hang up.

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