Dawkins Nuisance Cold Call Hates

The great evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has a twitter feed many might find a troubling yet perhaps ultimately rewarding place to visit. IRL though, it seems he gets hassled as well, but not from where you might expect.

Back in the Nineties, I heard one salesperson say to me that they always asked ‘how are you?’ upfront on a cold call. Their reckoning was that it jolted the listener. No-one else was asking it of them, so they entertained the conversation. How times change.

Most tweeps replied to Professor Dawkins with tales of how they play up the caller. In similar fashion to the how many windows trick I sense.

Given the precise question posed, it was a surprise that so many chose to offer instead their allegedly witty response or commentary on the activity in general, rather than answer the actual query of ‘other nuisance call examples?’ Which probably says a lot about Life 2.0, or at the very least, the inability of the vast majority to properly answer a specific question.

Among the 259 comments from the day of posting then, these thirteen alternative worthless cold-call openers fielded were posted;

this is not a sales call

please don’t hang up

do you want to be a hero today?

could I take a few moments of your time?

can I speak to the business owner?

according to our records…

who am I speaking to?

I’d like to talk to you about…

hi, my name is …

have you heard the good news?

I’m not selling anything…

can you hear me all right?

this is a cold call…

Yes, these are mostly from the angle of receiving such unsolicited harassment in a personal consumer capacity. Today there seems a new avalanche of robocalls to filter with their ‘press 1’ hopes. But still. Any b2b cold call with any similar sounding start is a total no-no.

Pause for a quick sanity check? If you’re not spending hours tracking down social media friends of friends, then what are you telephoning unsuspecting potential buyers about? Do you avoid an unsuitable ‘opening gambit’? And how do you try initiate any conversation? And are you sure it doesn’t resemble any of the above?

footnote: here’s his original tweet text from 15 April 2019;

“How are you today?” As an opening gambit on the telephone, is there a more sure give-away diagnostic of a nuisance cold-call? Why do they do it?
Other examples that provoke an immediate “No thank you, goodbye”?

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.