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High-Tech Sales Pitches

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So today I'm at my desk in the office fiddling with a new Web accelerator toy, er appliance, and I get the dreaded call transfer from the front desk. The Web caching box must've had fried my common sense and I took the call. It was a sales pitch. People who call my number at the office usually dial my extension directly. Even then, they get a call-screening message asking them to identify themselves. If I am at my desk and if it's urgent, I pick up the call, otherwise they go into the voicemail and I get back to them later.

Generally, the only times calls are transferred to my extension via the front desk are when someone calls up the office and asks for the Web guy or the programmer or the developer and those are typically salespeople pushing a new and exciting product or a service or the survey guys asking for 5 minutes that last a good half hour. The sales guy was peddling Microsoft and Cisco training courses.

With my mind still on Web caching, I half-heartedly listened to the man drone on effusively about their courses and their various membership levels. He had me browse to their Web site and took me through some of their marketing pages. Not wanting to be discourteous, I obliged, but he must've realized that I wasn't exactly the type of ready and willing customer he was hoping for. Undaunted, he pushed on buttering me up with compliments that I was a part of an exclusive group chosen to receive the course material at a substantial discount. I finally had to cut him off and asked the inevitable question, "How much?"

Sensing slippage, he promptly handed the call over to one of their professional and cheerful salespeople with the hopes that the new guy would close the deal. When I resisted, the cheers suddenly gave way to a quick thank-you and a phone number to call back and that was the end of it.

I don't understand this. I mean I know techies are eccentric and lack some social skills, but are we taken for easy prey? I could almost hear the salesman's thoughts through all the pleasantries, "Buy it, you dumb ass. Take the bait. Buy the stupid course." I suppose there are some of us out there who would succumb to the art of persuasion. I've had my weak moments too, but not today. If only he was peddling a Web caching courseware today.


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