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Like a Deer in the Headlights

got a telephone call from Google this morning



2:53 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Pretty much first thing Monday morning, the phone rings and a woman offers me her name and identifies herself as being from Google. I hope she didn't hear me gulp my coffee and I'm glad she couldn't see my face! She asked a couple of questions about the capability of my company to manufacture this and that and I answered her as calmly as I could in spite of my heart beating out of my chest. I was trying to pay attention while I raced through the inventory of seo techniques that I do and don't do. Waiting for the hammer, is Google now calling webmasters to advise them they are about to be dropped?

After answering a few questions, I ask her, "You are from Google?" Yes, she says Google Answers, we've been contracted by a client to do research on this part of their project. The information you give me will be included in our report back to the client. <Whew!> This is just some poor $12 and hour freelance researcher. I thank her, sit down, finish my coffee and ponder the strange trip I just took in my head. It was a Monday morning head-whacking.


3:01 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Wow! Yes, I would have the same response to a phone call like that. I did have occasion to use Google Answers recently, regarding a software issue that had been bugging me for a long time. Had an expert answer in less than an hour. I offered to pay $8 for a great answer, and it was $ well spent.


5:12 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Sounds like a fun April 1st joke between SEO's. One SEO can have a friend call the other SEO. The friend pretends to be from Google and asks about doorway pages, cloaking, etc. Hilarity ensues. :)


5:34 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hahaa. could you imagine? Mannn.. I think that calls for taking the rest of the day off after that! Glad to see your still alive and kicking!


5:43 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

GoogleGuy! That is NOT funny! ;)

Added: Hmmm, the 25 exclamation points didn't "take."


5:57 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

had it been me I think it would have been something like this...

"hi there , i'm from Google"
breif palputations and swallowing toungue
"Google?... Google who"
"google search engine"
"im sorry search engine doesnt live here"
"you have the wrong number...bye"
"non speeky des english"
nervous silence



8:35 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"Hi there, I'm from Google"
"I'd like to speak to you about your great web site, htels.com"
'uhhh, that's not mine, I own hohum.com'
"Oh, excuse me, aren't you Lyka Chameleon"
'no, I'm Yew Nevaguess, you must have the wrong,rong number,numbr ... but checkout my great website anyway'
"thanks, bye"

"Hi there, I'm Road Warrior ... got any hotel rooms in Las Vegas today"
'sure, check out our great rates at htels.com'
"Thanks Lyca ... see you later"


9:00 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would have (and did have) a totally different response to this type of situation. I've been the victim in the past of crank calls by people claiming to be police officers asking for money and this type of thing. So when I got a call from a guy who said he's from Looksmart I made him go through hell to prove who he was and I do this with every cold call. I still doubt it was from Looksmart.

Cold Callers don't like me because I have a script for them. I got one cold caller who kept persisting trying to sell me to finally throw his hands up, call me a freak and hang up. I considered it a huge victory :)


7:18 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi GilbertZ,

That sounds like a great script, any chance you could post a rough version of it?


8:10 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Great cop out line for cold callers at work......

"Our company security policy doesn't allow us to answer questions over the phone"

:)Saved me HOURS of time.....

You'll be amazed at how they actual LISTEN to that excuse:)


8:22 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

On our forum a few of us have shared some war stories...one of our members would take the question "How are you" as an opportunity for story-telling, from alien abduction story to any mundane thing :)

Here's a copy of the telemarketing script I posted over there:

"Modified from [junkbusters.com...] here's a script YOU can use next time you get a cold call. They have their script, now you have yours.

Any question they refuse to answer that has a "$" Dollar Sign next to, you can sue them for $500 - $1,500.

-I am recording this call. Is this ok with you?
-Are you calling to sell something?
-$ What is your first and last name. Spell that please.
-$ What is your phone number? Area code first, please. (They will often refuse or say it's outgoing only. I would
reply, you can be sued for that. You are required by law to give me your phone number and I am logging this call, by the way.)
-$ What's the name of the organization you're calling for?
-$ Does that organization keep a list of numbers it's been asked not to call?
-$ I would like my number(s) put on that list. Can you add me to the list?
-Does the company you work for also make telemarketing calls for any other organizations? (If they answer no, skip the next question.)
-$ (If yes) Can you make sure your company won't call me for any other organization?
-$ Will your company keep my number on its do-not-call list for at least ten years?
-$ And does your company have a written policy that says that on paper?
-$ Can you send me a copy of it?
-What's your supervisor's first and last name?
-What's your employer's business name, address and main telephone number?
-Are you calling for a tax-exempt nonprofit organization?
-Is this call based on a previously established business relationship?

Keep this script near all telephones, and keep a call log of the answers to these questions.

Use your discretion in how many questions you want to ask. The primary goal is to reduce the calls. Make sure you don't hang up the phone without having them put you on the Do Not Call List. And try to pump them for info and get out of them if they are calling for a telemarketing organization. By doing so, you can be placed on that entire organization's do not call list, potentially saving you from many calls.

Another goal is to get them to stop their sales pitch. What I personally find so annoying is that they'll pretend they aren't cold calling, or you'll tell them you're not interested and they'll keep pushing you and forcing their sales pitch on you. From testing this script, I've noticed that from your first question, I'm taping this call, is that alright with you, they are on the defensive. Much less interested in giving the sales pitch. And you can start to view the call as a game instead of an annoyance."


8:56 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

One comment that works well to bring unwanted sales calls to a quick close is to point out that moving on to their next prospect would be a more profitable use of the caller's time than trying to persist with you.

Hit their own self-interest -- works every time.

Remember to ask to be put on the Do Not Call list. Over time this really does make a difference to the number of sales calls you'll get.


9:03 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I got this simple device called EZ Hangup a few years ago for about twelve dollars and it has paid for itself a hundred times over in my time savings. You just plug it into the back of your phone and it's nothing more than a button you push. When you push the button, it takes control of the call and tells the telemarketer something like "we do not accept this kind of call, please put this number on your do-not-call list".

It's soooo funnn to use, and is an easy way to give a nice rude response to those rude telemarketers who love to call at the most inappropriate times.

Yep, just push that zapper button and hang up the phone.

I see there's lots of places on the web offering it for less than $20. Just do a search on 'EZ Hangup'.

The dialog goes something like this:

Larry here.
I'm Sally Dally calling on behalf of ...

Now how's that for conserving personal bandwidth?


5:33 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

GilbertZ, you just gave me hours of entertainment.
I have printed your list and passed it on to most of my friends.

Thank you SO much :-)

Hey, how do you get those smiley faces into your posts?
My "Disable graphic smile faces for this post?" is NOT checked.


5:46 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

:) = : ) without the space in between. ;) = ; ) without the space. See the link for "Style Codes" to the left when posting a reply. You will find all codes there.


6:01 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ez hangup:)

mayor, but what if conversation would continue this way:

Larry here.
I'm Sally Dally calling on behalf of ... state loterry.due to our new lottery plan we are going to cal one person who will get 10 million dolars.and guess what..that is you..congratulations! you are so lukcy that you are home becasue if you werent we would call next random person.

of course with ez hangup they would get only to the "Larry here. I'm Sally Dally calling on behalf of ... " part :)

what i am trying to sa <zap> ;)


10:58 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This little thing just got more interesting . . . reviewing today logs I notice a visitor from Google Answers. Naturally, I reverse the look and pop! I am brought to the private correspondence page between the researcher and the client! The entire log of their conversations on the project since Nov 25. What's more is that this page links out to a number of other private conversations on other projects associated with the researcher. I cannot believe they have not password protected this. It's actually very very juicy.


11:11 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Actually, I'm a big fan of "the pause".

Today's automated dialing systems always leave a 1-2 second period of silence from the time I pick up the phone and say "Hello?" (I imagine to transfer the call to a LIVE salesperson).

If I say "hello" and don't get an immediate answer, I just hang up. If its really an important call, they'll call back.


12:07 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I love this thread. I wish ifilm had that seinfeld episode as a viral video where he asks the cold caller for his home phone number...


12:22 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I used to be one of those people <cringes waiting for items to be thrown>....

double glazing...conservatories..etc

They got me from a different angle...

Finsihed 1st year at uni (marketing) and went home for the summer to look for a job...saw an ad for "marketing representatives"...what can i say...i was young and niave.

On my first day a girl started as well and the first person she called told her to f@ck off. She didnt come back.

Flip side of the coin...its a hard job and the people put up with a lot of abuse...your working from outdated lists...do you have any idea how many people i called asking for had recently died? Try speaking to their spouse in that situation!

Not nice at all!

Plus its pretty crap money for a basic...the staff are under a lot of pressure from supervisors to hit targets.

In one job they made everyone stand on their desks until they got a lead. The average was one an hour. Do you know how difficult it is to stand on a desk for an hour phoning people?

You can imagine how desperate the people are to get sales. There are a lot of "incentive" schemes like that.


ps Gilbertz...fantastic list, but you should add:

Try to sell them your product. Thatll throw them off! ;)


4:53 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

jackofalltrades >> I used to be one of those people

Hehe, cold calling is a right of passage into online marketing ;)


5:55 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

JOAT, don't feel bad. In my first job I got my series 7 and was going to become a stockbroker. I thought stockbrokers had something to do with finance. I was rather surprised to be stuck in front of a phone asked to cold call after spending a couple months in training.

I was so bad at it, the first person I hit that said they wanted to buy stocks, I FROZE! Had no clue what to say if they actually wanted to buy so I hung up on him!

RE: the last item on the list...that gives me another idea. Tell them yes, you want to buy it. Then when they ask you to pay, say I don't have a credit card because I don't believe in debt. Then when they say ok we'll bill you, say I don't want to be billed, because I don't believe in debt. Put the pressure on them to find a way you can pay. Then say how about cash? I'll send you the cash, what's your address? I'm going on vacation but I'll send it when I'm back in 3 months.

Or tell them you want to pay with paypal :)


6:13 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yesterday, a telemarketer called the house and after being kind to him and listening for about 30 seconds, I had to interrupt. It was soooo obvious that he was reading from a script. I mean, if you are trying to make a telephone sale, at least try and sound enthusiastic. I stopped him from talking and gave him a lesson in Sales 101. I first told him that he sounds like he's reading from a script. Secondly, he establishing no rapport. Thirdly he's not enthusiastic (cause I asked him if he loved his job:)).. and he's not even trying to establish a need.

I'm sure the guy was quite surprised at my feedback. I'm sure it was also great water-cooler talk for him. The guy seemed a little surprised yet a little appreciative of my comments believe it or not.....


I think the key thing to remember is to not blow up their face. Instead, just be real nice to the person and request that they put you on the do not call list. Using the person's first name will help establish rapport with him. I just say that I am recording the date and time of the conversation for legal purposes, and if they could put me on the do-not-call list, that would be great." Hopefully that's paying off for me.


7:16 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here's my little list to avoiding and dealing with telemarketers:

1. When hit by those computer generated calls with that second or two of silence, hang up after the first hello with no response.

2. If you get a response, all I say is "Sorry, not interested" and hang up before they even get a chance to get going. By doing this, politely, I've kept telemarketing calls down to about 1-2 a month. By doing this over and over, I think sooner or later you do get added to a don't call list.

3. To avoid telemarketers in the first place, I'm really leery about giving out my phone number. Unless I see a need for a particular place to actually call me (like the affiliate networks) I usually fill out a bogus phone number - especially doing these online registrations that everyone wants you to do these days to access some sites. To avoid having someone else get these calls, I use a pay phone number that can receive calls which is located up the road in Glacier National Park. Most of the year, the park is deserted so know one will even answer. And anyone who happens to answer will be a passing tourist that will probably get a laugh out of it.

4. In the phone book, have both an unlisted and unpublished number. Unlisted means the operator won't give out your number. Unpublished means it won't appear in the phone book. I think this has been a real saver as far as avoiding calls. I worked, very, very briefly (like 4 hours) for a telemarketing thing back in HS. We just grabbed somepages out of the phone book and started calling. Suspect there is still places like that. Plus, I suspect alot of call lists are probably gotten straight out of phone book CD's and online phone books.

5. Finally, when your really do need to give out your number (at least online) always make sure all the little boxes are unchecked so that you don't default into receiving stuff from unwanted marketers!

Anyway, that's my little "hide from the telemarketers" plan.



7:19 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

You guys are devious, I just say, "sure, hang on just a sec". And then I put them on hold. Forever.


7:24 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hmmmmmmm, a vision for online marketing, lol ....

Hi, I'm Jill Of Alltrades, how are you today, Ms/Mr Captive?
Just fine!
I'm calling in behalf of telewebtwentyfourseven.com. Have you been web surfing recently Ms/Mr Captive?
Thank you for your online registration. Your new casino membershhip is active immediately. Happy gaming Ms/Mr Captive.


9:14 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My personal favorite when dealing with telemarketers...

What are you wearing? (to be said in best bedroom voice regardless of the caller's gender)



2:33 pm on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This thread is so funny :)

I had an assistant manager who would always tell telemarketeers, 'I'm a Buddist Monk and have no interest in material things......etc', always worked for him. (his father, believe it or not became chairman of 'British steel', LOL, TRUE and even funnier).
I once gave central heating sales, door to door, a try.
One guy sold an electric heating system to a couple who had problems with their gas system in a flood (they lived in Brighton, England). He told them at least the flame won't go out in a flood, so the electric system would be better. They signed...........


1:58 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was once in an elevator when the phone started to ring. Natural curiosity forced me to answer it of course, and I then heard some poor chap reading a script, "Hi, all of your neighbors have recently begun to receive subscriptions to the Times..." I quickly cut him off with "Is that so?" to which he replied, "Absolutely!" "Do you know where you are calling? You just called me in an elevator!"

He then sheepishly admitted that he REALLY had a wrong number....

Learning Curve

2:37 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My sister-in-law gave me a Christmas gift called a TeleZapper. It's great. You plug it into the phone or an unused phone jack.

When people call, it gives off the short tone of a disconnected phone. Autodialers think your phone is disconnected, so they hang up and (this is the best part) remove your number from their list. It greatly reduced the amount of phone spam.

Not all companies use autodialers so the smaller, local companies tend to still get through. I used to feel bad about hanging up on them (I'm a softy). Now, I find it easy to interupt their opening and hang up after saying, "I'm not interested. Have a nice day."

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35

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