Do People actually buy from Telemarketers

I hate telemarketers, I would never buy from one. In fact I can’t get anyone I know to even admit that they ever bought from one. (Granted I have no friends but…) My question is thus…Someone acutally quite a lot of people must buy from them or there wouldn’t be so many. Right? Has anyone out here every bought any unsolicited items from a telemarketer.

Nope, but I suspect the only takers are Elderly people who either are lonely and have time to listen to the sales pitch, and also haven’t grown up their entire life knowing and detesting them as we have.

As many have surmised, Satan was once a telemarketer. Turst me folks, it sucks worse on that end of the phone…

In any event, yes, people do purchase things from telemarketers. They did from me, in fact. And you know what I was interrupting your meatloaf for?

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance for J.C. Penny Credit Card Holders!!!

I know what you’re thinking… How the hell?

Simple - One, I was good. If I got someone who was not into the whole thing, I caught on quickly and made more calls than anyone. The law of averages kicks in at some point, usually 35-40 calls.

Two, The deal was good. The stuff was no charge to you. Get the info, keep it for 90 days and cancel for all I cared… And I was not shy about telling people that.

Three, sometimes you get a call for something you do need or really want at a good deal. And we all occassionally pick up a pack of gum at the check-out, right?

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

ICQ 35294890
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An honest-to-god phone call from this morning:

THEM: May I speak to the man or lady of the house.
ME: No. [hanging up phone]

I wish they were all that easy.

your humble TubaDiva
who needs an air horn for the guy that says “but don’t you want to save money?”

No comment on the idea that Satan was a telemarketer – too easy a target. But funny as hell, so to speak.

Thanks for the info, Satan, I was going to say that the telemarketers probably only need one “hit” per hundred calls to be a worthwhile investment on the part of whoever is sponsoring/hiring them. The one “hit” per 35-40 calls that Satan managed would be a phenomenal result. A “hit” by a telemarketer is a sale or strong potential sale. Compare that to the cost of a TV commercial and the number of immediate sales (I’m not thinking of the commercials whose objective is to stick in your memory, but the ones that say “Call NOW to order your ginko knives.”)

Of course, Satan prolly got his high result because his opening line was something about “Interested in your soul and a trade?”

As a telemarketer (mea maxima culpa), which I did for a month this summer, I sold roughly one unit per day. (I was selling $200 business directories to the United States.) But the woman who worked next to me sold about 12 a day. We were expected to make about $3000 worth of sales /week, which I never did. Thank god I work at this magazine, now, which allows me to goof off and write to the SDMB.

I cannot remember ever having bought anything from a telemarketer. My wife has, though (not bought, exactly, but agreed to try something “risk-free”).

I suspect, based on these two data points as well as other anecdotal evidence, that women are slightly more likely than men to buy something over the phone. Any of our former telemarketers know if that’s true?

Speaking of telemarketers, there’s a new gimmick going around in the telemarketing world (I don’t know if this is just in Pittsburgh, or elsewhere in the US). In this gimmick, the phone rings, you answer it and hear elevator music for up to 30 seconds before someone comes on the line.

Guess who’s perpetrating this idiocy? The phone company, that’s who. I got one myself the other night. It is the MOST IRRITATING phenomenon; I can’t imagine that they’re selling anything this way.

There have been a couple of columns about it in the local paper; they’re at


I’m curious to find out if this is happening anywhere else, or if it’s some bizarre local thing.

The Cat In The Hat

I used to monitor telemarketing centers. I can’t give specific names but clients included major credit cards, psychic networks, and a national firearm organization. Satan was right- you get a lot of "no"s but by playing the odds and being able to speak competently you’ll get the occasional sale. With the firearms calls there were certain “hot buttons” that got sales (it helped that the call lists were composed of people dispostioned against gun control) such as “are you aware that congress is trying to revoke your second amendment rights?”

Sometimes a sale was just a lonely person on the phone who wanted someone to talk to.

it’s funny, usually someone will call and give me their song and dance and I’ll say “My wife makes those decisions, she’ll be back tonight”
When she gets the she’ll say “my husband makes yous decisions, he’ll be back tomorrow” and we kust keep them going until they stop calling.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.