Games We Play

If you have ever started a business, you know that one of the worst things about it is the cold calls you get. As soon as you register with the state, you will get a pen or mug with your company name on it, tons of catalogs, and a few phone calls from people wanted to sell you insurance, banking services, and all kinds of other stuff. What's worse, when you rent a space and start making tenant improvements, salespeople will walk in wanting to seel you vending machines, security services, printing services, payroll services, furniture, advertising and plenty of other things that you didn't even realize you needed. Now I know these people are just doing the same thing I would probably do if I were in their shoes, but it gets real damn annoying. So I have developed a game.

First I say "let me tell you about what we do and that will give you a better idea of what we are looking for in terms of ______ (fill in the service of your choice). Then I proceed to talk endlessly about the business. This gives me a chance to practice, and it aggravates the hell out of the salespeople. They usually give me about ten minutes before they interrupt me and try to bring the conversation back around to their services. I answer their questions quickly and then elaborate on those answers with more information about the business. I can usually keep them for about a half hour before they say they have to be somewhere. Some of them never return with a quote, probably to avoid speaking with me again. But it is fun to turn the tables on them. My business partner loves to watch me play this game, and we have a lot of good laughs from it. I guess it is my own strange form of stress relief.

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