Don’t be snotty to the Receptionist

Posted in Are You Out Of Your Mind? on December 9, 2008 by piousphonegirl

Others will hear about it. Probably the person you’d least want to hear about it: your contact at the company.

Of course I’m talking about vendors, because as everyone knows, customers have the right to get as snotty as they want. But that’s another story.

No, today I’m blogging to you about “Lori,” who walked in to my lobby and pressed the question three times, “Well, is there someone in your procurement department I can speak to,” despite the fact I told her “We don’t give out names. If you’d like to intruduce your company, we ask that you provide information about your services first.”

“Well I’ve already done that. I emailed through your website,” (which she didn’t, because I’m not making this up about our company, folks. We’re privately held. We don’t give out names, and we certainly don’t list our employees’ emails on our website.)

As she hands me her business card, I advise “Lori” that she should submit bid information. I know things are tough out there right now, but honestly, dropping a business card on the front desk is not going to get you a call back.

“Well I’ve already done that and nobody has called me back.  That’s why I got in my car and drove here all the way from (where rude sales women come from) Who can I follow up with?”

Now, all along, despite her repeated fishing for a name, I’m trying to be polite and let her know that I can’t give 0ut the name, and if the appropriate person has no need for her commodity, she might not get a call back. I’m thinking to myself, I don’t really give a shit how far you drove, and that’s your fault for being stupid. Why would you drive here if you don’t have an appointment?Regardless, don’t stand there and make it sound like it’s our fault you had to go through all this trouble, and we should apologize to you or at least just do what you want and get someone out here to listen to your crappy bid.

“Well I’ve submitted my information and nobody has called me back. (Get a clue!) That’s really inconsiderate. The least someone could do is give me the courtesy of a reply.”

At this point, I go silent and stare. Anyone who reads the news and knows the unemployment rate is up higher than it’s been in five years and the economy sucks toilet bowl water should know that pickins are slim and one person now does the job of two or three.  Our employees are so busy they can’t see straight, and she wants the-courtesy-of- a-reply.

So sorry, I want to go home before midnight.

Lesson 1: Introducing yourself

Posted in How not to be an unprofessional on September 18, 2008 by piousphonegirl

Don’t make introductory cold calls on your cell phone.

Why? Because unless you spent good money on your earpiece, and maybe even if you did, you sound like you’re calling from the Black Forest in a thunderstorm while driving through a tunnel.

I understand most young sales people are soooo busy, on the road all the time and need their Starbuck’s time, but if you want to make a good impression on a new prospective client, make sure you sound clear. Because the last thing anyone wants is to get a call from someone who has a crackly connection, (you probably shout, too) to have you talk over them constantly because there’s a 2-second delay in your responses (and then have you say “pardon?” “pardon?” “say again?”) or not be able to hear the first word of every sentence because your microphone didn’t pick it up.

Outrageous self importance

Posted in Are You Out Of Your Mind? with tags on August 28, 2008 by piousphonegirl

That’s what I want to ask some of these people who walk through my front door. In my overall view that professionalism is a thing of the past, something that really baffles me is the level of self importance some of these salespeople place on themselves. I mean, is it just the younger people of the “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” generation now entering the workforce?

Take the real estate agent who just walked in, wanting to talk to our facilities manager. He hands me a flyer “but this isn’t the property I’m representing” and wants to know who the facilities manager is. Keeping in policy of not giving out names, I assure the real estate sales man I will hand his flyer to said facilities manager.  “Okay, if he could give me a call, I’d really appreciate it.”

At this point I let him know, we aren’t looking to move, and most probably, he isn’t going to return your call as we aren’t looking for information on new properties. Now this is typically more information than I generally give, as I don’t give a crap what he walks out of here thinking and I don’t like to waste my breath.  Leave your crap and go away, I’m busy.

And honest to Pete, why the hell my manager going to call you back about something he couldn’t care less about? Because even though he has ALL the free time in the world and isn’t COMPLETELY overworked…

So said real estate sales person goes on to say he’d really like to hear from him so he can add him to a newsletter distribution list.  Now I clear my throat to hide the snicker fighting its way out of me. Yeah. My manager definitely wants that.

Are you out of your mind?

Beware the Toner Phoner

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 13, 2008 by piousphonegirl

This is a topic near and dear to my heart.

I. Hate. These. Crooks.

I hope that through this blog, you and I can put these people out of business. Having been a professional receptionist for many years, I’ve had a lot of experience with the Toner Phoners. The script has morphed over the years, but the call will typically start something like this:

“Hi I’m calling with the service center. We’re about to send out the new manual on the copier and we just need to verify the model number.”

If you provide the model number, you’re soon to receive third-rate, recycled, probably damaged toners at an outrageous price. Use of these toners might damage your machine! You might not receive anything at all (except a bill). The best thing you can do is hang up on these people.

If you’re not sure and don’t want to hang up on what might be a legitimate call, ask them a question. “What account number are you calling on?” “What was your name?” “Which service center is this?” I promise you, they’ll hang up on you if you question them. 

Or, you can do like I do and have a little fun. “Hang on just a minute, I’ll get that.” (Try to refrain from using the word “yes” with them in your conversation. Call me paranoid if you will, but these people are crooks.)

Come back on the line a minute later. “Sorry to keep you on hold. I’ll be right back with that.”

My record for keeping them dangling is 4 minutes.

If you’re at all concerned about being able to identify a corrput call, consult the company you lease or buy your copier machines through. Also, talk to your supervisor. If you’re afraid of offending someone who might be a legitimate caller, just be polite. After all, stooping to their level only makes you look bad. You’ll be safe with a “I’ll have to consult my supervisor before I can give out that kind of information.” I guarantee they’ll hang up before you can finish.

Bottom line: Never give out that model number.