Beware of Geeks

We had just fin­ished din­ner when the phone rang. I knew after I answered and there was a moment of silence that I was get­ting a phone solic­i­ta­tion. I should have hung up right there. It was right near the end of Jeop­ardy, too, and a close game at that. Oh well.

Me: Hel­lo?
Clue­less Phone Caller: Hi, can I speak with <my name>?
Me: That would be me.
CPC: I’m call­ing on behalf of <a well-known phone com­pa­ny>, and I’m hap­py to tell you see that you are now able to get our Inter­net access.

Me: Gee, I have to say that I’m pret­ty hap­py with the ser­vice I’ve been get­ting with <a com­pet­ing ven­dor>. It’s very high speed and I real­ly like the extra bandwidth.

CPC: Yes, but what about our prices?

Me: Well, can you get me at least 4 or 5 Megabits per sec­ond down­stream and no less than 1 megabit per sec­ond upstream? I’d also like to main­tain a Sta­t­ic IP.

CPC: <short silence> Uhh, what’s a “Sta­t­ic IP”?

Me: Y’know what? Don’t wor­ry about it. I’m real­ly not inter­est­ed, but thanks for calling.

CPC: (clear­ly con­fused and dis­ap­point­ed) Um, OK. 

I know I know, I’m a geek, but if you’re going to be doing phone solic­i­ta­tion, per­haps a lit­tle coach­ing on what to do when your prospect asks a ques­tion that you are clear­ly unpre­pared to answer might be in order. It’s not that the guy did­n’t know what a Sta­t­ic IP was, it’s that he asked me what it was. I was­n’t about to waste both of our times get­ting him up to snuff on some of the fin­er points of the ser­vice he was sell­ing (and a request that maybe 1% of the pop­u­la­tion cares about).