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.
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).