I remember reading Death of a Salesman in high school and it was a depressing story. At that time salesmen still showed up on your doorstep hawking everything from Fuller Brushes to vacuum cleaners to the ubiquitous Encyclopedia collection and let’s not forget the Avon Lady. Nowadays it’s mostly school kids selling candy or magazine subscriptions. “But lady it’s for the school band,” says the little perky blonde pixie as I grudgingly hand over another 10 bucks… grrr.
Anyway I have had this love/hate relationship with salespeople for many years. I don’t like someone trying to talk me into buying something I really don’t want but then I purchase it anyway out of misplaced guilt issues – begone Girl Scouts and take your danged cookies with you!
I usually hang up on telemarketers. Sometimes if I’m feeling especially playful and have nothing better to do I will engage them in a bizarre conversation, continually interrupt their script and generally tick them off so much they end up hanging up on me. Then I giggle and think up strange questions to ask the next one who has the misfortune of dialing my number.
Having been on Twitter for some time now, it should have dawned on me that words I use might trigger a direct marketer. Duh. The other day I was tweeting that it was time for wine and who pops up? A wine dude – he followed me; I followed him back because it seemed the nice thing to do at the time. Lo and behold he sends me a Direct Message. Now he was nice enough to thank me for following him, but just because someone follows you does not give you the right to DM them; you should establish some type of friendship/relationship first in front of the whole flippin world IMHO. DMs from quasi-strangers can be unnerving. Especially when you know the ulterior motive is probably to sell you something.
I tweeted with another friend about the pros and cons of a Kindle versus a Nook e-reader. Suddenly out of nowhere this Nook tweeter butts into our conversation and takes over. We couldn’t get the Nookbot to shut up and it was creeping us both out seriously. We immediately blocked said Nookbot and continued our discussion. Ick Factor 4. Leave me alone. I’m really not buying a Nook now.
Another Twitter example — several tweeps and I routinely goof around and when we get especially goofy someone gets slapped – as in Slap. Well that led to a new drink for all of us to indulge in — we called it a Slaptini and here we are just tweeting and having some innocent fun when up pops some strange man who butts right in and demands to know what a Slaptini is. We ignored him and went on tweeting. A few days later we were on the Slaptini thing and here he shows up again! The nerve! I didn’t recognize his avatar, checked him out, and sure enough he’s some type of Direct Marketer. Block, block, block. Not getting your marketing hands on our Slaptini you toad.
My friend Sueanne is a hilarious tweeter (and equally excellent blogger) and occasionally we get a little carried away. Slap. While on a rant about parental units from the June and Ward Cleaver days, I came up with a drink for us…the Cleaverini. We had fun with it, but would you believe I got a tweet from some marketer of cutlery? Just what kind of Cleaver did he think I was talking about?! File that under scary.
I could discuss marketing some more, but the phone is ringing and there’s some guy at my front door…