Monday, May 2, 2016

The Strategic Response.

Things happen regularly for which we develop a strategic response. A 'Coping Strategy'.  Some take a little thought and planning before we can turn them into an effective habit which 'flows'.  After all, time is money for many. Let me tell you of one.

In the Tavern behind the bar in the P&B is a telephone. People call in, often to talk to someone having a pint. They are easy to deal with - simply call the chap over and hand over the phone. Then I get on with serving Ale. I can be quite busy serving my customers.
But occasionally I get a dreaded Telemarketer.  Four people awaiting their pints; me pulling carefully and topping them nicely with the foamy part; and this interruption. Should I be rude? Should I be attentive in a warm and Christian manner? Or should I have fun?

Heck, even grisly old Knights like to have fun and I don't have a Court Jester handy any more.

To show me how it can be done, a customer took the phone from my hand yesterday evening and answered for me. 
Messing with Telemarketers: That's Going To Cost You...
Me: Hello?
Them: Hello sir, I am calling from *(A Market Research Company)*. Would you be willing to take a short study with us?
Me: Hold on a mo....
I handed the phone over.... 
He: Absolutely! We here at Tavern Consulting are always ready to provide opinion based data to our clients!
Them: Um... Ok? Anyway, the survey just takes about 5 minutes and when finished you are entered into a drawing to win a 3 day vacation to Cancun.
He: That will not be needed. Our usual remuneration per our standard service agreement is all that is required. However please be aware that our lowest billable period is one hour and this call will be billed for an hour of service even if only five minutes is used.
Them: No sir, this will only take five minutes not an hour.
He: I understand, however your firm will still be billed the minimum hour as per our services agreements. That comes to $225. How would you like to take care of this today? Do you have billing set up with us already? If so I just need the corporate code for your company.
Them: I don't have that... This only enters you for a trip sir.
He: Ok, that's alright sir. We can set this up on a company credit card for a small fee. Your new total will be $257.98, sir. Go ahead and give me the credit card number sir.
Them: What credit card?! We aren't paying $257 for this!
He: Oh, you are absolutely right sir! I am so sorry! We are talking after 6pm  so you are correct that we are in "premium time". That is correspondingly higher. You total will be $517.54. Thank you for reminding me!
Them: What?! No... No... We can call you after 6pm. The law says we can call until 9pm.
He: Tavern Consulting prides itself on meeting our customers needs 24 hours a day sir, but between 6pm and 6am is premium time. I am ready for that credit card number now sir.
Them: Look, I just have the calls routed to me. I didn't call you, a computer did.
He: Oh, I see.
Them: Yeah, so can we just get to the survey?
He: Yes, of course sir, but I will have to add our auto-dialer fee to the charges. It's due to our consultants time being so valuable that we do this to keep them from having their time wasted. With that fee your new total is $759.99. What are the first four digits of the card you would like us to use, please?
Them: Hold on for my supervisor please.
He: Ok.
He asked for a top-up. This might be in for the long haul. On the other hand..... 
*5 minutes later*
Supervisor: Hello sir, I understand their is a problem?
He: None at all. Your total charges for one hour of premium time consulting with auto-dialer charge and supervisor level respondent fee with credit card processing is $1163.67. Will this be on a MasterCard, Visa, or American Express today?
Supervisor: For what?!
He: Consulting on your survey of course. What method of payment will you be using today?
Me: Hahahahahah.

I recommend you trying it next time someone calls with a 'survey' or trying to sell you something.

Personally I like to let them say who they are and announce m'self as 'North Thames, Coal and Coke', and try to sell them a few tons of nutty slack.  But the lesson above has got to be worth a try. Just needs a fee list next to the phone as an aide.

Of course one can go to the extent that the infamous Tom Mabe did.  You can look him up yourselves. Suffice to say, you have to be a fine actor to do it right. There are folk who have tried to copy but don't quite pull it off.

Meanwhile here's some ideas. The 'wanting the product' hook can be fun, and when others are 'in on it' you can give them a go too.

Of course, the poor sap trying to sell you something gets his time wasted, which is a bit of a concern to conscience. But not a worry at all when they are trying to cheat you. The Scammers deserve no mercy. Listen to this young woman, who can come and drink in the Tavern anytime, as she experly wraps a scammer around her finger.

Now, if she did come in to the Tavern I might just have to have a few words with her about her bad language and taking God's name in vain. I might even have to put her over my knee.  Instant penance improves the palate.

OK, You have some new ideas. Maybe you can share your own here too.



Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..