Hold on, Please

Three magic words to strike terror in the hearts of telemarketers. Start using them today.

Steve Rubenstein, of the SF Chronicle, has a great suggestion for making the world a little less pleasant for telemarketers, the kind who call you during dinner.

The basic premise is that telemarketing is cost-effective because most people who are going to say no say it in the first 10 seconds of the call. This lets telemarketers dial as many as a couple hundred numbers an hour. If the “Nos” start slowing them down, by taking a couple minutes, the economics of telemarketing stop working.

How do you do this? When you get a telephone solicitation, say “Hold on, please” (or some variation), set the phone down…and let them wait to figure out you’re not coming back.

You’ll find it personally satisfying if you start doing this yourself, but the key to this technique really working, achieving the global aim of cutting down on telemarketing, is for lots of people to do it.

So, pass it on.