“Excuse me Ma’am, could I interest you in… Me?”

Today I got a call while I was home. Someone in the house picked up. After a long silence I heard, “Have you finished talking?” followed by the sound of the phone hanging up; apparently it was a telemarketing call. Granted, marketing calls are annoying, but I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them; at least they’re trying to earn an honest living. Still, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities between the way direct marketers approach their work, and the courtship rituals between men and women.

Allow me to elaborate: Observe a direct marketer working at any shopping mall. They stand there, hopeful and optimistic with a hint of neurosis at the thought of the possible (read: definite) upcoming rejection. They approach, pitch their case and, when met with complete dismissal, retrieve into their pop-up store with a slightly smaller ego. Replace the store with a bar and we’ve got ourselves a regular Friday night down at our local.

I’ve always wondered if this approach of selling ever worked with people. If you relate it to the  rules of attraction in everyday dating situations, I would think they most certainly did not. If we follow the standard game of attraction (which I in no way endorse) in this case, direct marketers seem to have it all wrong, unless, of course, they prefer the thrill of the chase more than the actual conquest… but I highly doubt the aim of their game is to play without scoring. Like relentless chasing, direct marketing just doesn’t seem to work in capturing and retaining the interest of their mark. The more they call, the more we lose interest. The harder they plead, the less likely we are to concede.

Perhaps this may be the rare case in which not calling for 3 days might actually increase our interest in their goods..

Leave a Reply