Dealing with advertising salesmen

I can't resist it. A devilish game to play with advertising sales people. (Last in series)

OK, I can't resist it. If you enjoyed Dealing with telephone salesmen, Dealing with window salesmen or Dealing with kitchen salesmen (and I hope you did) here is one last bash at cold callers.

A quick recap

This time you're at work and the phone rings, Hello, can I speak to the person responsible for your company's advertising please?

The advertising sales-person

The game is slightly different now and can only be played if you've got plenty of free time.

Hello, is that Stuff and Nonsense? Can I speak to the person who handles your advertising please?
(With a silent groan, but a bit of time to play a new and devilish game) You're speaking to him.
Oh great! Hello. It's Julie from The Local Rag. We're running a feature next week on websites/computers/anything and we have some last minute advertising space available at a very reduced rate.
(And this is where the game begins...) That's fantastic! We would be really interested in that! But... I'm just on my way out of the office. Can you call me on my mobile (cellphone) and we can talk about it some more?
Of course!
Great! The number is... can you give me a call in ten minutes?

Now this game involves keeping the sales person talking to you on your mobile phone for as long as possible without agreeing to buy anything. My record is on a journey from my studio to Manchester (about one hour and a quarter!). It can be terrific fun and the money they spend on the sales call, more than outweighs the money they would make if you had agreed to the advertising!

(Ed: Oh Lordy, you need to get out more Malarkey!)


  1. #1 On January 23, 2005 08:57 PM John Oxton said:

    LOL! That is pure evil!

  2. #2 On January 23, 2005 09:51 PM YoungHistorians said:


  3. #3 On January 23, 2005 11:01 PM Rob McMichael said:

    You need to get an 0890 number and then you would be making money ;)

  4. #4 On January 23, 2005 11:26 PM Andrew Hume said:

    That is evil.

    I'm shocked Malarkey: this is truly sadistic. Does no one else feel sorry for poor Julie? You must have got to know her quite well over an hour and a quarter. Did you not have an ounce of sympathy on hanging up - having bought sod all?

    I see you in a new light.

  5. #5 On January 23, 2005 11:43 PM JD said:

    This won't work in US where incoming calls on cellphone are charged during business hours!


  6. #6 On January 24, 2005 02:39 AM Jeff Werner said:

    Oh man, I've been enjoying this Salesman series, but I just feel a pang of empathy where "the local rag" is concerned.

    I was a reporter for a series of small-town papers one summer, but I always felt for the publisher/ad person who had to scrounge every week to keep the paper afloat, hitting up the same business owners advertising to the same people you'd go the bar with Friday night. It's give and take when its your only home-grown source for news.

    An hour and a quarter is pretty funny though. Must have been a great conversation, and a big cell bill.

  7. #7 On January 24, 2005 03:08 AM Toby S. said:

    Good old Manchester! Brilliant series, very enjoyable, but what do you talk about for an hour?

  8. #8 On January 24, 2005 07:48 AM Richard@Home said:

    What more proof to you need? :-D

  9. #9 On January 24, 2005 08:37 AM Malarkey said:

    @ Andrew and @ Jeff. I'll be going straight to hell then... mmmmm, BBQ... yikes!

    @Toby: Any old shite ;)

    @ Richard: "Obe Wan never told you what happened to your father... I AM your father!

  10. #10 On January 24, 2005 10:38 AM Jocke said:

    So so good! Thank you for inspiring me! I usually pull the Seifeld-approach: "This sounds really fantastic, but sorry I cant't talk right now! Can I get your home phone number and call you back? Oh, no? I guess you don't want strangers calling you home right?"

  11. #11 On January 24, 2005 12:26 PM Tim said:

    Truly evil and wonderful.

    Fortunately for me, here in The States we can put ourselves on a nationwide "Do Not Call" list. Since I've been on it, not a single solicitor.

  12. #12 On January 24, 2005 01:26 PM dik said:

    Good Afternoon Mr. Malarkey - may I speak with the representatvie responsable for unsolicited telephone calls?


    It may spoil your fun but you can register for a 'ban all' unsolicited telephone call here in the UK too... Although its probably more fun keeping salespeople on the line.

    The best one we have found is to put them on hold whilst transferring - this also seems o suck a few good amount of minutes (the office record so far is in the 4+ minute region!).

  13. #13 On January 24, 2005 01:45 PM pixeldiva said:


    I'd try the techniques, but I don't get those types of calls because:

    1. Every personal number of mine is ex-directory.

    2. I'm very particular about who I give my landline number to (partly because I've lived in four different places in the last three years and haven't always had a landline number).

    3. I have an answering machine on my landline and screen calls (mostly because my mother has a sixth sense and always phones just as I'm about to sit down to eat, or ten minutes before the end of the one tv program this week I've decided that I really want to watch).

    4. If I give my mobile number out to someone I want to talk to, they generally reciprocate with their own mobile number, which gets added to my phone book. I don't answer my mobile if it displays a number I don't recognise or shows "Private call". If anyone who falls into that category genuinely wants to get in contact with me, they tend to leave a message and I call back as soon as I can. Sales calls tend not to leave messages, and so can listen to the standard service provider voicemail message until they either get bored and give up, or get bored and leave a message.

    Obviously, this doesn't work with calls which come through at work, but it certainly cuts down on having to deal with unwanted calls.

  14. #14 On January 24, 2005 05:31 PM Isofarro said:

    I'm evaluating whether to call a company about building my own designer conservatory. Considering the leaflet with their phone number was deposited through my letter box on my front door. And considering that my front door is on the second floor of a complex of flats. I'm very interested in the great strides they must have made to be able to offer me this splendid opportunity. All I have to now figure out is whether my conservatory should be big enough for a BCA pool table, or go the whole hog and get it big enough for a full sized snooker table. The possibilities....

    Great series of posts - I absolutely loved the telephone sales man one. I almost choked on my drink when you told them about your broadband connection.

  15. #15 On January 25, 2005 02:31 PM Andy Budd said:

    Watch out Andy, or the Telesales Mafia will be gunning for you.