Selling, Marketing or Researching? What's the difference?

Story added:

Neil Warren - Publisher -
Vollen - Getting a bit fed up with it!

We've all had them, those "cold" phone calls:-

(Interrupts you)…Brinngg-brinngg, brinngg-brinngg…

"Hello, Neil Warren speaking…"

(Long-distance connecting clicks & whirrs) "Hello – Mr Vollen?"

"No, it's Warren, actually"

"Ah yes – hello Vollen – and how are you today?"

"Whatever – who's calling?"

"My name is Keith (lie), and firstly let me just reassure today Mr Vollen that this is not a sales call (lie) – OK(?) – and I'm calling today from London-Premier-Customer-Research (lie) on behalf of the UK's leading companies (dubious) just to quickly help you out with some customer research to help you save (lie)…."

"No, I’m not interested in doing the research thanks"

"No but Vollen you don't understand – don't you want to…"

"No thanks"…brrrrrrrrr.

OK, so it's not always with the international connection and language problems, and once in a blue moon it might even be that the product or service behind it could vaguely be of some possible interest to me, within the next 5 years. The last in this category was a couple of weeks back from a "Write a New Will" legal-eagle who probably really was in London (well, beats ambulance chasing for those trips & falls I suppose). But, as I explained to her, it was highly unlikely that I was going to hang on to whatever she wanted to send me, saved in an inbox or drawer somewhere, so that it was "to hand" – come the (un)happy day that I might think about re-allocating any retained fortune that makes it through this Credit Crunch, and the next two or three.

Do you ever buy anything - really?

And the problem is that many tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands even) of you, reading this, are doing something pretty close to this supposed "sales" or "marketing" or "research" activity. Or you're employing the people who do. Or you're sending me and everyone else the spam email or junk mail equivalent stuff.

So whose genius sales or marketing or research strategy and tactics are these? Do they actually ever work, for you? Do you really think you’re "conducting research"? And how fed up with you, your product or service generally, and maybe (if they remember the name) your specific brand, do you think the 99% of your "prospect market" are, that you contact like this, and who get annoyed and reject you? Indeed – are they even your prospect market?

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