I know that when we receive cold calls at work, it’s people trying to sell the firm all sorts of services (from cleaning services to tax software products, you name it, we’ve probably received a sales call about it!). So today, I take one such cold call for my director from a Sam from DataTracks (I have his contact number). He wanted to know if we had an iXBRL reporting service provider. I had to make sure I gave the right so I had to check with our admin head. We did and I know we’d just renewed the contract because of the merger. So I said we did. He asked (not very politely) who it was so I said CCH. He started getting aggressive wanting to talk to my director (who was honestly on the phone) and asked me if I knew what it was, how important it was for corporation tax reporting to HMRC.
Of course by this time, I knew he was going to try to get me to transfer him to one of the directors so that he could try and sell him their services. It was a Friday afternoon, and all of our directors had better things to do with their time. I politely told Sam that we didn’t require services from a new provider yet because we had just renewed our contract. I suggested that if he could send over information about the services his company provided, he could send it to our enquiries email address so their services could be reviewed and the appropriate person could get in touch. Somehow I could feel Sam getting agitated (his English started changing from an American accent to an Australian accent and some transatlantic call centre accent) and he asked me if I was admin or an accountant because it’s possible I didn’t understand what he was talking about. It ruffled my feathers because the implication was that because I was just admin staff that I knew nothing about what our office did. So I said I understood that he had sales targets to reach but that we already had a provider we were happy with and to have a nice day and I hung up.
I wish I could be rude to him but as I still had my PA hat on, I had to be polite and professional, and it wouldn’t reflect well on the firm if I was rude back. I get the sales target thing, that it can get all boiler-roomy and that they’re under a lot of pressure to sell. But if you provide a service (a professional service at that), the hard sell isn’t always the best way to get your foot in. I hope Sam gets more soft skills training. He definitely needs it!
Thank goodness it’s the weekend!