Nearly every day, at some point when sales are depressingly slow, we are blessed with a “brand new list,” handed down from the powers-that-be in the nether-world of telemarketing. The first time that I heard it on my new job, I remember thinking “here we go again!” You see, truly new lists are made up from currently used numbers, usually found by looking for new business listings, or purchased from the phone companies that SWEAR that they don’t sell their lists. You very rarely get an honest-to-goodness new list.
Now OLD lists that have been beat to death, where everyone has come to hate the charity or business that has harassed them for months, eventually have to be retired. Preferably before the people arm themselves and come looking for the telemarketers. So, they are stored somewhere in storage devices, or old computers, “put on the basement shelf” so to speak, for a number of years. During that time, since many of the former best donors were older folks, many of the people die. Some move; some change numbers, and some numbers are simply no longer in service for reasons unknown. Many of those numbers are eventually re-assigned to other people, some to individuals, and some to businesses.
Eventually, when their current lists become filled with defensive, suspicious hate-filled people who have tired of giving to groups who never get enough, they decide they need some “new” lists. SO, they go down to the basement, if you will, blow the dust off the old lists, rename them “new” lists, and give them to their callers. It’s then up to the callers to get rid of the wrong numbers, businesses (if they’re supposed to be calling individuals), deceased folks and out-of-service numbers. When they’re done, indeed, they’ve cleaned up the old list and turned it into a new one, but it was NOT a new list when they received it. Of course, the company will hype the old list as a new one and try to convince the callers that it’s going to be a big deal. It rarely is; it’s just a lot of thankless, head-banging work.
With my current company, the “new” lists seem to average about 10 years old. You can gradually figure it out after enough folks say “Well Mr./Mrs. So & So has been gone for 10 years!” At my old job, I sometimes encountered lists as old as 25 years. It makes for some “interesting” work, especially since some folks don’t appreciate pesky people asking for their dearly departed. Guess it’s all in a day’s work for us sons of perdition! © 2014