Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans

A company named Conversica says it went to the websites of 548 companies across nine industries and asked to be contacted by a human salesperson. About one-third didn't respond, and the rest gave up too easily.

I'm not sure if you'll appreciate what Conversica discovered that works better...

Conversica claims that in its work with IBM and other clients, its robots keep on going and find success between 5 and 11 times of pestering a lead. Oh, the nightmare that is the future.

What tricks does Conversica have up its metal sleeve? It claims on the basis of the 8 million robotic conversations it's performed over 7 years that robot women are more effective than robot men. That doesn't differ from humans, does it?

However, a company spokesman told me: "An AI automated assistant will happily engage with prospects as often and as long as is required." Required by the annoying automated assistant's boss, that is.

He explained that humans just don't have it anymore. "People are busy, they're inconsistent, they cherry-pick the leads, they get discouraged, or they just have bad days," he said.

Should you be less fond of being pestered, you should look out for salespeople called Rachel, Ashley, Anna and Claire. These are the four most common names given to robot salespeople by Conversica's clients. They're apparently typical names for a 25-year-old woman. Yes, I'm being serious.

Science fiction writers probably spent their share of time talking to sales people. Philip K. Dick was a bit less enthusiastic about sales robots in his possibly prophetic 1954 short story Sales Pitch:

Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling. One started after him and he quickened his pace. It scurried along, chanting its pitch and trying to attract his attention, all the way up the hill to his living-unit. It didn't give up until he stooped over, snatched up a rock, and hurled it futilely.

Via CNET.

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