The St. Peter Area Chamber of Commerce is warning businesses about a bizarre phone call that was placed to a local company.

 

Executive Director Ed Lee said the caller claimed to be with a maintenance supply company, which was trying to deliver a package but ran into a problem with the address – and wanted to confirm the location in order to drop off a free gift. He said, “What they’re trying to do is form a business relationship by extending that story – which is not a true story – in order to deliver a free gift and get an address from somebody and get a cellphone (number) from somebody, too.”

Lee said it seems to have been a questionable marketing tactic and, “Appears to be nothing more than a sales pitch, an illegal sales pitch, but it was enough to raise a red flag.”

The business that received the call recognized it as suspicious immediately, but Lee believes it’s likely that not all would. He said, “The business owner is not somebody who would be duped; they’re not naïve at all. So, that played a little into our fact-finding mission. I think somebody more naïve would have taken the bait hook, line, and sinker.”

Lee explained that there are much better ways to build a business-to-business relationship, such as, “Walk into a brick and mortar building and deal with your neighbor and friend and build this relationship of trust and helpfulness back and forth. Buy a product and enjoy the product and then go back again and buy another one.”

He added that the misrepresentation was not an outright scam, but says successful business relationships are rarely formed based on questionable sales tactics and untruths.