As a business owner, I receive more than the average amount of sales calls on a daily basis. Ninety-nine percent of these calls are completely worthless for my business.
I used to humor the telemarketers and pretend to take messages for myself, but this became more of an annoyance than anything. Then I turned to just hanging up on them. But, that wasn't much fun. So, now I've been trying something new. Surprisingly, not one caller has caught on.
When a telemarketer calls and asks for so-and-so or for the person in charge of X, Y, Z, I simply ask who is calling, ask if I can transfer them, and let them know that when they hear the dial tone they will need to dial extension ninety-one one, then I hang up. (I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out what happens next.)