I called the MD on his mobile and he sounded very irritated...

This has come up a lot lately on LinkedIn.

Here's another way of handling it:

MD: "How did you get this number!?"

Salesperson: "I would ask if you're impressed...but I'm guessing from your tone you're more annoyed..."

Using a labelling technique combined with a joke may help diffuse the situation and lower the tension.

Continue with:

"If it makes you feel any better it happens to me all the time, and I've no idea how...but someone somewhere appears to have the skills to mine my data also."

In this way you're going to their side of the table with an empathetic statement in support of their indignant response, directly communicating that:

- You understand why they're annoyed

- You're also senior enough to be targeted by salespeople

- It affects your daily life too

This will help elevate you as a peer and not just another generic salesperson.

People like people like them.

Never let this situation defeat you, and never apologise for doing your job.

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