With Peleg & Ilise in Boston for the HOW conference this week, previous guest mixer Jennifer Neal of K9 Design is doing some much-needed heavy lifting here on the Marketing Mix blog. In this post, she tackles every small biz owner’s favorite task (not): cold calling!
This week has been a ridiculous one for me. My partner threw his back out, so for almost 2 weeks now he’s been out of commission for everything but sitting. Even though he continues to pump out the design, we are behind about a week and I’m doing everything else, including bringing him his lunch!! Back to Dinosaur Days. Needless to say, my desk has been piled high with my work and I’m behind about 3 weeks. I’m stressed out, overwhelmed and not quite sure how we’re going to get through it all.
Then the phone rings, INCOMING….COLD CALL. Someone is trying to sell me a postage machine. When I answered I was rushed, panicked and as I stated, overwhelmed. So lesson number one – maybe I should dial my panic back a bit for the outside world. But this guy didn’t even hear it – he went on and on about how I needed this postage machine because Canada Post is pushing more electronic postage – even though I only post about $200.00 a month. By the end of the call I was frustrated at him and he was YELLING at me.
I wonder what he thinks of that call? Is he proud?
Today, I called a few prospects that I had sent my package to – to follow up. One particular Director of Marketing was – as soon as she heard it was me – reserved and changed her tone. She went silent and a little aloof. What to do? I immediately said to her, "Oh dear, I can tell I’ve caught you at a bad time." She responds all, ha ha chuckle chuckle, "It’s never a good time." I respond understandingly, "I know, life is warp speed these days." And then we have lift off. Gone is the aloofness and the silence. She then proceeded to tell me that she received my package, and instead of going home on Friday night to drink wine – she stayed and flipped through my magazine.
We turned the call around.
Ilise is always reminding me to look for openness in people. Sometimes it’s just not there, but I’ve found it most definitely will NOT be there if you push it. A little understanding and sincerity will get you a long way.
How do you turn the call around?