I’m not a salesperson, but I still understand salespeople need to, you know, SELL to get business and feed their families at the same time. It’s what they do. It also seems like it could be a very stressful job at times (Death of a Salesman, anybody?) and the burn-out factor is high.
So when I’m cold-called at work, I am at the very least prepared to give a listen to what the other person has to say. Unless it’s an automated message, that voice on the other end of the line is a living, thinking human being trying to connect with another living, thinking human being. I can respect that and respect their time as well.
Where my patience gets a twist is when my time isn’t respected in turn.
What I don’t get is the assumption that:
- They’ve reached the right person
- This is a good time to talk
- You’re even interested in their product
- You’re going to open the gates wide to your company
Perhaps this is the way sales works: Get through to someone, anyone, no matter who. Even if that person isn’t the right one, they might know the right one.
Hmm, sounds a lot like networking! EXCEPT: Networking is a lot more about give than take. And with networking, you usually say how you found the other person, right? My work number is not publicly listed, for example.
So with a call like this, I’d have preferred if the person would have asked if I had anything to do with their subject BEFORE launching into a 2-minute spiel right after the Hello, I am Mr. X from Company-You’ve-Never-Heard-Of-That-I’ll-Say-Too-Fast.
That’s all. Just that one simple question. You’re working, but so am I. My time is important too.