By Jennifer Younge
I am very proud to introduce this article by Jennifer Younge. Jennifer was one of my very first mentoring clients. After our work together, Jennifer single-handedly brought the company she was with from red ink to black ink with her prospecting efforts. Jennifer now does business development with SkyStem, www.skystem.com. Read on to discover what Jennifer Younge has to say about…
1) It’s your job.
Yup, believe it or not, it’s your job to take the call. Think of it this way, you are expected to stay ahead of the curve, to know what’s going on in your industry and to know what your competitors are up to. The best way to do that is to take the call because the individual on the other end of the phone works in your industry, and more importantly, probably sells to your competitors. I’ll go so far as to say that you would be remiss in your professional responsibility to the organization you work for if you didn’t take the call. So take the call and learn about the products and services your competitors are buying. It’s competitive intelligence.
2) You just never know.
The cold caller could have a revolutionary product or service that might transform your company or department. But you’ll never know if you don’t take the call. I’ve had the pleasure of working for companies that were the real deal. They had a product or service that really delivered on their promise and more. So for all those people who declined my call, they lost out. Too bad for them because I ended up working with their top competitors and they suffered for it. If they had only taken my call, things could have been different.
When I worked in the consulting industry, I watched my staff decline cold calls all the time. So one day at a staff meeting I asked everyone to start accepting cold calls. Why? Karma. If they wanted people to accept my cold calls, then they need to accept cold calls from other people. What goes around comes around. It really does.
4) It will save you time.
If a prospect doesn’t take my call, I leave three messages and send three emails. If I don’t hear back, I do it all over again in a few months. That takes time. But it also takes time to scan the email or briefly listen to the voicemail and then hit the delete key. It would just save everyone involved so much time — and time is money — to have a 60 second conversation with the person on the other end of the phone. Cold callers like to hear “No, sorry. It’s not a good fit” just as much as they like to hear “Yes, I’ll meet with you.”
5) Don’t be a d!#k
Most of us are not operating on a child’s brain all day long. No one is too senior, too important or too busy not to have a short conversation. Seriously. Get off the pedestal and take the call. You are also not too busy/important not to return a call or email even if with just a short and sweet “Not interested”.
6) It’s good for the economy
The economy requires businesses to connect and the more you avoid connecting with someone in your industry (yes, a cold caller works in your industry and should, dare I say, be treated as a peer) the slower the economy will recover. For the good of the economy, please, take the call.
7) Assistants, while lovely, are not qualified to do your job
Recently a prospect’s assistant told me, in no uncertain terms, that they had no need for my software because they recently implemented something similar. When I asked her what system they implemented, she had no idea so she transferred me to someone who did. That person was so happy that I called that they promptly scheduled a demo. Thank goodness that I did not listen to the well-meaning but misinformed assistant. Unfortunately, this scenario happens ALL THE TIME. Don’t allow your assistant to make decisions on your behalf. You, your department, your company will suffer for it.
Jennifer has dedicated most of her career to B2B marketing at both consulting firms and on the client side in senior marketing and business development positions. Her industry experience is very broad, having worked with and for firms in the accounting, financial, legal, nonprofit, educational, real estate, engineering and technology industries. Her style is pragmatic, creative and solutions-oriented. She champions efficiency in every aspect of her life, including the order in which errands are completed on the weekend. http://skystem.com