First up, I tend not to SELL, but the truth is the job requires clients to (eventually) buy from me.
That is another story, but take my word for it. The way we prefer to work is to get to know people (and organisations) and to help them solve their problems oir score some goals when it becomes evident that they trust us enough to do so.
Even when I cold-call someone, I do not go in with a pitch, but a genuine attempt to 'get to know' and to establish a basic relationship.
In some cases it has taken a few years for a relationship to flourish to the point where money exchanged hands. With others it was sooner.
That is just my style.
And it means that, from time to time, I 'catch up' with people. Ex clients or prospective clients, ex students, or future friends - and sometimes just colleagues and even competitors.
A few days ago, I made contact with one such person.
I sent a short email suggesting that it would be nice to catch up and get an update on where he/ the company is at.
To my surprise, the response was something to the effect that:
'I now have THIS JOB and I am too busy for chit-chat.'
Which got me wondering:
- How did, say, Bill Gates ever cope? Or Julia Gillard? I wonder if you maybe need to find out?
- Does your boss know you are this arrogant?
- If your job does not require you to stay up-to-date with what the industry is doing (since consultants are usually at the leading edge of their industries and can share heaps of insights) - how big is THAT JOB really?
- If you treat outsiders (potential suppliers, possbible shareholders etc.) like this, how do you treat your staff? Your customers?
- If your communication skills are this rudimentary; what do you really bring to the table as a manager or (heaven forbid) a leader?
- I wonder if you would have posted that email on Twitter?
- In fact, I am wondering what you were really thinking? If at all...
So I would like to offer this 'managers' in organisation who procure services from time to time.
You could do worse than taking a few phone calls and talking to a few reps. In fact, you should set aside time to tap into the latest technologies, ideas and innovations by setting aside some time to 'stay connected' with the consultants, reps and the like.
That is the way your GP does it - and I bet you are glad he or she does ocassionally bother to find out what the latest pill on the market is, and which ones are withdrawn!
And if the person who comes knocking is for some reason not acceptable (or just a plain a@#sehole) then it is OK to tell them in a professional way that they should desist.
Ignoring the phone call or email OR being rude is not really a good idea. Trust me, I know. One day the boot may just be on the other foot.
As the saying goes:
Be nice to people on the way up, because you meet the same people on the way down.