Note To All Salespeople: If you plan to call me, you should know that there are 3 reasons I won’t take your call.
I am a senior executive in my company, and you should do everything in your power to understand what matters to me if you want to do business with me. However, if you plan to call me, you should know that there are 3 reasons I won’t take your call, Mrs. or Mr. Salesperson.
First, I’m busy, and I don’t have to. I have plenty to do during the course of the day…problems to solve, opportunities to try to capture, details to which I need to attend. When I need you or someone like you, I will look you up, doing things like the following:
I am going to try to clarify how I can solve my problems or address my opportunities on my own. I can educate myself on what other companies have done to address similar issues without your help.
If I conclude that I should take some action, I will visit your company’s website and the sites of several other companies that appear to do the same thing you do. I’m a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, so I may also look for solutions that I can implement on my own without outside help.
If I think we might gain advantage by bringing in some outside expertise and help, I will ask a lower level manager to gather some information. That person will take your call, and though you will see them as your ‘primary point of contact,’ you should know that they have no power whatsoever to make decisions. I have the power, and I won’t use it until or unless they pull together a strong business case that convinces me that I should take action to address the problem or opportunity I asked them to investigate.
Second, I make decisions on my timeline, not yours. While I appreciate that there is some urgency for YOU in our getting together, I don’t have that same urgency. I act with urgency when one or more of the following conditions are met:
I have a problem that is so big and gnarly that I must act. Sure, I have business problems. Who doesn’t? But if I spent time addressing every little problem that arose in our business, I would get nothing done. I have to prioritize, and unless I believe a problem is costing us significantly and creating a bunch of other knock-on effects, I simply won’t act.
I have an opportunity I absolutely must pursue. Nothing motivates me more than identifying a big opportunity for my business, but those opportunities don’t arise and make themselves known every day. When they do, I act as quickly as I can without disrupting my business.
I have arrived at a new or different way to address the issues that exist in my business. Did you ever have one of those “Eureka” moments? When I have them, I move quickly to put the new idea or solution in place. I will act swiftly on creative ideas that help me to achieve an outcome that I really want or need.
Third, your message (whether it was a voice message, an email, or some marketing material that I happened upon) didn’t help me understand why I should talk to YOU versus someone else. Don’t make me work hard to figure out who you are and why I should speak to you. My job is hard enough. Maybe you should work harder at yours, and figure out what you want to be known for! Once you’ve done that, try to reach me again. No promises, but I might get back to you.
Does this peek into the mind of a busy executive resonate with you? If so, why? Can you really do anything about these 3 reasons why a senior executive won’t take your call?
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