Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Carnegie Website Launch For The Ohio Valley Region

After a long pause, Dale Carnegie training of Ohio and Indiana will officially launch it’s next website entry, www.dcarnegietraining.com on May 5th, 2008. Just in time for the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

This new website will operate in conjunction with our other sites serving the markets of Cleveland, Akron-Canton, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati and Indianapolis along with our blog site, dcarnegietraining.blogspot.com.

Stay tune for future updates as Cinco de Mayo approaches.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hidden Cash In Your Compliments?

How many times have you heard in the Dale Carnegie Course that you should give honest and sincere appreciation? Or that you should praise the slightest improvement, praise every improvement and you should be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise?

If you read the book more than once, you are probably tired of seeing anything about giving appreciation or using the TAP formula for giving a compliment.

Dale Carnegie consolidated these principles of human interaction and behavior between 1912 and 1936. It seems that as our technology and medical processes improve, we find more proof to verify our observations.

Just recently, I saw this on a Good Morning America video article. It reviews a scientific report from the journal Neuron. The report establishes a connection between brain neurochemical activity and things like social status, money and compliments.

The findings may surprise you.

You can review the video excerpt entitled “Compliment or Cash?” here.

Then download your own Little Gold Book Of Relationships: 30 Principles for Personal Greatness as a reminder that a compliment can go a long way with your team.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How To Be An Inspirational Figure To Hundreds, Even Thousands Of People

Many lessons of life can be learned from running.

26, 26.2, 67, 4, 6, 7!

What's the significance of these numbers?

Hang tight and I’ll reveal it in a moment.

The 112th Boston Marathon occurred last Monday without a whole lot of TV coverage in this part of the world. I didn’t see any of it on ESPN and I missed the local news. But from what I could make out on the web, the women’s race looked very exciting. Anytime you have a 26-mile foot race and the time that separates the first runner and the second runner is 2 seconds, well, that’s a razor thin finish, making it an exciting event.

On the home page of the BAA site, the organization that puts on the Boston Marathon, there’s a flash header with shots from the marathon to keep visitors entertained while looking for race information. While I was there reviewing the results, I saw a picture of Dick Hoyt, still running strong after all these years. Dick clocks in at 67 years of age this year according to the stats on the BAA site and he still runs a mean marathon.

I was first introduced to Dick Hoyt back in 1989 when I ran my first “Boston”. Somewhere in the middle of that race, I saw him fly by me with an easy, strong stride. I asked one of the runners next to me, “Who is that guy?” His response, “That’s Dick Hoyt. He has been on the New England running circuit for a while. He competes regularly in the Boston Marathon.“

From that point on I could not get the guy out of my sight. Whenever I ran a race in the New England area, be it a 5k, 10K 10 miler or Marathon, somewhere along the course I was either passing or passed by Dick Hoyt.

Dick became an inspiration and a driving force for me while I competed in New England. I was in awe of this guy’s stamina and endurance. I’m sure other runners share this same sentiment about this New England icon.

Why is this guy so remarkable, you may ask?

Because Dick always runs with his son, Rick.

Rick is also a quadriplegic and cannot run a race under his own power. So, Dick has chosen to unselfishly share the gift of running with his son by pushing him in a wheelchair, and has done so for over 30 years now.

I call it a gift. If you have not experienced the pure joy, freedom, and exhilaration that come with running a road race, then you need to lace up your shoes and hit the road. There’s no feeling like it. It’s truly a gift.

This dynamic duo continues to race throughout the world and regularly throughout the New England states.

This year, 2008, Dick and Rick Hoyt completed their 26th Boston Marathon, which is 26.2 miles, with Dick at the age of 67 in 4 hours 6 minutes and 7 seconds.

26th Boston Marathon
26.2 miles
67 years young
4 hours
6 minutes
7 seconds

26, 26.2, 67, 4, 7, 6

Many people think that the Dale Carnegie Course is all about public speaking.

In truth, Carnegie promoted living life to its fullest. He was an advocate of enriching human life by encouraging people to overcome their limiting fears, trying different activities, gaining new experiences and sharing those experiences with the people that matter in their lives. These are the truly inspirational people: The people that choose life over limitations.

I’ve run over 40 marathons and I am looking to add another notch in my belt on May 18. But my accomplishments pale when compared to the Hoyt’s list of achievements. Dick and Rick Hoyt remain an inspiration to me as well as numerous other runners worldwide because they choose to live life over accepting limitations.

What kind of experiences will you share with the people you love when you are 67 years young?

Friday, April 25, 2008

For College Graduates Looking For A Job: Manual Of Interviewing Secrets

As April draws to a close and May flowers begin to bloom, college and high school graduations approach rapidly. And with summer and graduations comes the job search.

To assist high school graduates looking for summer internships and college graduates joining the ranks of the employed, Dale Carnegie Training has assembled a manual of ideas, tips and suggestions for conducting a successful job interview. In this tight economy, individuals new to the work force need every advantage they can get and this manual will provide exactly that.

With ideas on doing research, dress, introductions, and follow through, this manual will be indispensable for the first time job hunter.

If you are about to embark on your job search, or if you want to give a graduate a head start in their career, then you will want to snag a copy of this manual.

You can download the manual at the link in the sidebar entitled, "Interview Tips for College Grads"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Secret To Longevity

Exercise provides an excellent strategy for controlling stress and eliminating worry.Just recently came across another article on aging. It seems that Edna Parker has just celebrated her 115th birthday this past Sunday, becoming the oldest living person in the known world.

What I found interesting is the observation that the author placed at the end of the article:

‘[Dr. Tom] Perls said the secret to a long life is now believed to be a mix of genetics and environmental factors such as health habits. He said his research on about 1,500 centenarians hints at another factor that may protect people from illnesses such as heart attacks and stroke — they appear not to dwell on stressful events.

"They seem to manage their stress better than the rest of us," he said. ‘

When I ran my first marathon in Portland OR in 1988, John A. Kelley, also known as Kelley the Elder, spoke at the pasta dinner the night before the race. He had a twinkle in his eye and a kick in his step. He even did a little song and dance on stage to get all of us runners motivated for our big race the next day. In my mind, it was the nicest gesture a 65-year-old runner could do for his young protégés.

The man was 81 years old.

He ran the full Boston Marathon for four more years after I saw him at the Portland Marathon and ran the last 7 miles of Boston for two years after his “retirement from running”.

I don’t know if Edna Parker ever ran a race during her 115 years on this globe, but she did work on a farm, a strenuous exercise program in itself.

In the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie identified 30 tactics and strategies for controlling stress and worry. A number of these strategies identify rest and relaxation as methods for controlling stress and eliminating worry.

Unfortunately, he wrote his manuscript well before the medical community and the public knew the physiological effects of diet and exercise.

We may have to add a 31st strategy to include diet and exercise as methods for controlling stress and eliminating worry.

But you only have to use it if you want to be a supercentenarian like Edna Parker.

Read the full Associated Press Article here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Little Gold Book On Relationships

We’ve added a link for Dale Carnegie’s Little Gold Book on Relationships: 30 Principles For Personal Greatness. The link is on the sidebar. If you haven’t received yours yet, go here and download one today.

And be sure to watch the Boston Marathon today, April 21, 2008. You’ll probably read some comparisons between long distance running and long-term success in business in future posts.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

4 Groundbreaking Ideas That Will Improve Your Coaching Process Immediately

Good coaching goes beyond feedback and helps people overcome challenges. This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending another Leadership Training For Managers program. This one was in Session 3. The topic of discussion was the Performance Results Description document, and coaching team members to reaching their performance standards.

The discussion eventually turned to the negative effects coaching can have on performance and an example was cited to reinforce the idea.

See if you can identify with this scenario:

A staff person was responsible for meeting a performance standard (so many units per day of throughput) and a quality standard (so many rejected pieces per thousand). The quality standard was set high such that the person needed reject rate of less than 0.00001% (about 1 failure out of every 100K pieces).

One day, the staff person missed the quality standard and his manager coached him on his mistake. After the passage of a year, management discovered that this particular person’s throughput had steadily dropped over the year timeframe.

The reason? Our staff person had become extremely careful not to let any failures through, so he checked and double-checked everything, slowing down his throughput.

Therefore, the argument was that coaching produced a negative result and maybe we should be careful about coaching.

When I think about coaching, I remember what one of my NLP trainers told me. He said that if you look up the word coach in any dictionary, you will find that the definitions typically include some version of transporting people from point a to point b, as in a Prevost Coach.

He defined coaching in a similar manner, as helping people get from where they are, their point a or “as is”, to where they want to be, their point b or “should be”.

Feedback, on the other hand, is returning part of the output of a system back to the input in such a way that will affect the system’s output. I guess this applies to human behavioral systems as well (sorry, my systems training is coming out).

Feedback is not coaching, but it is a tool used by the coach.

If you’ve ever participated in any type of organized sports and had a team coach, you’ll noticed that they probably started with asking you what you wanted to achieve.

They helped you define a path to get you from your “as is” to your “should be”, identified some of your available resources as well as the more obvious obstacles, and set up ways to overcome those obstacles.

Afterwards they followed up with reminders of your target and the fact that you said that you wanted to achieve this target.

Then they provided you with feedback of your accomplishments, your milestones and your goals in addition to whether or not you were getting closer to your target.

Of course, they also provide their own version of “special encouragement”.

Most of the time, when we speak about coaching, what we are actually talking about is providing feedback on the ways that a person can improve. We say, “Look at where you want to be and look at where you are. You currently don’t have what it takes to get there. Go out and get it so you can get to where you want to go.”

Rarely do we employ a coaching process where we start with identifying where a person wants to go and identifying where they are starting.

Rarely do we say, “Look at where you were and where you are now. Look at all of the resources you acquired in the process to get you from there to here. What else can you do with those resources and how can they help you get closer to where you want to be?”

When coaching your direct reports, or sports team members, remember to:

  • Identify what the person wants by asking questions and listening to their responses.

  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation. They deserve some recognition for taking on the challenge.

  • Praise the slightest improvement and every improvement that a person makes in moving closer to their target.

  • Make the difference from “where they currently are” to “where they want to be” seem easy to overcome.

In your next coaching session with one of your direct reports, use these 4 ideas in the process and notice the difference it makes over what you’ve gotten in the past.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For Sales People Moving From ACT To Salesforce.Com

Use a CRM to structure and manage your accountsHere is a quick tip for users of SalesForce.com or those thinking of migrating from their ACT contact management system to SalesForce.com.

ACT is a wonderful contact management system and a not so wonderful account management system.

SalesForce.com, on the other had, gives you unprecedented insight into your accounts and how they interact with each other if you set it up that way.

Transferring information over from ACT to SalesForce can be a challenge, particularly if you’ve spent most of your time inputting and configuring your data for your contact management system are you are now transitioning to managing accounts for the first time.

My suggestion is for all of you salespeople out there to sit down with your IT person, database person, or whoever will be implementing the data transfer and to structure your accounts before they begin the actual transfer.

Give your technical person insight into how you want the accounts structured and how your accounts are related. Give them as much information as possible regarding naming convention, relationships, how you sell to your clients and how you want to tackle your accounts.

When it gets populated, you will be in a better position to marketing into your accounts, understand where your greatest opportunities lie, and create solutions that make sense for your entire account instead of one individual contact or one subsidiary.

You’ll also be in a better position to request help when managing your account, determine who is on your team and what actions that they need to take to penetrate a previously isolated subsidiary.

If you already have ACT data transferred into SalesForce.com, it will take a little more work but it’s still doable and definitely worth it.

So polish up those human relations skills, show your IT person some love and get ready to grow those accounts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

For The Small Business Owner: How To Turn Your Email Into A 24 Hour Sales Force

Use email effectively to promote yourself.About 2 weeks ago, I received a forwarded email from a colleague with some wonderful information.

She had received this email from one of her contacts, a consultant, and it outlined some great Internet sites that this consultant had come across in her travels where people could post events and display their websites.

Naturally, my colleague forwarded the email to me and to another colleague on our team to let us know of the possibilities.

I knew about some of the sites from my prior endeavor in getting a VoIP telecomm interest off the ground, but still found the information interesting.

I still have her email today and still look back to it for reference.

Here is what I find interesting, not just about how I use the email, but also how the original consultant assumes I will use her email.

The consultant that had sent the original email provided several items at the end of her email in her signature. She had:

  • Her name as text
  • Her address as text
  • Her phone number as text
  • Her fax number as text
  • Her email address as a hypertext link
  • Her web site URL as a hypertext link
  • Her logo as a GIF formatted image
  • Her slogan as text

What she didn’t have was all of this information conveniently captured inside of a GIF or a bitmap image, something I’ve seen used quite a bit in small companies.

Putting all of this information into an image file is convenient, easy and it is useful when you want to maintain a consistent look and feel across various email platforms. You don’t have to worry about formatting or placement as you send out email to various clients using different email platforms.

It also does a few other things that may be working against you:

  • It makes any information captured in that image unreadable by the search algorithm embedded in the various email programs. Essentially that means that your client won’t be able to find your email should she do a text search for your company. This becomes vital for small consultancies using yahoo mail, AOL or Gmail.
  • It makes the signature invisible if their email program doesn’t display images. Many of the email programs out there have the capability of not displaying images. In fact, some of them don't show images by default meaning that the only thing your client will see is a square box taking up a space.
  • It makes none of the information distinguishable as hypertext, which means that if your client is displaying images and sees a web address, she’ll have to type it into the web browser instead of just clicking on it or cutting and pasting it into a browser.

Naturally, when sending out your correspondence, you want to make it as easy as possible for the recipient to get back in touch with you. It becomes even more important when the recipient forwards your email as a resource to someone else.

We all did it with postal mail when we used letterhead with address information, a phone number and a fax number.

We need to do it now with email by including name, email address, and website URL in a form that is readily usable.

After all, if you are a provider of decent information, don’t you want to get credit for it?

Our enterprising consultant has essentially turned recipients of her email into a virtual sales force, happily sending out her clickable contact information to hundreds of their contacts, much like a viral infection.

It’s good communication, good business and good marketing.

Email has become an integral part of our communication style, like the telephone, television and postal mail of the past, and how instant messaging and unified communications is in line for the future.

Give your clients every opportunity to see to your name and easily access your contact information. They will thank you for it later and you will get more exposure in the process.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

For Young Entrepreneurs Everywhere: How To Start Working Your On Dream Now!

Give the next generation a tactical advantage with the Generation Next.A little while ago, I posted about the Generation Next programs that are being scheduled in Dallas and in Cleveland.

For all of you young people out there who about to graduate and are dreaming of creating and running your own business, here is an excerpt from an Entrepreneur Magazine that touches on that topic.

They conducted an interview with Jennifer Kushell, author of Secrets of the Young & Successful: How to get everything you want without waiting a lifetime.

Jennifer started her first business at the ripe old age of… 13!!!

And at 19, she had started 3 other businesses!

So I’m reading this article, reading her bio and I’m asking myself, "What’s my excuse? What was I doing at 13?"

Anyway, here is an excerpt from the article:

Entrepreneur: Although it's not written specifically for entrepreneurs, what do you think the most important lessons are for young entrepreneurs reading this book?

Kushell: I'd say the most important thing in the world is to be able to clearly articulate what you're trying to do, or what you're interested in. You don't have a lot of time to pitch yourself and to pitch your ideas to people out there, and the more clear, concise and sophisticated your answers can be, the more people will pay attention to you.

You can read the article in its entirety here at Entrepreneur.com or you can find it bookmarked on del.icio.us with the tags entrepreneurship or youngentrepreneurs.

We address the same kind of stuff in the Generation Next program. So if you are looking for a way to practice some of the topics highlighted in the article, Generation Next is a good start.

On the other hand, if you are like me, reading this article and saying to yourself, "What was I doing at 13?" you may want to give you son or daughter the opportunity to answer that question differently.

Send an inquiry our way using the form on the sidebar, send an email to K_fisher@dalecarnegie.com or call at 216-245-0092 and we’ll get you hooked up.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Leadership Wisdom From a Veteran Technologist

Friendly competition helps us excel in our activities and projects.I recently enrolled into a JavaScript class. It looked interesting and I’ve always been interested in knowing something about software and web programming. So, I took the leap.

After I paid my “12 dollars and 50 cents”, I began to question my reasons for doing so. Why did I feel the need to enroll into programming class? I have several books about learning JavaScript in the house, everything ranging from the beginner level to the advanced, make-you-computer-sit-up-and-beg-for-buttermilk level. And I have the necessary environment with the necessary software support systems. Why did I feel I needed to enroll into a class when I have everything I need at my fingertips?

The answer came to me while I was taking a leisurely run out in the night and I remembered an incident at the beginning of my career.

Back when I was fresh out of college and just starting my career, I began working for a company called Thinking Machines Corporation. Totally green and inexperienced, I was put in an environment with some pretty heavy thinkers: people like Brewster Kahle, the inventor of the WAIS system and founder of Alexa, and Danny Hillis, the father of parallel computing.

TMC also had a number of DEC alumni on the payroll, one of them being Dick Clayton, the VP of Engineering at TMC.

One evening while I was working late, Dick Clayton came down to the lab, saw that I was still there and invited me into his office for an informal chat.

We talked about all of the things that any new person just starting off their career would talk about, which wasn’t a whole lot because when you're just starting out, you don’t know a whole lot.

But Dick asked me a question that has stuck with me to this day. He started by asked me if I participated in any sports and I had to tell him no. At the time, my competitive days had ended when I left the high school cross-country team.

He then asked me, “Do you know why we compete?”

I think he was asking a rhetorical question because he didn’t wait for an answer from me. He said, “We compete to find out how good we really are, to hold ourselves accountable to reaching a higher level, and to learn new ideas from our competitors that will strengthen us and make us better.”

I didn’t think too much about his comment after that evening in his office. But just as I was finishing up my run tonight, his answer came back and hit me as the answer that I was looking for to this particular question about the JavaScript class.

His insight extends beyond this software class.

Looking back in time, I realized that his message was very relevant when I was running competitively in Boston. I achieved some of my best marathon times when I lived in New England because I ran with a group. I was in a situation where I could compare myself to my teammates, get ideas from the group on how I could improve, and they held me accountable to meet my goals and exceed my expectations.

It’s also the reason I took the Dale Carnegie Course. It’s why many people take our Dale Carnegie programs.

When I first took the program, I had no idea what I was getting involved in. I had read the books, How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living at the request of a friend. In fact, I had read both of them several times. Still, when I moved into technical support requiring me to spend time in front of customers, taking the course seemed like the appropriate next step to take.

In the course, I had an excellent instructor, Paul Bagan, who coached me through some of the course projects. My peers in the program held me accountable for the things that I said I was going to achieve, and they provided some excellent and creative insights into some of the challenges that I faced in my industry at the time.

So as I begin my JavaScript class, Dick Clayton’s comment on competition comes back to me as insight, not just for this class, but for all of the races that I’ve run, all of the jobs that I’ve held and for all of the classes that I have taught.

No one learns well in a vacuum. Sure, we can read all of the books available on a subject, but at some point, we need to apply what we have absorbed in order to make it powerful.

To really excel, however, a little friendly competition is required. We get that in our groups and communities, our classes and programs. That’s were we find out how good we really are, we commit to holding ourselves accountable to achieving our goals, and we gain new ideas from our peers and competitors on how to be better at what we do.

The next time you are weighing your options on taking any course, remember Dick Clayton’s wisdom and you’ll have a better understanding of the results you want to see at the end of the program before you even begin it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Have You Ever Cold Called Into Someone’s Meeting?

One more thing in regards to my post on April 2 regarding cold calling and meetings.

When I worked in the call center, I remember one of my colleagues making a comment after she had just finished up a call. She said, “I just got off the phone with a guy who said he didn’t have any time to talk because he was in a meeting. I mean, why would you pick up the phone if you were in a meeting? That just doesn’t make sense.”

But I have seen situations where managers and directors were engaged in one-on-ones or were leading a small group meeting and they stopped what they were doing to take a call.

Why would they stop?

Customer service managers do it all of the time. They expect their people to throw unmanageable and irate customers their way. So, they have to put aside what they are doing to deal with the customer crisis at hand.

Or what about the director who is conducting a one-on-one but is expecting a call from his or her spouse to get an update on a family emergency? The will pick up the phone regardless of what they are doing. I’ve seen that happen as well.

So imagine how this individual feels when they are in a meeting and expecting an irate customer or bad news on a family medical emergency and they get… you, a bona fide cold calling salesperson. Think about the emotional roller coaster that you have just put that person through.

If you can put yourself in that situation and see from that person’s perspective, you will be in a better position to respond when you pull them from their meeting.

I once called into a company and got the “gatekeeper”. After using several simple behavioral strategies, I got her to get the decision-maker on the line. She pulled him from his Monday morning sales meeting and naturally, I did not have my USP ready. No USP, no value proposition, nothing. The only thing I succeeded in doing was pulling this guy away from his sales meeting to talk to me.

Naturally, he was not happy and he spared no expense in letting me know.

The tactics and strategies that we discuss in our programs work and they are effective. However, no strategy or behavioral tactic can compensate for having no call plan and having no value proposition.

When you are making your follow up calls or lead generation calls, always have your USP at hand, know your value proposition, and remember that if you caught them in a meeting, they picked up the phone expecting the worst. Apologize, reschedule, and give them something to smile about before sending them back to their meeting.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Are You A Sales Person Or A Computer Hacker?

After looking at the last blog entry, something else came to mind and it was sparked by a conversation I had in the office with the manager of Prospex, Inc.

She asked me if I had ever been a hacker in addition to a "Nerd Herder".

Naturally, I pleaded the fifth to avoid incriminating myself.

Now, if you’ve ever been in I.T., you’ve probably had to “hack” a system to get it operational, gain access after all other avenues were locked out or you just had to get some speed out of an aging system.

What she probably wanted to know was if I had ever tried to gain access to an operational system that I was not supposed to be able to access, to which I have to reply with a no.

I have never really found any excitement in trying to find or access a system that I was not supposed to have access to. There was always too much in my own back yard to explore for me to go looking elsewhere.

But I have always been curious how other individuals went about this activity, especially since there seems to be a rash of computer break-ins, security breaches, viral attacks, spyware, worms, trojan horses, etc… all aimed at gaining access to other people’s systems, like yours and mine.

It turns out that the general public has a glorified notion of hackers fueled by movies and TV shows like “the X files”, “Hackers”, “The Net”, “Sneakers”, “Swordfish”, and “The Matrix” to name a few.

Most security breeches and hacks are not caused by kids with keyboards traveling down tunnels of light watching bits of data fly by as they “surf” to the computer core. There is no man outside of your building tapping into the phone line with super sophisticated equipment capable of cracking the 128-bit encryption used on your data stream unless you have a reason to suspect that the NSA is peeking over your shoulder.

Truth is, most of the hacks and security breeches that happen are perpetrated by someone who has been out back diving in your dumpster searching for discarded records and leftover bills. They are looking for names, addresses, phone numbers or any other kind of information that may be used to brute force their way into your network.

And once they have something, they will want to verify the information and expand on it. They will do this by calling and saying something like, “Hello Larry, My name is Harry Hacker and I’m calling in regards to Scam magazine. In order to receive this magazine, I just need to confirm your information…”

When I first began in outside sales, I started many of my phone calls this way, calling to confirm information. I didn’t understand why I was hung up on so much.

Now, after receiving some of these calls myself, and getting to know the “hacker process” I can understand why.

My intrepid young sales rep from the executive level magazine started her sales call this same way yesterday morning. And it sent all sorts of red flags off in my head.

I don’t think she was a hacker, but as a sales rep, you don’t want to leave this perception to chance.

Here is a tip to anyone who is using the phone as a selling too.

When you call into a company and get a prospect on the line, you are there to sell something, not to verify information. Hackers call to confirm information.


You are calling to move the sales process forward.

Start your call off by establishing rapport and creating value for your client. You’ll get further along in the sales process.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

If You Want To Maintain Credibility On The Phone, Try Doing This.

Give your prospects a break when they say, I don't have time.Telemarketers still don’t get it.


Just this morning, I got a call from a telemarketer who was promoting subscriptions to an executive level magazine. I can appreciate what they are trying to do and the challenges that they face. However, if you were pushing an executive level magazine and you’re targeting executives, I would think that your communication style would be a little more executive-like.

So there I was, in the middle of a task when I got the call. Naturally I’m on a roll and don’t want to stop what I’m doing. I look at the caller ID on my cell and the caller registered as unknown. All callers that I have identified as important have names associated with them and their numbers are registered in my phone.

This is something that we’ve all done as managers. It’s called being an effective manager of time.
However, this morning I was curious. So, I connected the call, expecting it to be either something that I could listen to with half an ear or someone I could get rid of easily.


What I got was the telemarketer. She identified herself and asked to speak with Larry. She didn’t say, "Hello, Larry?" She said, "Hi my name is "Bobbie" and I’m with LoTech Magazine. May I speak with Larry?"

Now you have to realize that I always answer the phone with a "Hello, this is Larry…"

So when somebody responds, "Hello, Larry?" or, "Larry?" my perception is, "They are on a cell phone…", "They are getting my attention…" "They are opening up a dialog…" or "They are re-affirming my name because they didn’t catch it."

But when they start of with a "Hello this is Joe Bob from Hi-Fly Computers, Inc. May I please speak with Larry?" after I just said, "Hello, this is Larry…" it says to me, "They aren’t paying attention…" or "They are reading from a script…"

If you do cold calling over the phone, don’t do this. Keep your ear on the conversation.

Anyway, she goes in about what she’s doing for LoTech Magazine and says she needs to confirm some information.

Since I’m trying to finish my own stuff, I give her one of my well-used responses, "I’m in a meeting right now."

Well, after I tell her that I’m in a meeting, she starts speeding up through here 10-point checklist of the things that she needs to collect.

I can tell that she went to the same driving school that I attended. The one that says when you come to a traffic light, red means stop, green means go and yellow means "floor it". This strategy works marginally at best on the road. It definitely doesn’t work on the phone.

If someone says that they don’t have time right now or they are in a meeting, use the few seconds that you do have to get a commitment for a return call.

Don’t try to rush through the call to fill your quota of called numbers. It comes across as very amateurish.

From all of the material that I’ve been reading on telesales and cold calling, and from the time that I’ve spent in a call center making calls, I’ve seen a very interesting shift.

The mindset at one time was, "Don’t let the prospect on the other end of the line off the hook. They just want to get rid of you. Press forward." Well, back then, the telephone was the only tool available, the pace of life was a little slower and people’s attention spans were a little longer.

Today, business operates at breakneck speeds. People’s attention spans are very short and they have a million things to attend to. We also have a lot more avenues to communicate with our prospect including email, websites, IM in addition to the phone. If your prospect is so busy that they can’t talk at that moment and you have something that truly is of value to them, get a commitment to call back. But in order to do that, a person will need to have a healthy dose of self-confidence and some phone skills. You won't win their attention sticking to a phone script.

Bottom line, when somebody says that they don’t have the time right now, reschedule a new time with them and move to the next contact. It positions you as a professional salesperson who respects their time and activities.

There are over 300 million people in the United States today who are possible candidates for your products or services. Don’t get hung up on just one.