Knowing The Who and Why Of What We Are Doing.
I had three interesting experiences this week. Two with different telemarketers and one with my oldest son. Two involved some swearing and all a refocusing on why we really should know who we are dealing with and why in not only business, but all relationships.
Dropping The F-Bomb Is Not A Sales Tool
A friend and customer called me and asked me to visit with a marketing contractor and provide my opinion of the service and the salesman's expertise. I have done this a number of times with customers and am always happy to do so. It is an honor that my customers trust me not only with their business, but also with their decision making.
I get on the phone with this guy and exchange the normal pleasantries... Hello.... How are you? The first thing he says is, “Everyday is vacation because I work from home, right, bro?” I am not opposed to working from home, I have to do that some as well when we have need. I am also not opposed to enjoying your work so if never feels like work. I am not opposed to using more friendly terms. Many of my clients are also friends and we call each other buddy, etc. There was something about that way he said it that just had a stink to it.
He starts into the sales pitch that was really fast and chock full of assumptions about my client that were off-base. I tried asking questions to get to some meat, 'Do you know what kind of customer Mr. Client is trying to reach?” “Have you talked to Mr. Client about the type of work he really wants to do?” My questions were ignored and the banter went on. After a while he asked me a leading question to the tune of, “If you can get X more clients would you want to do that?” and I reminded him I was calling for a customer to get a feel for things and it was not my call to make. I also told him he could get to the point anytime. He asked the question again and I did not answer him. He asked again and I told him what my purpose on the call was.... blah blah blah.
That's when the bomb dropped. “Are we having a ____BEEP___ conversation, bro? Are you with me, bro?”
It was at that point I hung up the phone. It was totally inappropriate to use that kind of language.
Next, I Googled the salesman's name and up comes his Facebook profile. I clicked on that and the first picture, posted that same day, was captioned as “Today's Workflow” and showed his desk with his computer, pack of cigarettes, what looked like an energy drink, a paper with some honey looking stuff (I later figured out what that was), and a bong. Yep. A bong and the the stuff on the paper is likely some kind of marijuana extract that is said to work faster and hit harder. I learn something everyday.
I did call my customer back and told him of the call and the salesman's workflow. We had a good laugh out of it and he decided that was probably not the person he wanted to work with either. That was probably the wildest sales call I have ever been on.
Asking Questions and Listening Intently
Later in the week another salesman called and I almost hung up. He said he needed to ask me just a few questions about our experiences working with data centers. He was friendly, listened to my answers, and was obviously knowledgeable about the industry. After about 15 minutes he has successfully figured out what type service we might be right for an scheduled a followup call next week. I hung up satisfied about the experience and it might be a good relationship for our companies.
He might be working from home doing what he loves while smoking marijuana concentrate... but I doubt it greatly.
What does BEEP mean, dad?
I was working on a chicken coop for the house and had it almost complete, on a dolly and rolling to be put in place. The wind caught it and it slammed over splitting the wood on one end. My first response was a word I should not have said to which my 9 year old asked, “What does BEEP mean, dad?” Oh, me. I had to explain what the d-word was and why it is not OK to use. I further had to apologize to my son and tell him why I did something I should not have done. Ouch.
What I Learned
I know my values are not everyone's values. My perspective is different from others. That's OK. I learned form these experiences that we have to always take the high road. It is never OK to assume that an off-color statement or joke would be acceptable. I was also reminded that what I post on the Internet is always out there. I cannot be one person at the office and another person at home and yet another in Sunday School.
esus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15: 10