Tell Me Yours Before You Ask Me For Mine

I will fully admit and embrace the fact that I am a bit of a misanthrope. It’s true: I tend to be weary of people (thus, easily annoyed) even though I am good natured, gregarious, and warm hearted. So I will take a bit of the responsibility for the following rant-business-phone-tip you’re about to read.

The Din Of The New World

Beep. Brrrrrt. Bong. Ring. Email. Texts. Messages. Snaps. Chats. Apps. Ads. Pictures. Commercials….. This is the reality of the new world. I am regularly if not constantly inundated with people contacting me. Some of these are friends or family checking in, making plans, or generally stalking me. But many are not. Far too many of the communications I get are business folk trying to buy me, up-sell me, or straight up rip me off. It’s gotten to the point that if I don’t recognize a number calling me, I am reluctant to answer. (For a business owner this is bad).

When I do answer, I find that I am typically starting from a combative posture: ready to fend off the inevitable onslaught of tactics designed to penetrate my defences and wear me down in an effort to get me to pull out my credit card. Of course this is a bit of an awkward demeanor when I find out the person calling is a vendor returning my call.  😐

Therein lies the rub.

I think a lot of people are suspicious of motive these days. “Why are you calling?” “Why are you bothering me?” “What do you want?” This is why I am constantly disappointed when legitimate businesses calling for legitimate reasons (call back, legit lead, follow up, etc.) start the phone conversation asking me to give them something!

Me: “Hello, this is Christopher.”
Unkown Caller: “Is this Christopher Austin?”

Seriously? When someone starts a call this way I just want to smack them. “Who the hell are you?” “What the hell do you want?” It makes me feel like I’m being ambushed by a process server.

This may seem like a small thing to many people. And, like I stated above, I am a bit of a misanthrope… so, you know… there is that. But what in sam heck is wrong with telling a person who you are when they answer your call? Especially if you’re getting ready to ask them for something? In my opinion it’s just common business courtesy and sets a good tone.

Recipient: “Hello?”
Caller: “Hi, This is Christopher Austin returning a call from John Smith. Is John available?”
Recipient: “Yes he is. Please hold for a moment.”

Anyway, that’s it. My suggestion for businesses making calls to potential clients or vendors is realize that people are frazzled with the amount of data flying at them these days. Remember that you are wanting to get something from them. So why not start the conversation by giving them something: your name and maybe your purpose.

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