What is the right etiquette for missing one’s blog submission for three weeks? This is a question that hasn’t been covered in any of the social media workshops I’ve attended so if you know of an existing guideline, please do share!
In the meantime … apologies – for lack of a better word. Several things including some travel during Small Business Week and a narrow understanding of certain technologies have prevented me from writing and posting the past few weeks. It’s the first time I’ve let it slip in over a year, so I’m disappointed, but it has made me aware that I need to tackle a new learning curve. I’ll keep you posted.
One of the notions that’s been rambling around in my head the last while is the connection between the phone calls I make and storytelling. You see, I’m constantly wondering why “cold calling” is relatively easy for me and so incredibly difficult for others – and how that difficulty might be eliminated.
It is certainly in my favour that I like a challenge, because getting people on the phone these days – and having a decent conversation with them – is a big challenge. But there’s more to it.
It is so important to get their attention immediately. Sometimes, especially on new projects, I fail. These past few months I’ve often hung up the phone and said to myself “Well, that didn’t go well!”
When I analyze the “why”, it is never about the information. I always have all the right facts at my fingertips. Occasionally it is about talking to the wrong person – when I’ve rushed the research process, thinking I could save time. But mostly the call goes astray because I didn’t draw them in, capture their imagination.
“The reason for my call today …” works like a charm every time. I can hear them (and you will to) start to listen, but what follows needs to honour the gift of their attention. It has to ignite their imagination so that they can “see” in their mind’s eye, what I’m saying.
And this is where storytelling comes in. Think about a time you enjoyed listening to a story. Wasn’t it was because the person telling it, by the tone and pacing of their voice as well as the words they chose, inspired pictures to appear before you, allowed you to follow along as if watching a movie? That’s captivating! It’s leagues away from the intensity and invasiveness we tend to associate with sales calls.
So if you have a “pitch” you are using on the phone and it isn’t getting you the reactions you want and need, take the time to listen to yourself. Are you telling a story and honouring your audience’s attention? Or are you talking fast and hoping standard marketing phrases will do the trick?
More to come on this notion in the weeks and months ahead. Happy dialing everyone!