If You Are Not On the Telephone, Don’t Kid Yourself — You Are NOT Working!

Another one bites the dust. This guy has been doing this business for years…in fact, 27 years, to be specific, which puts him in the top 1% in the nation for tenure, and probably for career cash in as well. He was “retiring,” nothing wrong with that, but it was the way he was retiring which made me sad. He was going out the same way that washed-up prizefighters usually go out…beat up and defeated.

“Neil, I just cannot get the activity levels going which I used to do. For the last year, my sendout activity has been in the trash. I used to generate at least five first-time send outs per week. That dropped to three just six months ago, and one or two per week over the last three months. It’s time for me to go. I used to say to myself that it’s the economy, but I was kidding myself. Now I know the real reason I am not producing.”

I responded, “If you do not answer email then you are probably still kidding yourself.”

This friend of mine replied, “Bingo!”

The inventor of email was probably someone who hated salespeople in general, and our industry in specific. Got placed by someone he thought was a little too aggressive, or was a hiring authority who wanted to drag his feet, so he figured he would invent a way to get back at us.

The irony is that this person probably thought he was on to a good tool, which employers and candidates could use to hide effectively from our telephone calls.

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However, if he was REALLY smart, he knew human nature, and how most salespeople would follow a path of least resistance…and choose email, their own poisons…rather than do the tough thing and make phone calls.

I know at least 10 previously very big-billing recruiters who fell into the email “addiction” and, like a drug abuser, it sent them into a living hell and out of this business. Don’t become one of email’s victims.

Email is the classic case of confusing activity with productivity. Remember to never use email in this business for anything related to selling. That means 95% of everything you do should not involve email. Additionally, only use email before work and after-hours. There is nothing on email that cannot wait until after telephone time. Instead of answering emails with emails, why not simply call that person and get it over with immediately?


5 Comments on “If You Are Not On the Telephone, Don’t Kid Yourself — You Are NOT Working!

  1. Ok….fine!! Planes,Trains and Automobiles are all good. Where one goes in them is a totally different subject. In that comment you just made I get lost in a maelstrom of memories of hearing boobs all around me wasting TONS of time on the phone talking about sports,weather and all other kinds of crap in a manner that is not even possible on email 🙂

    From what I remember about your background I doubt you’ll be writing articles recommending banning guns because some people misuse them…Email is a tool….

  2. It took Madden a week to get there bus. I don’t think he’s working anymore either.

    Email certainly has its place and is a great communication tool for things like arranging flights, interviews, sending job descriptions, etc. That said, it is very difficult to sell via email. It’s too easy to miss (because they aren’t there) the little nuances, hesitations and inflections that allow the experienced salesperson to know what question to ask next so that he can cut through the BS or just realize that there might be a problem that needs addressing. Also, I hope nobody tries to negotiate complex deals by email. Get a clarification maybe but that’s about it.

    Voice is simply a more complete form of communication – there’s more information there if you know what to look for and how to use it. Face to face is even better but unfortunately, just isn’t time efficient – especially if you’re traveling by bus.

    Madden was always AT the came at gametime.

    Tom Keoughan

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