I had an interesting situation today that made me think about phone conversations being an extension of your company and even your brand. I could be over-thinking this, but I was completely turned off by a company based on the attitude of the person with which I was speaking.
I wrote recently about doing my best to return calls and treat all people with respect with regards to fielding calls from people wanting to talk to me about their company and hopefully get our business. I respect their job and have made many good contacts building relationships this way. I was on vacation last week and dedicated an hour today to returning voicemails.
My last call was to a salesperson from whom I purchased some online ad placements for the first six months of the year. Her voicemail indicated she wanted to discuss the rest of the year. So, I called her back to discuss.
Her first reaction to me was not knowing who I was and not having heard of our company. Okay, she probably makes alot of calls so I explain further who I was and what she called me about. Long pause. Then a sigh from her giving off the feeling of annoyance. Is she having a bad day? Not sure. I ask her if she would like to call me back when she has more time. She responds by saying she’s too busy right now and I should try to reconnect with her.
What? I have the budget dollars that she wants and I need to try to get her attention to spend it? I received an email from her later explaining she now knows who I am and would have time to talk, but not mentioning her unprofessional tone on the phone.
Maybe she did have something bad happen to her today that clouded her mood. I understand that. But, my point is that she shouldn’t have answered the phone. How could I walk away from that feeling the same way about her or the company? Am I being irrational? I don’t think so, her company’s brand was put on the line when she picked up the phone. Now, I have a new image. She marketed herself and her brand poorly by a the way she handled my call.
The good news is this is a rarity with my phone dealings…most people are great and very professional with which to work. Whether you’re working a trade show booth, sending and email, selling a product, or marketing a company the manner in which you go about your communications plays a huge role in how people view you and your company.