Tuesday, 15 March 2016

How about never, is never good for you?

The above question comes from a fantastic cartoon that has been around for years. The picture above the caption is of a senior business executive sat in his office and obviously exasperated at taking a call from what I always thought of as a tenacious sales person trying to make an appointment.

Anyone who has been in sales will recognise the regularity with which our target prospect clients find ways to put us off. At least the guy in the cartoon is being honest admitting that he never wants to see you, which is probably slightly better than “I will call you back if I need anything” or “Someone will contact you if we are interested”.

What did strike me recently about the cartoon was my assumption that the caller has something to do with Sales and why did I think that? Because of course it could be many other types of callers. Back in the day when mother-in-laws seem to be the unjust butt of so many jokes, it could be his wife asking when her mother could come to stay. Maybe a job offer from the competition which he is really enjoying turning down. Or even the chance to participate in a sky diving charity event?

The point is that I recognised “How about never, is never good for you?” because of how it had in some way affected me in the past, without even considering any potential alternative connotations.

As part of my coaching role I regularly encourage people to become better listeners, don’t jump to conclusions, make assumptions and always seek clarity – but all I could imagine was the poor sales person on the other end of the phone.

Better try again to practice what I preach!

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