This past week was one of the worst weeks I can remember at successfully reaching people. Very few people responded to my emails, and even fewer picked up my phone calls. Why? I don’t know – I am just reporting what the data shows me. In general, I reach people about 11% of the time when I make an attempt to reach them (which means when I *have* to reach them I need to try several times :)). This week was 7%. 8% is lousy, and about as low as I ever see except for the week of July 5, Christmas, etc. so this week was absolutely brutal. Ironically though, I had several good meetings so it was overall a successful week.
Speaking of which, it is ironic that I make a lot of sales calls each week. I *hate* using the phone — I literally walk several blocks to my favorite pizzeria to place my delivery order so I don’t have to phone in the order and I am pretty bad at returning voice mails but good about responding to text. But my job pays the bills, and I’ve found over the years that phone is an effective tool for doing my job, so just have to grin (and reward myself with coffee and chocolate) and bear it. I am also less likely to pick up a call from a friend than I am from an employee – I always pick up calls from people who work for me. On weekends, I don’t pick up the phone from anyone who is not a client or employee – friends know to text me if they want to reach me, and if they don’t text then it must not be that important or must not be anyone that truly knows me that well 🙂
In my last job, we had this clown VP Howard in New York, one of those loud and annoying guys who is like 300 years old and was buddies with the CEO and always flying into everyone’s offices but no one knew exactly what he did. He and I didn’t always see eye to eye — it was one of those things where my team was dependent occasionally on my pushing back on his intrusivness so that we could generate revenue, so to ignore him hurt my business but to push back hurt me politically and unfortunately he had a vested interested in one of our area accounts so was always in our business poking around. But he was also one of those guy was always calling on things that he could’ve emailed about, so we would have a 20 minute conversation (mostly one sided) about something that would have taken a 2-minute email or text exchange. I used to call him (privately) the SHakespearean Fool – the foolish court jester that everyone pokes fun at but also has the king’s attention so is potentially dangerous. I am very glad I don’t have to worry about that guy anymore.