Today, still fighting and battling my cold, I tried to do a lot of canvass work for one of the other new ventures of mine – the venture of RetailWise USA.
This venture, which offers very uniquely comprised surveys for large retailers that will provide them with invaluable insights to just how well their stores in reality are performing and not least what their true potential is, is based upon a great deal of expertise and background of Danish company named RetailWise which already has an impressive presence throughout Europe.
Well, most of us have some experience with cold calling canvass work, either as the one doing it or as the recipient of such calls on the other end of the line. We probably also have mixed feelings about these in general. Sometimes as a recipient we can get really annoyed about the intrusion of someone who just wants to sell us something, but other times I must admit, that I personally at least, have been pleased to get introduced to something rather remarkable or perhaps just a fantastic offer that I ended up being really happy about accepting. To perform the cold canvass work on its side can sometimes be intimidating or demoralizing as you must be able to withstand a lot of rejections and at times even down right negative response. But ultimately is often a matter of a numbers game in which the more you do it, then bigger your results. To that end, it of course helps to have a good script and to be good at adapting your communication to handle whatever objections you are met with.
But like I mentioned, I really pulled myself together today – delayed too long already by this nuisance of a cold that just doesn’t seem to let go of me – and I called and reached out to a long line of large US retailers. I had collected a list long list of them, so it was just a matter of getting to them, ringing them up one by one. And so I did.
If you have ever done something similar anywhere, you are probably aware of just how many tries you will have to endure to get anywhere. However, I have to tell you that this proved a bigger nuisance than expected and it all comes back to the usual impression that I have been reliving ever since I moved to the US. You see, here in the
United States, to a degree much greater than I have experienced anywhere else in the world, the companies – large and small – have a serious tendency to “hide” behind their tedious telephone systems and not least voicemail capabilities. In fact, I have come to believe that a lot of employees, if in fact not most employees, will deliberately hide behind their voicemail and deliberately let all or at least a majority of calls go to their voicemail instead of picking up the phone – regardless of them possibly actually having the extra time on their hands to do so.
I also believe that it’s not just a matter of letting your voicemail be your screening device, but sometimes, I’m sad to say, just out right laziness and just not wanting to deal with anything.
It grieves me to say this, but I must say that I really believe a great deal of truth to be resting within these words. I have felt so pretty much ever since I moved “over here” from Denmark. I have even felt it regardless of me being in the shape of a customer and even possibly wanting to buy something, so in other words the problem doesn’t just reside in matters of me trying to reach someone to sell something to or to complain about a customer experience or product to. Don’t get me wrong. I love the US and I love the Americans, but I really detest the typical phone system encounters and the way companies are handling it. In Denmark, I used to find that it was mostly when you had to reach a public office of sorts that you would continually run into something similar – into situation where you would be calling in vain never reaching anybody or certainly be tested in your patience. But here in the States, it’s almost everywhere you call.
Almost everywhere, you will have to endure long automated answering machines that ask of you to press this for that and that for this, through layers after layers, before you would finally reach your desired end destination, at which point you will invariably be met with – yes, you guessed it: a voicemail. Hardly ever, will you be fortunate to actually get to speak with a person.
If you deal a lot with companies in the US, you must know what I’m talking about.
Meanwhile, also today, I was pleased also to finally have my own telephone auto-answer and response system set up for the new venture RetailWise USA. It too actually makes use of the same facilities as the systems I have just complained about, but at least my auto-message is kept to a minimum and unless it’s out of hours or everybody is busy, then you will actually get a real person answering. So yes, there’s some irony here I admit, but there will be no hiding behind my voicemail here. No, let’s do business!
At any rate, it was kind of fun when I tried to relay my initial cold calling experiences to my buddy who works very engaged with the Danish RetailWise company. He offered comfort as to how I could reach out to some of my colleagues from Europe and fine-tune “my script”. What he had a hard time hearing, was the fact that my message actually stated that it wasn’t that my script was no good, but the fact that I couldn’t even land with an actual person to speak with at the other end of the phone line.
Darn it. So frustrating. But I’m not one to give up. There are other ways to skin the cat. This is just a minor setback. Annoying, yes. But there’s another way. I’ve just got to find it.
So I’m thinking, I will contact meeting bookers’ bureaus and see if they may do this (excuse me for saying it: boring and tedious slavery work) and see if they can get me anywhere and then meanwhile I will work on other channels that I believe will be much more powerful anyways, as they will instill the potential customers to seek me out rather than me trying to get them to pay me a few minutes of audition.
I shall keep you posted as I progress.
If you have has any similar experiences or found great ways of getting somewhere, then please share this in the comments area below. Would love to hear from you.