Apologies for my absence last week. I sat down early last Sunday morning and went to an author’s website – someone I was going to share with you – but within seconds my laptop was consumed by trojans and other assorted malware. (And my Twitter account was hacked too!) While I remained hopeful for most of the day, it never recovered; it had to be taken to Brilliance Computers for surgery. They told me that 80% of their work is now clearing computers of viruses, etc; that none of the software we use to prevent such infections is keeping up with what is being created. “All you have to do to get infected today is be on the internet,” I was told. 

“Sigh” is my response, but I’m ever so grateful to have my laptop back with no loss of files – and to be able to connect with you again. 

I’ve got several “stories” bumping around in my head. I’ll start with the most recent. 

I’m working on a project that involves setting up appointments with retailers in Ottawa and in Toronto. Organizing the appointments in Ottawa was relatively simple. While there was a fair bit of dialing and message leaving, once I reached the right person it was very straightforward to book a meeting.

 Toronto presents a completely different challenge! 

It is a city that thrives on competition. As a result, everyone I want to talk to has invested time and money in publicity, so finding the names of store owners has been incredibly simple and fast. But … everyone wants product placement there. These owners are getting approached several times each day, so they don’t book appointments in one call. They need a portfolio and plenty of follow up. 

My usual charm and wit, my background of living in Toronto for 20 years, the cache that often results from my saying I’m calling from Atlantic Canada – none of this has worked to speed up, warm up or simplify the process. And I have a deadline to meet which is approaching quickly! 

By Friday at 3 pm my hectic week had caught up with me. I was tired, frustrated and suddenly very attracted to the mound of paperwork on my desk. “Just stop for the day”, a little voice in my head kept saying. “It’s Friday afternoon. You can deal with this next week.” 

But another voice said “Look at the calendar will you. The deadline is not far away. In Toronto it is only 2 pm and Fridays are almost the beginning of the week in retail. Pick up the phone!” 

This argument continued for about 10 minutes. It was so incredibly tempting to stop calling but … I finally wrestled my lethargy aside with the phrase “Make one more call and see what happens.” 

I picked up the phone, I dialed and for the first time since starting the Toronto project a retailer booked an appointment immediately! 

Important note to self:  Making one more call is always a good decision, no matter what the voices in your head are telling you. 

In keeping with this theme, there are more and more voices championing the value of picking up the phone. Of course I’m delighted. CBS MoneyWatch recently published an article by entrepreneur Michael Hess that delivers this message in a precise and insightful way. I encourage you to read it: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57399601/when-you-should-pick-up-the-phone-and-why/ 

This week I want to challenge you to  -  just once – pick up the phone when you would normally email or text. Rather than go back and forth about a meeting date and time, phone and confirm; rather than email your response to a voicemail message, call the person back; take the time to phone a friend or family member and enjoy a conversation in real time. 

And let me know what happens. Does something surprising happen because of this phone call? Does it inspire you to pick up the phone more often? Or do you avoid the call altogether? I look forward to hearing from you. 

Enjoy your PhoneWork!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Linda Daley says: April 24, 2012 • 19:58:48

    I was just thinking to myself today, “Why do I email to make coffee dates?” Certainly phoning would be simpler… IF I get the person I’m trying to reach right away. If I don’t (as is often the case these days), voicemail can be just as time consuming as email. Still, it would only take a few seconds to find out… Next coffee date I book by phone and we will see :)

    Reply

  2. Debi Hartlen MacDonald says: April 26, 2012 • 13:23:33

    Great blog! Of course I love Mary Jane and tend to love everything she writes as well.

    I so agree….I’d like to take this one step farther and apply this philosophy to ALL your important actions. Pick up the phone, have that difficult conversation, change that nasty habit, create that great new habit. This is all part of having the discipline to follow through on the hard things that create great results.

    Happy selling everyone :)

    Reply

    • Osmar says: June 26, 2012 • 11:05:57

      I spent a while this afternoon readnig through all of this web-site, so rich and varied in the topics you cover’. Your information is brilliant, just the right side of lightness with enough depth of info and delightful humour. I’m going to send a link on this site to as many people as I can think of. I hope you get published on paper too, you have such lovely writing skills- and are honestly un-anal’, no pun intended.With your graphic sense, reflective qualities and wealth of experience you could produce a beautiful, user friendly book- either that- a mag column. You are too good to miss!

      Reply

  3. sales leads says: January 30, 2013 • 09:22:31

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    Reply

    • The Phone Lady says: February 4, 2013 • 00:04:58

      Thanks, Napoleon and so sorry about your first comment. I’m certainly thrilled that you are enjoying this blog and that you took the time to write! My only recommendation in terms of blogging is approach it as something you want to do regardless of whether your audience “gets it” or not. You can’t really predict how it will be received, but make a commitment to test the marketplace – whether for 6 months or a year – and then enjoy the process. I started by saying I’d blog consistently for a year. The feedback has kept me at it now for almost 3.5 years. How fun is that! When you do start your blog, make sure you send me a link. mj

      Reply

  4. never cold call again by frank rumbauskas jr says: June 1, 2013 • 19:16:31

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    Reply

    • The Phone Lady says: June 2, 2013 • 17:49:51

      Thanks for this lovely comment. So pleased you like the blog. Please do send comments and thoughts along anytime! mj

      Reply

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