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Perception IS Reality

By Ryan Sauers

About Ryan

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies and spent nearly 20 years leading printing and promotional product companies prior to founding the firm. The organization consults with printing and promotional product related companies across the country, helping them grow the front end of their organization. Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book “Everyone Is in Sales”, with another book in the works.  He is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. Ryan writes national feature articles and speaks at national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, leadership, organizational strategy and social media. He is also an adjunct university professor. More info at

The Value of Taking (and Returning) Phone Calls

It seems that nearly every week a printing company complains to me that the people they are calling on do not call or e-mail them back. Ouch! I hear this from the sales staff, as well as the executives and/or ownership. So why do I bring this up?

I find it humorous that people complain that their prospects do not get back to them or return their calls/e-mails. Why? The same people complaining (oftentimes executives) are usually not good at getting back to the salespersons who are calling on them. For example, I hear executives say, “put them in voicemail—it is a salesperson, right?” Also, they may tell the receptionist to tell the caller they are in a meeting. Or, they simply have the salesperson leave voicemail after voicemail and do not respond at all.

In my humble opinion, this is not good. You see, we are no longer in the printing business but indeed are in the communications business. The way we communicate with everyone defines our brand. Not getting back to people, even if it is to say “no thanks” is bad communications and hurts your company’s brand.

I believe in the golden rule of life which applies to sales as well. We should treat others the same way we want to be treated. If a person calls you, then you should return his call. If a person e-mails you, you should return his e-mail. You may not be interested but they, too, are a person and are trying to sell their services the same way that your sales team is, right? Well, if this is the case should we not walk the walk and not hide behind technology? Are we better than the salesperson calling on us? Are we too busy to take one minute of our time to respond? Wouldn’t you hope an executive at another organization would at least respond in some professional manner to your sales team?

Also, why is it that so many executives simply duck calls? A salesperson can begin to tell when something is not right. However, when there has been some dialogue and interest up until this point, is it fair for a buyer simply to disappear and provide the salesperson no information? My answer is no. If you are doing this you are not being a professional.

If you want them to leave you alone, then man up and tell them. Please do not make them call you again and again so you can simply delete their voicemails. This is not a game. Again, I don’t see how this is good business. And, folks...I cannot tell you how small this world is. The person calling on you today may be the person who could help you get your next job. They could be the next employee at your company. We live in this type of connected world. Burning small bridges can come back to haunt you. And, I have seen it across North America time and time again.

So, if you get frustrated by people who do not get back to you, why not lead by example and begin responding to others? I am not saying you have to buy what they are selling or even be interested in it, but be kind as a buyer. Nobody is that busy. I am not perfect at this, but I try to respond to as many people as I can. It is a daily process. I challenge you to make a difference.

What do you think?

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