Full Day’s Work Is Part of Work/Life Balance

Any of you who know me or who have read this blog know that I am a big proponent of a life/work balance. I will always advocate that you don’t work too hard and that you give yourself plenty of time outside of work to enjoy your friends, families and things that make you happy. So please don’t be surprised by this week’s topic, which is the hours that you keep and your accessibility.

My fellow blogger Bill Farquharson and I conduct several Webinars each month on a variety of sales issues, all with a focus on helping print salespeople become more successful. Recently, I was tasked with reaching out to some of our attendees to ask them a series of questions about what they would like for us to offer in next year’s series of Webinars. I sat down here in Chicago at 3 p.m. one day to make calls. So I was calling all times zones—Eastern (one hour ahead), Central (my time zone) Mountain and Pacific (one and two hours behind me, respectively).

Let me just say that I was pretty astounded by my success rate at getting anyone on the phone. In 15 calls, I reached 2 people. For those I did not reach, I was almost always told, “She/he has left for the day.” or “She/he is not in.” Once I was asked if someone else could help me. Not ONCE was I offered to be transferred to a cell phone. Each time I was dumped into voice mail.

So what is the problem, you ask?


Please understand that I am not saying that you have to put in 16 hour days in order to take good care of your customers. I am not saying that.

What I am saying, however, is that you might want to consider taking a look at how your company handles phone calls, and reconsider things from the customer’s point of view. Because I know that if I am raring to place an order and I don’t get to speak to someone when I need to, I will move on to the next company on my list until I get my questions answered and feel comfortable with the transaction.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • http://n/a n/a

    I had (2) different sales reps who were NEVER in the office or always on a cruise or a golf course, and because of it, I have moved onto printers who want to work, and are not consumed by “live, work, balance mentality”. Sales are different then a typical 9-5 job.

    Sales rep’s don’t come crying to your buyers when your hungry and you need work…We don’t want to hear about it.

    We are the ones who will say…”So how is the live, work, balance thingy workin out for ya?”

  • http://Greg Greg

    After 20 years selling print, my client’s know they can reach me five days a week. I’m often the first to check in and last to check out for the day. I’m not in the office much, but they know how to get hold of me.

    They don’t care if I’m at my daughter’s school, playing golf or buying flowers for my wife. They do care that I call them back and I’m available to help.

  • http://n/a n/a

    if a sales rep is always on a golf course and or takes off every Friday he does not need the work. Regardless if he calls back the next day.

    Too many sales guys are hungry…I am going to give work to people who “need” the $$$.

  • http://Kelly Kelly

    Thanks for the comments – I believe that both of these comments prove my point…If not, holler back!

  • http://K K

    This is great advice for ALL industries. It is absolutely annoying to call a company and a voice recording picks up and you have to press a bunch of different numbers to get no where. A great receptionist (not a good one) makes a huge difference. They are the face of your company via the phone and in person. I can’t believe companies want a “voice-recording-menu-options” deal to be the face of their company. If i don’t get someone on the phone – the next vendor down the line gets the order. i don’t have time to push a million buttons.

    This is excellent advice for any sales person or company out there wondering why their business is down. BTW, my company was up 14% last year and is up 37% this year – we do not screen calls – we always transfer to cell phones w/out any hesitation. Sales is 24/7 – it’s not for everyone. I’m not saying but I’m just saying :)