Print Buyer Office Hours: An Idea Revisited
Dear Print Buyers (no, make that Dear Purchasing Agents of all kinds):
My name is Bill Farquharson. As a sales trainer, I constantly hear how difficult it is to get your attention. My clients leave voice-mail messages trying to gain an appointment with you. As a blogger, I constantly hear from you about how annoying it is to get 50-60 voice mails a day from sales people like my clients.
What if I could solve this problem for you both? What if I had a solution that would empty your inbox and strip away those repetitive requests? What if this solution gave the sales reps a voice and the chance to dance before their desired partners? Would you give it a try?
Good. Here’s my idea: Let them in.
That’s right. You heard me.
Take the appointment.
Hear me out…
How much time do you spend each month wading through unwanted emails and voice-mail messages asking for a appointment? Give me a number. OK, I can’t hear your answer, so I’m going to come up with a ridiculously low one of my own and say, two hours.
Again, I am going to assume that you spend a minimum of two hours each month on tasks related to deleting messages from unknown sales people. It’s probably more like two hours a week, but I’ll start here just to make my point.
Let’s repurpose those two hours a month.
What if you set up office hours similar to what professors do in college? Every month you set aside two hours to meet with new sales people and hear their pitches. Make each appointment 10 minutes long and you can “process” 12 reps a month. In 10 minute intervals, a sales rep gets to introduce him/herself and present his/her sales pitch.