In the UK, I think it is pretty standard that most places empty out in August! Nothing happens, the management go on holiday, EAs/PAs catch up on filing (or Popbitch) and, pretty much, NO decisions are made.
So, why oh why then do sales callers not understand this? I do not think I have ever received as many cold-calls in the past month in the previous year.
My phone rang continually with requests to bid for energy supplies and paper waste and IT systems. The thing that infuriates me the most about this (and I know I have discussed this before) is that none of them do their research.
Why on earth would you approach the chief financial officer (CFO) of a multinational FTSE 200 to discuss your waste paper needs? He is never going to take the call and, being rude to his PA, is certainly not going to get you anywhere. Also, ringing repeatedly and asking to speak to him is not going to work – PAs generally have good brains and a sharp memory!
One particular pest comes to mind trying to flog a new electrical supply contract. He called so many times I could almost recognise his wheezing breath even before he spoke.
Finally, on the last call I get: “Is Derek in today?” “No, he is not and I KNOW I have already told you 48 times before that he will not take your call and is on holiday anyway!” That’s one salesman who is getting nowhere near the CFO when he comes back from vacation.
The month continued to prove very testing with the continuous barrage of calls but worse was yet to come. On the day that the school holidays ended, every single one of them thought it appropriate to call and demand to speak to the respective decision-maker.
It is amazing to think that not one of them used enough brainpower to think that it might not be the best timing – no one gets through on the first day after holidays. Why not think a little and phone at the end of the week – or even send an email?
When so much thought, time and money goes into a big-ticket pitch with presentations and preparation, that I wonder why seemingly nothing goes into the initial contact?
A properly thoughtful sales professional would have such a better time getting past me if they researched, used common sense and spelt the name of the company correctly!