The Umpire Strikes Back!

As a small business owner I receive a fair amount of telemarketing calls on a daily basis – usually from telemarketers that don’t have a clue.  Being a tele-master at sales, I know a good call from a bad pitch.  I have become a strict umpire at this game.

Confession: I have little or no patience for the bad pitches. 

There is one group who calls weekly –  various credit card processing companies.  They have one of the worst pitches I have ever heard.  They open by asking for me by my formal name – not the name everyone under the sun knows me by.  When identified they want to know if I take Visa or MasterCard.  Saying “yes” opens the door to “free” information and a visit to our “office” (I almost took one up on this last month, since my office address is at a UPS Store). We rent a mailbox to keep personal mail separate from business.

Today, customers want ideas and answers – not a crummy sales pitch.  It isn’t about your product or service – it’s about them.  If you don’t learn what they want, what they need, what their problem is that you can solve, they aren’t interested.  As SPAM increases and more and more desperate companies try failed techniques to make more sales, the irritation level among buyers grows. The batters are waiting for “their” pitch.  Sadly for most, it isn’t coming.

Are you using methods that worked bad or mildly in a good economy in today’s highly competitive market?  Do you think more of that is better? 

It isn’t.

If a batter has a bad swing, practicing that bad swing more only produces a worse swing.  He needs to reinvent his swing and do it differently (and better).  If a pitcher can’t throw accurately, he doesn’t keep the same mechanics.  He changes his pitching.

What are you doing that isn’t working (but you are hoping it will)?  Are you hanging onto a pitch that isn’t crossing the strike zone?  What else has changed in the past two years?  Better learn a new approach before you get tossed out.

Oh, the credit card processing company called back this week (again) and asked if I take Visa or MasterCard.  This time I told them, “Sure!  Do you want the 5 CDs and my book for $100?  I just need your card number, expiration date and the billing zip code…”

The tele-flunkie hung up.

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