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How NOT to do a cold call

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Apr 7, 2009 8:49 pm

So I’ve spend the first part of this week calling on school principals to setup 403B meetings in their schools.  Since the new regs have gone into effect 1/1/09, I’ve picked up payroll slots (well, I picked up for my b/d) at a few extra districts, so this is my first time talk to many of these people (hence, I consider most of these calls to be cold calls). 

  This is how one of my calls went today...   Him:  Hello.  (Very, Very monotone).   Me:  Hi Mr. Smith, this is iceco1d with abc investments.  We're an approved 403B vendor in the district, and I'm calling today to coordinate a 403B visit to your school building sometime before the end of the school year.  Do you have a few minutes?   Him:  (Very monotone, ULTRA condescending) I, can't believe, you called my direct extension, during normal school hours, for this.    Me:  (admittedly rattled - I was on the phone for 6 hours previously, and 100% of my calls were positive to some degree):  Excuse me?   Him:  Him:  (Very monotone, ULTRA condescending) I... can't believe... you called my direct extension... during normal school hours... for this.    Me:  [Pause]  Well did you want me to call you at home?!   Him:  [click]   Guess I won't be visiting that school.  I was pretty fuming after that call, but took a 10 minute break to do somee paperwork, and now I can laugh about it.  In retrospect, it's pretty funny how pompus some people are.
Apr 7, 2009 8:53 pm

Take an apple to him tomorrow, during school hours, and tell him you wanted to personally introduce yourself after your call was disconnected.

Apr 7, 2009 10:46 pm

I love doing that to people who hang up… When I was getting close to leaving jones originally and cold called and people hung up I would call them back, and of course they pick up the phone "Sorry we got disconnected, I wasn’t sure if it was yours or mine, but this time it’s definitely mine(and hang up).

Apr 8, 2009 1:38 am

Ice - you did just fine. Shake it off and make some more calls.

  Be sure to send the guy an intro letter and some literature with a note that says you enjoyed the conversation and ask in the note when would be a better time to call (since administrative hours are school hours. )   Put an open CC to a member of the school board - or better yet - the the HEAD of the local school board in your letter with a note asking THEM when the RFP is coming out for the 403b and if you can attend the meeting when it appears on the agenda.     If there is a teachers union in the area, include them, too.  Unions like to be involved in the process.        
Apr 8, 2009 2:47 am


  Me:  [Pause]  Well did you want me to call you at home?!  [/quote]   I hope to high heaven that it came across as:   "Well did you want me to call you AT HOME you jerkoff!!!!"
Apr 8, 2009 3:18 am

If school ends at 2:20 I’d call him back tomorrow at 2:21.

Apr 8, 2009 3:24 am

You know what would be fun for payback if you’re calling people at home and the guy is a prick… Call a day later and if the guy’s wife picks up say “hello, I’m Steve with the Next Town Over Holiday Inn, Mr Jones left a few items when he checked out this afternoon would you please let him know the handcuffs and lotions can be picked up at the front desk.”

Apr 8, 2009 2:53 pm

Some of these responses are funny. Unfortunately, we have too much to lose to actually carry forward with them. And burning the list is rarely a smart idea. The post advising sending a letter would be the way to go in this situation. Past that, accept that dealing with pompous jerks is just part of the deal. As posted, shake it off, move forward.

  One side note, one of the messege boards i visit for one of my hobbies is festooned with educators/college professor types. Pompous doesn't cover it with this group. They are anti marketing/anti salesman, and have zero understanding about how the real world works.  And to top it off they have all the answers and are right about everything. Debating any business points with this group is an exercise in frustration.   At one point, after being asked, I posted what I did for a living-muni bond salesman. The flame war that ignited on that thread was one of the site's longest running threads. Me against at least 50 people who had no appreciation for the fact that without guys like me to raise the money, they wouldn't have a paycheck. They totally don't get it. To them, we are scum.   That was three or four years ago, and just recently I said something someone disagreed with and the cheap shots they took were in reference to that thread so long ago. So, in addition to everything else, they need to get a life.
Apr 8, 2009 3:21 pm

Hmmm…I feel your pain.  Sometimes it’s just you against the world on these type of sites. 

Apr 8, 2009 7:41 pm


Those can change a day.  It's ok to be pi**ed and hope that they die poor.  More important is that you can laugh him off and move forward.  We've all had these and we'll all have more of them.  I would send him a letter telling him what you are trying to accomplish and a number you can be reached at.  Never make contact again until he makes it with you or he is no longer the principal at that school.  Not worth the angst.  Better yet go over his head to the Superintendent and mention briefly in your most sarcastic tone, that you "had called Principal X, and he didn't have time during the school day to visit with me about helping your teachers plan their retirement" so you thought you better give him a call.  
Apr 8, 2009 7:58 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

Hmmm…I feel your pain.  Sometimes it’s just you against the world on these type of sites. 

See, Windy, it's not just you.
Apr 10, 2009 1:04 am

I had a client’s teenage kid hang up on me because I interrupted his video game. … Er, make that EX-CLIENT, especially after I called him back to tell him how rude he was.