“Has it ever happened to you that you entered a supermarket only to realize that there was a 50% discount until yesterday on the product you wanted, and what you felt was a tasteless slurry of frustration, and helplessness? I know, and you know it as well, that it happens almost every week. And do you know why? Because your mailbox reads “No Junk Mail Please.” It’s a fact – you should try it once – that by spending 30 minutes on junk mail to find out offers and discounts on various household products, you can save $30-$40 every week. Going by the minimum wage rate in Australia, this amount is double the rate for the 30 minutes of work. “
This is what I said to a client on a cold call visit when he was reluctant to listen to what I had to say.
Unbelievable, but true!
And it worked!
Meeting went well; the client liked the way Pinstripe Recruitment brought a new dimension to the recruitment domain in Australia, however I left that office pondering over a question the client had asked toward the end of the meeting.
“How can I possibly afford to waste time on all the sales calls as it’s so hard to make out which one out of ten such calls will turn out to be profitable?”
“Train Your Gatekeeper” could be an effective answer to this dilemma. Receptionists are usually employed to screen the incoming calls, attending to the guests – wanted or otherwise – and manage the basic office administration, but what if they can be further trained to, rather than saying no to unsolicited sales calls, be made able to understand those calls, qualify them based on their importance to the company, and escalate them to the right official for review?
Don’t you think it would be a win-win situation for all? You will be able to reduce overheads by a significant number; salesmen proposing really innovative and profitable solutions will be able to gain business on merit; Companies’ exposure to opportunity risks would diminish; not least the receptionist will play a larger role in the organization.
The question is ‘How’, which though at the outset looks difficult, however could be answered in three simple steps.
How profitable it would be if your receptionist were performing a larger role in your company’s administration! Sensitize the receptionist towards various business processes and their needs so he or she know your needs. Moreover, your receptionist would be more than happy to make her resume stronger and competitive by printing – “Reduced administration costs by 20% by carefully vetting and selecting quality low-cost suppliers.” After all, how many receptionists would be able to claim having done that? Moreover, that’s what Human Resources is all about – developing the employees’ talent by challenging their potential through profile enhancement and delegation.
Train him or her in managing the incoming sales calls more effectively. Instead of pelting a ‘No, we aren’t interested’, how about – “May I please know what you are offering, and I will escalate it to the concerned official in case we find it useful?” A 10 seconds of conversation can sometimes save thousands of dollars.
Setting a Mechanism
In the end, I would say ‘try it once as there’s nothing to lose’. Effective management is developed through learning derived by experimentation and improvisation. And this improvisation can save thousands of dollars each year by exposing you to the most innovative products and services. Who knows – exploring such avenues may trigger an urge in you too to develop a unique solution for your clients which may give you the competitive edge that your heart always itched for.
Written by Vaibhav Gupta – Pinstripe Recruitment Consultant – Adelaide