woman-on-phoneRingggg.   Ringggg.  Not my favorite sound in the evening when I am in the midst of all kinds of fun mothering activities – think homework, cleaning, moderating disagreements.  And yet last week I picked up the phone…”Hi Nancy, its Virginia.”  Oh, okay, I know who this is…and after some pleasantries…”I’m calling to tell you about my work because you asked the other night.”   Hmmm.  “I’m so excited and want you to meet the guys I work with.”  And so the discussion went.  Me justifying I didn’t need to meet these guys as I don’t need their services and Virginia giving me more and more options on time and location because I should meet them.

I hung up feeling like I had dodged the bullet for now…and went on with my evening.  Forty-five minutes later … Ringggg.  Ringggg.  Now who?  “Hi, its Virginia again. I’m calling to get some advice.  Do you have a few minutes?”  Of course…  “I don’t think the conversation went the best before and I want your advice on what I can do to have different outcomes in making my calls.”

What???  Calling a sales expert who trains people to ask for advice?  Now THAT got me involved!  We then had over an hour discussion on the importance of making calls, putting the focus on the caller instead of our own excitement about what we do, asking good questions and being a great listener.  And that all of these being critical skills are ones she had developed in her years in the medical profession!

Wow, I am so proud of Virginia’s professionalism.  She did what so many sales professionals will not do…she:

  • Evaluated her call objectively
  • – Noted that it could have gone much better
  • – Asked for coaching to do better next time

She realized that these first calls  in her new role- to the people she already knew – could make or break her future.  And she didn’t want to burn any of these relationships even if she was excited about her new role in sales. She didn’t get defensive. She listened to the advice, tried to get down to specific actions she could take and then committed to those actions.  What a great demonstration of strong emotional intelligence!

Rookie or not, her willingness to call me back sets her apart from a lot of seasoned sales professionals.  I think she has a great career ahead of her with that type of mindset.

A challenge to all sales professionals…what are you currently doing that isn’t producing the results you want/need? Who can you call for advice or coaching so you can do better?  Now, pick up the phone and call them…you’ll be glad you did.