As I work through my contacts list I come across people with whom I have had minimal contact in the past. I telephone them, they don’t pick up the phone (for whatever reason), and I log the date/time with “got vm” to indicate that I tried to contact them without success. I roll the record forward a few days.
After half a dozen successive failures at different times of the different days I begin to wonder if this is a worthwhile contact.
Perhaps they don’t want to talk with me, and ignoring the phone is the easiest way to deal with it; perhaps they spend all day in meetings elsewhere; perhaps they only respond to voice-mail messages.
I don’t know.
But I do know that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life dealing with a client, even a paying client, that I can’t reach by phone.
The time has come to drop them – or to escalate the campaign in one last burst of stellar energy.
INVITATIONS TO LUNCH is that burst of energy.
I had five records tagged for invitations over the past two weeks.
I have mailed off (Friday 5 p.m. collection) the five invitations; I used my custom postage stamps. The invitations will land on desks Monday morning.
Sadly I won’t be here Monday, so in an ironic twist THEY will have to leave a voice mail or send an email if they choose to respond.
I penciled each name into my diary on a separate day a month away; this minimizes the chance that they will already be booked for a lunch-time meeting that day.
If they respond positively, and I hope that they will, we will have something to talk about, for sure.
If they don’t, I won’t feel badly about dropping that specific person (but not the company) from my contact list). I will erase that penciled meeting from that date, freeing it up for people who I can reach by phone.
One other thing: I printed out a sheet bearing the five names and will monitor the impact of this trial campaign closely.