It’s been over 10 years, but this experience was so eerily familiar it warrants revisiting>>>
I arrived very early (90 minutes) for a lunch meeting at a wonderful nearby oceanfront restaurant named Ventana Grill. The objective was to find a great parking spot – WITH a view - then spend time following up what I firmly believed was a compelling and persuasive email sent to clients and prospects earlier that week.
You can likely imagine where I’m going! The results?
- 75 phone calls
- 72 voice messages left (who can resist!)
- One CEO actually picked up, yet immediately redirected me to a colleague
- 18 mobile or work numbers that did NOT have an outbound message identifying who you were leaving a message for (this is inconceivable and borders on disrespectful!)
- 2 actual conversations (an embarrassing 2.7%)
- Regrettably (for all) ZERO callbacks!
I tried to find my previous effort, yet it was before I started saving old columns, so it was not to be found. What I’m certain of is that my connection rate is d-o-w-n considerably.
So, what’s changed? Why is connecting with leadership (in any industry) such a challenge? See if any of these strike a chord?
- In most organizations, there are far fewer people doing more
- No surprise, there’s more competition, too
- For sure there are more industry partners vying for attention
- Hiring and retention are bigger challenges than ever
- Something called “social media” has become a bit of a distraction?
- Of course, COVID-19 disruption is entering year #3.
- Perhaps lastly, corporate “oversite” has made lives interesting!
By far the easiest course of action during times of profound uncertainty is to do the Same As We’ve Always Done. Let’s just add one more special section, cut an FTE (or three) to make our budget “for now” and by no means should we talk to industry partners who might very well have a worthwhile solution!
I share these observations to make one simple point:
It Will Take All of US!
Newspaper operators – from Senior Management and ownership to press operators and sales reps – are inextricably linked to myriad supportive and vitally interested partners. We’ve got a MUCHBETTERCHANCE at finding, tweaking and growing new and innovative approaches and solutions TOGETHER, plain and simple. Let’s do just that!
Let me wrap up this reminiscence – and frightfully poor sales effort - by sharing a much more eloquent quote:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
- George Bernard Shaw
If you’re acting “unreasonably”, I most definitely want to hear all about it!