Fear of the Phone

Aug 26, 2011
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

I was talking to a dear friend this morning who told me all the rain we had recently washed out the rear of her house and caused substantial damage to her foundation and the low-lying rooms on that level of her home.

“Insurance doesn’t cover this. I need a second job,” she said, matter-of factly and in the common-sense tone I have always known her to adopt.

We went on to talk about several other things — how the “guys” in her male-dominated industry don’t appreciate or are willing to pay her fairly for the tremendous extra volume of business she has drummed up for the sales team in the past three years she has been with the company she works for now.

Granted, that’s her side of things and there may be another.

However, at the end of our conversation she happened to mention that she had developed a business relationship with someone who hates the telephone.

“How does that work for him?’ I asked, laughing.

“It works fine because I do the phone for him. He comes here five hours a week and he sits next to me while I call his list of prospects and pitch his product.”

“When I get someone interested I say, ‘Let me see if Jack is available and I’ll patch him through.’”

“It works beautifully.”

“I bet,” I said. “What does he pay you to do that?”

“He pays me $50 for the five hours plus $1,000 for any sale he makes. “

I replied, “You mean to tell me he comes into your home, sits next to you on the telephone and listens (and learns) while you do business development for him?”

“He hates the phone,” she answered in reply.

I started to tell her that was way not enough money but then I stopped.

My brother told me an article he’d read that said Americans are willing to work for 25 cents an hour, so who am I to judge?

It works for her and it works for him so I left well enough alone.

“There’s your second job,” I volunteered instead.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Most people hate the phone. If you’re willing to not only do that for them but also demonstrate your skill while you’re doing it so they can learn from you — there are plenty of people who’d hire you to do that!” I almost shouted.

If you’d like her to do that for you, too — and learn from her while she does it — contact me and I’ll put you in touch with her.

She lives here in Cincinnati so you’d have to be close (if you want to learn from her at her knee) or be willing to come here.

OR you may see the value (like I do) and be happy for her to do your biz dev for you from afar.

I guarantee you’ll be pleased with her (your) results.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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