The morning began early- I had a lot to get done. There was music and SFX to be chosen for one project, voice tracks to be recorded for another project, files to be rendered and uploaded, e-mails to answer, calls to make, etc. I knew my afternoon was full - I had an appointment that would likely take until 5pm- so I was wasting no time getting everything done. At 1pm I received an e-mail asking if I could do an ISDN session at 5pm- and I knew it was going to be a very tight squeeze. Unfortunately, the client couldn't push it back any further. So- I gathered my belongings to head to my appointment early, in the hopes it would be over early- getting me home well before my 5pm session.
As I juggled my purse, my cell phone, my car keys, and my bottle of water (I like to always stay hydrated!) I made my way to the door. That's when a nice looking man in a dark suit caught my eye through the window just as he rang my doorbell. I had been spotted- there was no ignoring this visitor. I knew in an instant he was there to sell me something- I could tell by the little notebook he held in his hand. Plus, it's a billion degrees in FL- why else would someone wear a suit?
I cracked the door slightly and before he could say anything I blurted out, "I'm really in a rush- I'm sorry!"
Undeterred, he went straight into his spiel, "Hi- I'm starting a new business in the neighborhood- and doing a survey- do you have time to answer some questions?"
"No, I really don't." I said.
"It will only take a couple of minutes."
"I'm sorry- I'm really running short on time right now, do you think you could come back another time?" I asked.
He grimaced for a moment before replying, "It's only five questions."
"No, I'm sorry I really have to leave." And I shut the door.
Driving to my appointment moments later, something struck me. I had given this man a metaphorical open door- and he failed to use it! I asked if he would like to come back at another time, and he chose not to accept my offer. Whatever his mission may have been when he first knocked on my door was doomed to fail because he wasn't willing to go a little out of his way to make it happen. However, he was more than happy to have me go out of my way! A sure-fire recipe for failure if you ask me. Had he done as I asked, not only would he have had my complete attention, he likely would have won me over by showing me- and my time- a little respect.
Whether cold calling, e-mailing, or writing letters- I always like to end with, "Thank you for your time." Time is valuable and we have to respect it. Especially when asking someone for something (in this case, business). The big lesson here, however, is to never miss an open door. If someone is willing to hear you out at a later time- by all means be available! Jump though whatever hoops necessary to make it happen- you will be glad you did.
To sum it up- I made it to my appointment a bit early (Ironically it was for a 'stress test'- pretty sure I failed!), and made it home with time to spare for my ISDN session. All in all a good day- and one more valuable lesson realized!
Kara Edwards Voice Over