This week I received a phone call from a vendor that wanted to set up a sales demo with me. Now I don’t like to schedule things, or even get approached initially, over the phone by vendors. I much prefer an email first, so I can digest the info on my schedule, at my pace, without being interrupted. So I asked this gal to please send me the info, and then I would get back to her about scheduling something if I was interested. I told her that I only scheduled meetings like this through email.
So imagine my surprise when I received a phone call this morning, interrupting something I was doing, from the same vendor, asking when we could schedule the meeting. Now just to put this in perspective, I was in an all-day meeting when she called the first time. I’ve been working on deadlines since I got back, and have had several meetings. Since vendor meetings are not at the top of my priority list, I hadn’t gotten back to her yet. Yet it was flagged for my review in my inbox. I had told this vendor I preferred email. Wouldn’t it have made sense for her to follow up with an email?
I admit, it annoyed me. I told her to remove my phone number from her contact list, and that I wasn’t interested. And it’s a shame. Because I might have been interested if she had respected the communication boundaries I had asked for. But I’m not interested in working with someone that doesn’t listen to me.
And it got me to thinking about the ways direct sellers communicate. Do you ask people how they prefer to be contacted? Because not everyone wants to be interrupted with a sales call. Sometimes people prefer to be contacted via email, or through Facebook. You could be alienating customers by not respecting their communication styles. It’s not that you should never call someone. Obviously that’s important sometimes. But when someone tells you that they’d prefer to hear from you via email, for example, make sure that that’s the primary method that you use.
We’ve discussed the differences in communication styles of various generations. (And if you haven’t read that post, you should.) By understanding these differences, and respecting them, you will achieve better results.
Do you know what kind of communication your customers prefer? How do you find out? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
image credit: meddygarnet