Cold Calls and Other Distractions

One thing that happens a whole bunch, here at the joint, is getting “Cold Calls” from various companies looking to “increase my customer contacts, reduce my Merchant Account Costs (Credit card charges I pay every time someone uses a credit/debit card) and block random Nigerian Princes from unloading raw, uncut diamonds on me if I will just give them $20 to cover postage…”

Usually Kashier Kimberly screens those calls (Bless her heart) but, this last Friday, one slipped past her…

“Hi, Troy? This is Sabrina from “Shemp” (yeah, I could say it was just about any of the BIG INTERNET companies, but since I’m paying for MY website and you’ll notice I don’t allow advertising on here, they ain’t gettin’ nuthin’ for free), how are you?”

I quickly shot a glare at Kashier Kimberly for not sparing me a demand for money I ain’t got for advertising I can’t afford, I also noticed she was “taste testing” the Gooey Cake !! Cocking my head to one side as I glared, Kashier Kimberly muttered something about “Quality Control” being in her job description…then she started counting sporks.

“I’m fine, Sabrina. How are you? How’s the family? How’s your Mom? OK, Good talking to you, I have to make Gooey Cake now, seems it shrinks away to invisibility on the front counter if I don’t keep an eye on it…”

This was followed by a snort and the sound of Kashier Kimberly’s head bumping the underside of the counter where she had been counting sporks and hiding as she polished off her bounty of absconded Gooey Cake. She startles easily and HATES getting caught, but Karma was on my side and victory was mine!!! I think a small thump on the back of the head was a small price to pay for her Gooey Cake larceny…

“Well, Troy, SHEMP and I appreciate that your time is valuable, so I will just let you know that being the one of the most recognized names in…”

Slowly I turned, step by step, I found my way to a table and chair and plopped my butt down. I really wasn’t that busy and Sabrina sounded nice enough. I figured if I made more Gooey Cake, it would just disappear into one of the other of my 3 employee’s pie holes anyway, so why not see what she had to say.

“… we would like to schedule…”

I get these calls ALL the time. I have found that, honestly, I could answer the phone, put it down for 10 minutes and come back and they would be finished with their script by then, so I could then politely say “No” and get on with my life.

Not so with Sabrina. Sabrina took me clean off my hinges by actually engaging in polite 2-way conversation.

I’ll give her this, she’s a sneaky one. I hate being ambushed, but this one was carefully crafted and expertly deployed: she knew my business, has a background in restaurant operations (her parents owned one), had my web page up on her computer and commented on the menu items…

OK, Round One to Sabrina. She maneuvered me into actually getting to know her just a bit and kept me on the phone for 50 minutes until I caved in and said I would agree to listen to her web-based sales presentation (pitch). In exchange, she is coming to Reno to try the joint’s offerings. And that is what sealed me into giving her a shot at getting money out of my empty pockets.

The thing is, I am a firm believer in the theory that you can not promote a product you haven’t tried yourself. Whether it’s an Accountant, a Plumber or a bar of soap – you need to try it before you start pushing it on other people. The idea that she does do business here is Rhennoe, on occasion, and promised to come try our BBQ when she was next in town, appealed to me.

Trust me, I have fed quite a few disc jockeys as we beat each other up over ad rates and whatnot. But honestly, I won’t ask anyone to push our products until they’ve tried them. It doesn’t make sense to push a bad product. Having worked with, literally, HUNDREDS of used car sales people…we don’t play that game. If we make good food, it will show when you talk about us.

Sabrina, I hope you do come try our food. I think we might surprise you…and that will make you want us to succeed…so you can get more ad revenue from us. That way we all win.

I’ll keep everyone posted as this goes forward… Did I mention that I hate getting ambushed? 🙂