Conversation I had today with someone’s secretary, let’s call her Annie*. Mind boggling but you decide. Me : Hi, I’d like to speak with Janet* please.
: Janet is not in right now.
: oh, ok. This is Rowena calling from HR ….
: Hi, can you call me back? I have a call coming in on another line.
: Um…I haven’t even finished what I was saying. Why don’t you finish the call you’re on instead of rushing to pick up another call?
: It’s my boss, I have to go.
So I guess :
1. Janet will most probably be pleased to know that Annie has put the phone down on an external call coming in without knowing who it is really or what the call was about, let alone what opportunities have been missed.
2. Annie is probably one of those people who I have encountered who choose to pick up all the calls that come in, only to ‘not manage’ these calls. And this is something I keep seeing all the time. What is the point really, in picking up the phone to tell someone you cannot take the call as you are in a meeting? Or that you are busy? Why not let the phone ring and go to voice – you could pick up the message later. Why take the call to push someone away?
3. Is the overiding assumption that every call into an organisation a sales call? How does one come to that assumption? How does one figure out if that assumption is correct? What kind of first impression does this make to anyone on the other side?
4. Is Annie so scared of her boss that she has to put the phone down on a call in?