By Tibor Shanto – firstname.lastname@example.org
As some of you may know, last week was have fun with voice mail on LinkedIn, with people taking different reactions to a voice mail technique that gets me a 50% rate of returned calls. In response to comments on an LinkedIn group, I posted on Friday about a specific dynamic that makes the technique in question successful. The piece resulted in more comments, so I wanted to take another view that may help some understand what’s behind it, why it resembles something almost every critic of the technique already does without feel they are unethical, misleading and so on.
This storm reminded me of a similar reaction three or four years ago when I suggested that sales people should use text (SMS) as a prospecting tool. People saw the suggestion as being unethical, underhanded, and just not professional. This despite the fact that an executive, a prospect, was the one that suggested that I would have connected with him a lot sooner had I not limited my use of his cell number on his card to strictly voice. But the overwhelming reaction at the time was that text to prospect was déclassé. But now four years later it is a mainstream techniques acceptable to all. Maybe time does not heal all wounds, but it does seem to wipe memory.
So I would suggest that when something seems uncomfortable you have two choices, try it and see, or pass an uninformed opinion. So lets take a different look at the technique in question and see if we can get you to try.
The technique, (summarized here), is very much like a mini resume. Much the same way we use resumes to create the opportunity to entice a potential employer to call us back and invite us in for an interview that we hope will lead to employment and a mutually profitable relationship.
Let’s look at resumes, they exist to communicate in a concise way you capabilities vis-à-vis the position, anchored in our history in similar positions with similar company. If you have been an A/R manager with one distributor, and a position opens up with another company you want to work for, you submit your resume featuring your experience with their competitor. The potential employer, like most, will begin to begin to sort the hundreds of resumes they receive based on who they think will fit their requirement; and one of the most common means of selecting those that make the consideration list is their experience with similar companies.
As we all have been told, it is important to keep resumes short, using highlights, and then expanding once in the interview. Depending on the source, some will tell you to keep it to two pages or less, a small amount of space to include past experience as well as other attributes we may have that would make us a suitable candidate.
It is also often a topic of discussion, that many resumes are the stuff of fiction and or embellishment. Very different than the technique in question, which repeatedly emphasizes the need for honesty and ethical use of past experience.
It seems interesting that in the age where people are actively participating in micro-blogging, they would find problems with micro messaging when it comes to engaging with prospect. I suspect the reality is one that is all too familiar in sales; sales people complaining that clients hang onto the Status Quo irrationally, while they do that very same things when it comes to embracing new or alternate – non-middle of the road – sales approaches. Almost ironic as the group professes to be the home of fresh sales ideas.
Oddly, one very vocal opponent, using words like misleading, deceiving, and so on, has held IT sales related positions with four or more different companies in the last 10 years, I bet if we looked at his resume, we would see all the previous companies he worked for, his related capabilities, and his accomplishments prominently listed in his resume. Where is the difference? Why is it OK to dangle past companies in one form, but not another? We know the answer.
What’s in Your Pipeline?