4

A caller was forwarded to me back in the corporate days who had been passed among various people over a period of time. Based on the information in his phone messages, he appeared to be interested in selling in a program that wasn’t a corporate priority then.

Having been asked to follow up with him, I called his cell phone and we talked for quite some time about what he was trying to accomplish. I let him know that for a variety of reasons, his program wasn’t going to be able to prioritized high enough to invest time in it currently.

Near the end of the call, he informed me that he was both a customer and a shareholder in the company. It probably shouldn’t have, but it was a surprise to me. I’d incorrectly classified him in my own mind as a “vendor” based on the information provided before calling him. My rush to judgment (which I suspect was shared by those who had been shuffling his calls around) caused me to not even consider that he might be in multiple important audiences for the company.

The lesson is to never presuppose who’s on the other end of the phone; they may be tremendously important to your business in ways that you have never imagined. For my part, I’ll make a concerted effort to get better about reconnecting with people that I might not have worked as diligently to reach before. Maybe we can all do better at it.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4 Responses to “You Never Know Who Is on the Other End of the Phone”

  1. AlexanderG says:

    Great point. I’m guilty of doing the same. Thatnks for the reminder. (And where did you find a phone in a perfect shade of orange?)

  2. Jacob Yount says:

    It can get to be a cliche, but the old saying, “You Just Never Know” rings true when reading this post.  Vendors fulfill the role of customers and many of our customers are vendors to others…it’s more of an integrated supply web instead of a supply chain and as you brought to the forefront Mike, there will be times, when we have the chance to impress or help the right folks.  

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  1. You Never Know Who Is on the Other End of the Phone | The Brainzooming Group | Strategy Consulting and Strategic Planning | Serve4impact: designing design driven operations | Scoop.it - November 6, 2011

    […] You Never Know Who Is on the Other End of the Phone | The Brainzooming Group | Strategy Consulting … phone messages, he appeared to be interested in selling in a program that wasn’t a corporate priority then. Source: brainzooming.com […]