Avoid Voicemail Purgatory

Terri Sjodin is the catalyst for a huge turning point in my business. I don’t know Terri Sjodin, but her general session at the 2004 NSA Winter Conference in St. Louis captured our full attention. With insight, content, and humor she modeled how to present, and she told us how to sell.

Her advice was to make your daily quota of sales calls between 8am to 10am in the time zone you’re calling. Terri said you may have one additional window of opportunity up to 11am. But then you’re faced with a steep and quick descent into voicemail purgatory. Your targets are getting ready for lunch, then at lunch, then picking their teeth, then squeezing in some work, then thinking about happy hour, then getting to the happy hour.

As obvious as her advice seems, you’d be amazed how often I had been making those calls during everyone’s noon hour!

After Terri’s revelation I changed my work habits. My first call was to an old friend in one of my niche markets. He picked up the phone! We chatted. He mentioned he was conference vice chair to a very influential organization. I mentioned my keynote. He mentioned that he’d mention this to the chair. Fast forward two years. I keynoted at this event, which has led to many gigs at really prestigious venues. I’m still getting business spawned by that original call and additional work generated by other morning outbound phone time.

Thanks Terri. I hope to meet you at our next convention! Actually, I’m going to call you soon – between 8am and 10am in your time zone.

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