Here’s a true story that took place last week.

I received a phone call last week from UPS telling me that they had an international shipment for me from Canada, but in order to deliver it properly and get it through Customs (we’re based in Buffalo, NY) they needed our Federal ID Number.

We were not expecting a shipment of any kind from Canada so before I even considered giving out that information freely I asked her what the shipment was.

“It’s a saddle for a horse.”

The bad jokes aside, I thought that was pretty funny and we shared a laugh when I told her that there must be some mistake because we’re a National Sales Executive Search Firm and although we might recruit the Top Horses from various fields in Sales this was an obvious mistake.

As it turns out, the shipment was intended for Paramount Saddlery a company just over the border from us. An honest mistake. Or was it?

At that point it was just a funny story, but I’m always looking for an angle and lesson to be learned that I can apply to what we do and that I can share and that’s when it hit me.

Later that day I noticed from my Caller ID that UPS had called 4 times that morning before getting through to me. Surely, the person calling got my voicemail greeting that clearly states who I am and the company I represent.

That being said, why is it that many of us in Sales (and Recruiting) seem to go into pure “robot-mode” sometimes when conducting cold calls?

I mean, after the first call I’d like to think that I would’ve put two and two together and went back to verify the company name on the shipment (to see if it matched the name of the company I just called), the contact info (to see if it matched where it needed to), and anything else that might have given me pause.

The lesson and piece of advice as it applies to us in Sales and Recruiting is simply that with all the information available to us these days - - especially through the Internet - - there’s no excuse for not having some relevant info at our fingertips before we pick up the phone and dial.

Granted, this case was slightly different, but if we’re talking cold calling then we must due some preliminary research prior to picking up the phone.

It sounds so simple and we’ve probably all heard it a million times before. If that’s the case then why do we sill continue to fall into this trap (that we set for ourselves) from time to time?

Saddle up before that cold call!

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