Thursday, August 28, 2008

Doing business

I get a lot of phone calls from people wanting to sell 'us' things. Stuff. Services. I appreciate that people need to make a living and we may have a need, but I have some rules and some suggestions if you are calling to sell me stuff.

I work for a college and tuition dollars fund everything we do. I am very conscientious about how I spend those dollars. If you call me and don't have a toll free number to call back, I don't call you. I am not paying to return a long distance phone call. I realize that sounds cheap and it is.

Don't call me and assume that since you are an alum of the college that it automatically entitles you to immediate business, consideration or audience. We have 1000+ graduates a year, every year and that makes for a lot of interest in business at the college. We also have a number of service provides who are already working with us who ARE alum. You may have to get in line or actually prove that you are better than who we have now. You may have to 'work' for the business.

If we say that we do an RFP, please believe me. Continuing to call other colleagues, other offices, the President, Board of Trustees will only serve to irritate us. We have to answer the inquiries from professional colleagues wondering why we don't consider having an alum service us. We have great answers - we already have a great service provider who IS an alum or the alum's service was three times the cost or we did an RFP... It costs us TIME to field these inquiries and that is not in abundance in my area.

I have peak times where I am so busy that I can barely think. Tyranny of the urgent kind of chaos. Like now. Please don't leave messages like I need to hear back from you this week, or before my meeting at 4 Pm or before I leave on vacation. I would LOVE a vacation and with my workload, you are NOT a priority. Your limitations are not mine.

I have an unusual name. If you do not take the time to spell it correctly or try and spell it phonetically, I will know. I will also know that you are lazy and didn't bother to check our website for the correct spelling of my name and my title. I would anticipate that is how your service will be too.

And finally, if I agree to let you send me information, materials, etc, do NOT ask me for my email address and street address. It's on our website. I would have expected you to SCOUR the site before I ever got on the phone. You can confirm it but I am not doing your work.

Thank you. Back to scheduled immigration problems shortly.


Lady Geraldine said...

Sing it, sister!

Vendors are...interesting. We get them calling here, too. Not quite the same as your situation. We don't have alums trying to sell us things, and we're so far out of the way that only a hand full of vendors CAN offer us services.

Dealing with current vendors can even be a challenge. CocaCola seems to have very dense sales reps, and when they say "Have a Classic day!" at the end of the phone call, I want to hurl.

Like all else, I think your preaching the mantra of "DO YOUR RESEARCH" is important no matter what you're doing. If a vendor wants your business, they should do the research. The internet makes this very easy, and takes hardly any time at all.

I do like your rants, you should do more of them.

HR Maven said...

Thanks for you post! That Coke thing is hilarious. And weird.

More rants indeed. I have some pretty funny immigration issues to rant.

Looking for updates from you!

Anonymous said...

That is hi-lar-ious to me since I work for the other guy... Starts with a P ends with an I.

Glad to hear we are not on the HIT list!!