Brandt Krueger

TECHNICAL PRODUCER, EDUCATOR, SPEAKER, AND CONSULTANT FOR THE MEETING AND EVENTS INDUSTRY. GEEK DAD, HUSBAND

Consultant, Meeting and Event Technology
Owner, Event Technology Consulting
Instructor, Event Leadership Institute
Cohost, #EventIcons - Where the icons of the event industry meet

Filtering by Category: Humor

On Why Cold Calling Frequently Doesn't Work

Many discussions have centered around whether cold calling does or does not work.  I have gone on record that no matter what the source (I've been cold called by giants such as Best Buy and HP), it always feels a little, I don't know, desperate. That being said, I always try to be polite and open minded.  You never know when opportunity may come calling, and sometimes, just sometimes, it may be calling with the deal of the century.  I try to be honest about whether or not I may have a use for whatever product or service is being flogged, and this generally helps to prevent wasting the salesperson's (or my) time.

Recently I was cold called regarding outsourcing our IT department.  We're a lean company, and for many years I was our IT department.  When I could no longer handle it myself, we weighed the options of hiring a full time person or outsourcing.  We decided to outsource, and while it hasn't always been the smoothest ride, all in all it's saved more headaches than it's caused.

Maybe a month before I was called, we'd just re-upped with our current provider for another two years.  I politely explained this to the caller, but said that if he sent me some information on his company I'd be happy to check them out and keep them in mind when it came time to reconsider in about a year and a half.  Emails were exchanged and the conversation ended.

A couple of weeks later, I received the following email:

HI Brandt,
I spoke with you a couple weeks ago and sent an email about my company. I would very much like to come and show you how we are superior to (*current provider*) in a variety of ways. Please allow me 15 minutes to demonstrate what we do and how we can reduce your costs.
My job is to simply set appointments and based on our conversation I know that we are an ideal fit for your company. A couple years is too long to wait before comparing managed IT service. I promise you that are service is priced below all competitors, we offer unique perks that others do not.
Let me know when you would be available for me to stop in.

There were no attachments.

So, to be clear, I explained that I would not be evaluating new companies for at least a year and half and requested information about his company.  Instead, I received NO information and an immediate meeting request- the exact opposite.  I'm afraid my response was less than polite this time.

And so I respectfully submit the following thoughts and questions:

  • The question isn't whether or not cold calling works, but rather whether or not your "post call" strategy works.
  • What do you do when you hang up the phone?
  • Why did it take this person over a week to follow up?
  • Why did they ignore my timeline and push their own?
  • Why didn't they send the information the second they got off the phone with a polite "Thanks for your time" email, and then put a note in their calendar to call a year and a half from now?
  • Was I, as the potential customer, wrong to be annoyed or should I adopt a more "He's just doing his job" mentality?

As always, comments and criticisms are welcome below.

-Brandt

********* Update ************

Moments after posting this, the salesperson in question responded to my email.  For context, here was my (admittedly less than polite) initial response:

Hi (*Blah Blah Blah*),

While I understand you are just doing your job ("to simply set appointments"), I have a very low tolerance for companies and people that represent those companies that do not listen to their (in my case, potential) customers.
I explained to you why we won't be needing your services in the near future (we're under contract for the next two years) and asked you to just send me some information on your company.
Instead, you've sent me no information and requested an immediate meeting, which is the exact opposite of what I asked.
Had you done what I asked, I would have looked at your information, filed it, and (if warranted) seriously considered your company when we do start looking in a year and a half or so.
Instead, you've just annoyed a potential customer.  Your company may or may not come up when we get to that point. Please do not contact me in the meantime.
Thanks,
Brandt

Despite my "Please do not contact me in the meantime", here was his response:

Brandt,

I would guess the information that you would like is pricing, right. I do not have that, nor would I send an email with it. That would not benefit me or my company. It would only benefit your firm. Please understand that and the fact that I am only paid to set appointments so that we can provide pricing(far less expensive than your current vendor). I doubt that I have really annoyed you. See attachment and call us when you want an exceptional managed IT service.

Best, (*Blah Blah Blah*)

So many things wrong with that response...

Actually, no, Mr. Blah Blah Blah.  I was referring to maybe a fact sheet about what services your company provides, or perhaps a case study, or something.  The "attachment" mentioned was a PDF of some of the awards the company had won.

And if you hadn't "really" annoyed me before, you have now.

Top Five Watches the GeekDad in Chief Should be Wearing

by Brandt Krueger, Geek Dad since 2007 Obama w Superman_02Much has been made about the geektitude of our current president, from his use (and correct pronunciation) of Superman lore, to his insistance on keeping his BlackBerry, to his ability to properly give the vulcan hand sign of "Live Long and Prosper."  So when I found out that there was a website where a mere mortal like myself could buy the President's watch, I had to check it out.  Needless to say, I was a looking for something a little more geeky than what I found.jorg-gray-watch-debut-2

I don't know, I guess I figured the GeekDad in Chief would have something like an original Casio CA53W.

ca53w

You know, for tackling those pesky budgets and figuring out how to pay for universal healthcare without raising taxes.

Don't get me wrong, the watch he wears is a nice watch and all.  It has all your standard geeky dials and dates, but I can't help but feel like he might be neglecting an important presidential accessory.  And so I present to you,

The Top Five Watches the GeekDad in Chief should be Wearing:

5.  LED Binary Watch

Basic, and self explanatory to even low-level geeks.  Baffling to the non-geek.

4. Casio Telememo 150

Ok, so the calculator watch is still an option.  I was surprised to see that Casio was still pumping out these babies, updated for the new century.  And what does almost 30 years of calculator watch get you over the CA35?  Semi-permanent EEPROM memory of 150 "pages" consisting of 8 letters and twelve numerals per page.  Perfect for the POTUS to keep track of his schedule, and to be alerted he's got an important "MEETIN" to go to (see photo).

3.  Missile Command

When I ran across the title for this watch in my searches, I was really hoping it would look like this: Missile Command Watch

No such luck.  Apparently Atari didn't cash in on the Missile Command franchise in the watch department.  You gotta admit, though, that would have been pretty cool.  Still would.  Somebody get on that.

Anyway, even though it looks like this...

Chase Durer Missile Command Watch...this watch is still worth an honorable mention, and the President is, after all, the ultimate Missile Commander for our country.

2.  25th Aniversary G-Shock

25th Aniversary G-Shock

The G-Shock is the gold standard for geek watches.  Nobody's sure why, as most of its functionality is based on athletic pursuits (something geeks are not generally known for).  Nonetheless, the watch became so popular for so long, Casio released the 25th Anniversary edition in white and gold, perfect for those fancy White House dinner parties with foreign dignitaries.

1.  Nixie Tube Watch

Nixie Tube WatchA favorite of "The Woz", the Nixie Tube Watch is the perfect mix of geek chic and old school tech.  Nothing says "I represent change!" better than a ridiculously over-sized vacuum tube watch.   Press the button and the two digits flash the hours, minutes and seconds.  I love the fact that the inventor has a detailed history on his site of how he developed it from breadboard to production.  Click on the photo to check it out!

So snap to it, Mr. Prez, and embrace your inner geek!  I want to see one of those watches on your wrist before the August recess...

Don't Be too Proud of this Technological Terror You've Constructed

Just an observation, and a warning, to the Geek Dads of the world: Despite the good intentions of this site, there's something you need to know. No amount of technology, no amount of circuits, No amount of kilohertz, megahertz, or gigahertz, No amount of kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes, No amount of GPUs, CPUs, DSPs, or PSPs, No amount of coding, transcoding, hypercoding, speedcoding, softcoding, noncoding, geocoding, geotagging, metatagging, mobile tagging, RFID tagging, or frag tagging, No amount of Macs, spacks, tracks, brute force attacks, or server racks, No amount of black boxes, set top boxes, grooveboxes, sandboxes, gameboxes, Game Boys, fanboys, bitboys, bitTorrents, YouTorrents, YouTubes, or intertubes...

...can make something magically appear faster than your cupped hands to catch your daughter's vomit before it gets all over her, her PJs, and her bed. Get yer hands out there and suck it up.

Technology FAIL

Family Project: Bend Time

What happens when you load three kids and three atomic clocks into a minivan and take a trip to Mt. Rainier?

Duh-  You can go on vacation without Mom and come back 22 nanoseconds older than she is (and be able to prove it).  That's just what Tom Van Baak did in 2005.  Check out the link for the full story:

http://www.leapsecond.com/great2005/tour/

Nice one, Tom!