Sales Calls – Eating Valuable Hours

A key issue with working in a small company with just a few staff is that a list of ‘To Do’s’ grows longer and longer. I am finding that the list of external (non-client) prioroties is growing – I am talking about other areas of the office and studio including server, software, parking issues etc.

I arrived in my studio at approx 7am this morning wanting to be their first to sit down and work out the advertising plan for a project. I managed to get a good couple of hours in before Ed and Alan showed up. At around 9′ish I had a 10 minutes spare, I thought I would grab a coffee and go for a short walk. NOPE… the phone started ringing with sales calls, I had someone from the Register trying to sell me advertising space, it took 10 minutes to make it clear that they are better off approacing us via email, as soon as that call ended another came from some guy who was putting on a conference in London, of course he never got to the damn point, he made the whole thing sound like he was doing me a favour, this took 38 minutes, he said that at this conference I would be expected to give a presentation then give an award and Bill Gates would be there and some other big wigs from Apple etc. I then stated in a sarcastic tone-

This sounds too good to be true.Your telling me that I would also be able to sit at Bill Gates’ dinner table and be introduced and talk with him. and  I would be able to pitch for funding for one of our projects.

He then went on to tell me how my company was industry leaders in the mobile web development and SEO market and blah blah – I questioned him as I became curious as to find out what he did actually know about our services, it turned out to be nothing, he just read a bit of ad copy on our site and pitched me. He went through this whole motion of getting his pitch across appealing to my ego and appealing to us as a small business.  He then told me it would cost £2500 to be at this dinner presentation. I told him I don’t pay to talk to someone I would rather do it on my own merit. He was not dissuaded; I was forced to hang-up on him. 20 minutes after that call I had another one this time from someone trying to sell me used software another 10 minutes. All in all nearly an hour of wasted time, then sifting through tons of spam emails and sales pitch emails, then sifting and sorting through all the useless link request and having to sit and delete them, double check them, this takes time. I wonder how much valuable time is spent like this and has anyone done a census on how much money is lost each day because of spam mails and cold-calls? All in all I lost about two hours the entire day – which could have been spent doing more important things.