When The Wrong Number Is The Right One

There are opportunities all around us.

Selling opportunities can present themselves in the most unexpected ways. One of my clients found me by calling my number by accident. Learn how professionalism and an open mind can lead to new business.

8-Steps to Creating a Coaching Culture by Keith RosenI came into the office one morning and noticed the light on my telephone flashing. So, like any other day, I retrieved my messages from the day before to find one voice mail from a gentleman looking for a Michael N. Now, there’s no Michael N. working in my office, so I figured it was a wrong number.

Regardless, I wanted to honor the commitment I make to people who call me, which is to return their call within 24 hours, even if it means returning a call to someone letting them know there’s no Michael N. in my company.

So, I called and left a message.

Two days later, I was left another voice mail from the same person. This time, they sounded a bit frustrated, even irate. They said they left several messages for Mike N. (now it’s ‘Mike’) with no return call from him.

So, now I’m getting more curious about who this elusive mystery man is. I called back and nicely left another message, explaining the situation.

The gentleman called me back, this time sounding angrier than before. I was available to answer the phone.

I let him know there was no Michael N.

He started laughing, first realizing that he had obviously had the wrong number and then secondly, after reflecting on his behavior, laughed more, this time more of a nervous laugh you would hear if you were a bit ashamed of your behavior.

Supposedly, one of the 800 numbers I own belonged to another business years ago. That had to be one old business, since I’ve owned this number for over 15 years.

My innate curiously enticed me to ask him who he was, what he was looking for and who is this Michael N. person?

He told me his name was Alan, and he was a financial planner. Mike N. works for a marketing firm and supposedly offers a service that Alan was looking for. It seems, after several more questions, that Alan was struggling generating enough qualified prospects to help grow his business and was looking for a company to provide him with qualified leads.

I asked more questions, this time about what he’s done over the years to generate leads; what’s worked for him, what’ hasn’t and what he has not tried yet. I asked him to pitch me. He did as he mentioned he spends a few hours each day on the phone, attempting to generate business through cold calling.

It seems that Alan has relied heavily on using the phone to generate new business.

He finally stopped and asked, “So, what was your name again? What do you do?”

I then shared with him who I was and what I did. The next thing that happened; we were in a full coaching call, evaluating his business, and him.

Exactly one hour after my phone rang with the wrong number, Alan gave me his credit card number and hired me as his coach.

Those people who you consider a master of networking, selling or at generating referrals, consider one common denominator that makes them so great at what they do.

They have adopted a concept that I illustrated in the story I just shared. That is, they realize that selling is the art of creating possibility; possibilities and opportunities that didn’t exist before.

After all, when you network or ask for a referral, isn’t that what you are doing, creating something out of nothing? A new relationship, a new contact, a new prospect, a new business acquaintance, a new friend.

The greatest salespeople on the planet realize this and as such, do so consistently. What possibilities are you going to create today?

Photo Credit: PhotoAtelier