I swear, sometimes I ignore vendor calls because when I am nice and say “no thank you,” they hear “keep calling and try to get her to say yes.”
I posted that on Facebook the other day and the Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time LMA players (Mike O’Horo and Nancy Myrland) chimed in on what my call must have sounded like. We had fun, going back and forth, but, sadly, they weren’t too far off.
“Hey, wanna buy some apples??”
VENDOR: ”I’ve got apples. Wanna buy some? These are really good apples. And apples are good for you, too. So, wanna buy some? Did I mention that they’re good? I mean, really good?”
ME: “Um. No thanks, I really don’t need any apples right now.“
“You mean you don’t like apples? Well you NEED to find a way to like apples because I’m selling these apples, and the firm down the street likes these same apples….”
“That’s okay. I’m sure your apples are great, but I’m really not shopping for apples right now.”
“Come on. They like apples at Latham. In fact, I can do a whole presentation on how they like apples at Latham, and at Allen Matkins. They like our apples there, so why don’t I come by next week and show you why you need to buy our apples too? In fact, why don’t you get a group of your senior partners together and I can explain to them why your firm needs our apples?”
“I’m sure your pears are nice, but pears are NOT apples? Did I mention that we have no price increase this year, ya’ know….only $3K an apple, and I’ll throw in a free apple!”
“I really do have to go. But thanks for calling.“
“Wait, wait. Here’s what I can do for you….but I have to check with my boss first. I’ll give you 2 bushels of cherries, also, if you buy a dozen apples? The only thing is that, well, you’ll have to sign a confidentiality agreement if we agree to this so no one else knows the deal I’m giving you … ‘k?”
“No, really. I have to go.”
“Can I send you an email with our materials?”
Great. I’ll follow up with you next week.
At this point I’ll say anything to get off the phone. Fine. Send me your stuff. I’ll delete it. My office phone rings, and I see your number, I’ll ignore your calls. But, you’re really not doing yourself any favors by being so pushy. I might not need your product today, but one day I might. Maybe here. Maybe at another firm. I might have a colleague looking for what you’re selling. Don’t relegate yourself to being screened out of my professional circle of influence. Don’t be a pushy apple salesman.