Don’t Let Someone Else Tell Your Story

Many years ago, I was involved in negotiations to sell a privately owned company to a publicly traded company for $6 million.  The negotiations had gone on for over a year and the final vote of the board of directors was scheduled.  The night before his final presentation at that meeting, the owner and CEO of our company got a phone call that his father had died.  The meeting went on without him and someone else made his final presentation for him.  In the confusion, the wrong materials were presented at the meeting and the deal fell apart. 

I learned from this was that when you are making a sale — whether it be a $6 million sale or a $60 sale — no one can tell your story better than you.  This is a lesson I have never forgotten and keep in mind when I am making sales calls.  I believe that I can tell my story with a good voice mail but it’s not unusual to find a business where the person I am trying to reach does not have voice mail and I am asked if I want to leave a message. 

My answer to the question “Can I take a message?” is to simply and politely say that it would probably be easier if I just call back.  I usually say, “Why don’t I just call her back in case I get back on the phone.  That way we don’t have to play phone tag” and then I ask when might be a good time to try back.  I tell the person taking the message who I am and who my company is but then explain that I would prefer to explain what we do and it would be much easier for me to tell that story than ask the receptionist to do it for me.

When I get the chance to talk to a decision maker, I am pretty good at sharing my passion for what we offer in a way that convinces them of the value of a virtual tour for their business.  The challenge is trying to share that passion in a little pink message slip to be interpreted and conveyed by someone else.  This is what I must do when I am asked to leave a message and my preference is not to take that risk.

There are many reasons I want to be the one telling our story.  I am passionate about our virtual tour business.  I am lucky to work with my husband who is also my best friend and I am very proud of his talent as a professional photographer.  We have an incredible portfolio and have worked with leaders in the industries we represent.  I have seen firsthand what having a virtual tour can do for a business.
Again, I find it helpful to tell the person on the phone who I am, what we do and why I am calling because the main job of a receptionist is to act as the gatekeeper and keep pesky salesmen like me from bothering decision makers.  By befriending the person answering the phone, I greatly increase my chances of getting through the next time I call.
Vision Quest Virtual Tours is located in Quincy, IL.  We provide virtual tours in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa as well as all over the country.  We specialize in healthcare, hospitality and education as well as residential and commercial real estate.  To learn more or to schedule a tour, visit our website at or give us a call at 404-863-9769.