Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Mr. Five Months

The 100% true story from a real small business owner in Tucson:

In May a few years ago, I decided to start cold calling local high-tech companies. I'd created a list of about 100 of them, and saved it as an Excel spreadsheet.

Around this time I met a guy from TREO, and he said that his outfit was interested in helping local businesses, especially small businesses like mine.

I'd heard that pickup line before, and I was a bit skeptical. But I went downtown to TREO and met with him. Nice office they had there. For the number of employees filling the space, it seemed rather big.

Anyway, I told the man about my list. He said that he'd been in Tucson for a long time and had all sorts of contacts at local companies. So, he asked me to e-mail him my list, and he'd give me names of people to call. Sounded good to me. Having a specific name to contact turns a cold call into a warm call.

I e-mailed the list to him. And, since I figured that it would take him a week or two to get a list of names together, I went ahead and cold-called the list. Whenever he got the names to me, I'd just make a new set of calls to my list.

May turned into June, June turned into July, July into August, and no word from this guy. It didn't really matter, as I was off on a cold-calling tear, and there were plenty of numbers to call.

Mr. Five Months finally got back to me in October with the news that TREO policy forbade him from furnishing me with any names. My response was along the lines of "You mean that it took five months to get back to me and tell me that? You need to work on your responsiveness."

He e-mailed back with some mealy-mouthed rhetoric, and I deleted it many moons ago. It was so lame that it wasn't worth keeping.

Shortly after this exchange, I was at a meeting, and a TREO board member was speaking. During the question and answer time, I shared my story from start to finish. Her response: TREO needs more money.

The story points to more than one might initially think, and for every story that gets told, there are hundreds that are not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is so typical. Note how the jerk took her contact list.

I bet TREO took credit for those people as businesses contacted in their bogus reports, probably without even calling them.


9/01/2010 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Another Anon said...

Wish you could/would name names...

9/01/2010 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anon 3 said...

Probably Francie Merryman was the board member complaining about TREO's funding. Or Lisa Lovallo.

9/01/2010 10:23 PM  

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