The Best Administrative Professionals
Posted: April 17, 2009
After more than 20 years of owning The Bottom Line, it is always refreshing when I am able to hear a familiar voice on the other line as I attempt to research a business story or sell a subscription and/or advertising in my weekly newsletter. I have had the pleasure to work with key individuals who oversee their office operation and are able to connect me in a timely fashion with those who make decisions.
In sales, I am of the belief that it is not who you know, but rather who knows you. In other words, it is best to gain credibility and be sure that the company receptionist knows who I am so that he/she feels comfortable when connecting me to the decision-maker. That is why I always announce who I am and what I do when making a sales or research call.
I realize that most office managers and/or administrative professionals are responsible for doing more than just answering the telephone or typing memos. In fact, most successful receptionists are usually those who can multi-task and make the call as to whether their boss needs to be contacted by me at all. Many times, as a salesperson, I can tell when the person I need to speak with is "suddenly" on the other line, in a meeting or out of the office. Those receptionists or office managers are priceless to their employers.
But the best administrative professionals are those who understand why I am calling and, even though I may not be able to connect with the business owner at the time I make the phone call, are able to offer me the necessary information so I can ultimately hook up with the individual I need to speak with to fulfill my intended goal.
This coming week (April 20-24) is Administrative Professionals Week. Please take time to thank the key personnel in the office who make everyone else's job easier. The really talented office professionals who answer the phone and make it difficult for salespeople to speak with decision-makers should be applauded - even if it means that I may have to make a few more phone calls to make the sale or obtain the information I need for a story in my business publication.
NCAA BASKETBALL POOL UPDATE: With the exception of one year, a female has placed in the top five in my annual NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Pool. In my 25th year of organizing the March ritual, I had 120 individuals attempt to be rewarded. As in most years, I was not close to being near the top of the leaderboard after the first weekend of the tournament. But I found solace in the fact that my friend's nine-year-old daughter took first place and another couple's eight-year-old girl came in third. So much for thinking I know much about mens' college basketball.