17 May 2013

Do you have a moment? Actually, I mean that literally.

Posted by paulandrew

The past few days I’ve been calling a number of vendors to organize an event. Keep in mind that these are small businesses that I’m calling, in order to bring real customers to their door, to spend real money. I’m not fooling around.

And what I’m finding is surprising me a lot. Just about everyone, from the city permit person, to the restaurant person, to the entertainment person, seems to be IN A REALLY BIG HURRY. I get this sense that they just can’t wait to get off of the phone with me.

I’m not asking for a half hour conversation about the weather.

I’m not asking for them to tell me how to put on my event.

What I’m asking is a moment of their time, when they will be fully present to me and my questions. And they will allow a moment of pause before rushing to end the conversation and hang up the phone.

I understand that times are tough. But do you really think that by rushing off of the phone with a potential customer who is highly likely to buy, that you’ll be doing your business any favors? Really?

By contrast, the people who I’ve called, who have been present, been friendly, and invested that extra *moment* on the phone, have left a good impression with me. It’s fascinating, too, how in that extra moment valuable new information gets revealed, both ways. The small but important investment in a moment of connected presence has a high return on investment, in my experience.

A friend of mine reminded me the other day that it’s about the system, and not the individuals. And so I have to remember that each of the individuals that I felt was rushing me off the phone is part of a larger system, a society, that seems to highly value rushing.

I’m really starting to hate rushing. And to really value the people who offer me the delicious gift of just a moment–maybe 1 second–of pause, of silence, of patience, to see what else needs to be said.

So this experience is a reminder to me, that I can also offer that to all around me, that it’s a way that I can shape the society of which I am a part.

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