Ways of Not Approaching The Receptionists of Today
Getting to know the receptionist
Way back then . . .
She was babe, sweets, sugar, and hottie, oh God almighty. She knew better than to wear slacks, flats and figure-concealing sweaters. Her wardrobe of the boss’ choice was flirty skirts, fish net hose, high heels and tight blouses. And with that tempting red lipstick and eyeliner, “she” was the boss’ first line of defense against people like you, America’s “smooth and swinging salesmen.”
Skip ahead to present time . . .
She is “the” wall who separates you and a huge commission. Just one cold look, or glare from her means you might as well leave her area. Now. She doesn’t do any small talk, chit-chat, gum-snapping, eyelid fluttering, cooing like a young Marilyn Monroe. No sir.
The all-powerful receptionist
This is not the receptionist of today
Receptionists: Women of respect
She is known as the company rep, company receptionist, company client coordinator and other names of power. She doesn’t see the need to ask for respect, just her presence gets the respect she deserves. She is not intimated by men, bossy women and sexually-ignorant men who look on her as another trophy for the wall over his fireplace in his den.
Don’t expect her to schmooze, booze, or lose. At anything. She is oh so fine, totally-refined, resolved and evolved into one of the most-powerful females in the American workforce: She is the company receptionist.
She doesn’t make coffee. Run across town to give the boss’ wife an anniversary card from a forgetful boss. She is highly-skilled and trained in the art of keeping the boss from having to deal with people like you—the fast-talking, slow-thinking, male salesman who thinks with his “privates” and wallet, never considering that there are more-important people in the universe than him.
But she knows it. But never really squashes you like a rattlesnake in her path. She is a woman of power, but also grace, charm and tact. She can tell you a bold face lie to your face and you lap it up like a thirsty hunting dog—captivated by her eyelids, red lips and that halfway wink of the eye that you think is a hint that she might like you.
Don't be fooled by her smile--she is very powerful
Do not try and fool the receptionist into signing your sales contract
Male salespersons, wake up. It's 2014
Fool. You are such a gullible sap. She has taken your phone calls and lied to you every time. Why do you think she has kept her job for so long? She is trained to lie and not show it. If anything, she is a deterrent to people the boss says are a waste of his time. And he is right. You do tend to waste important people’s time with your old yarns about a farmer’s daughter and a hobo frolicking in an old barn.
Only the bosses from your male-ruled era still like you. You are their door to their past and how well they had it—patting their secretaries on the behind and sometimes taking one to lunch and then to a Blue Light Motel on interstate 75 that runs out of town. Deep down inside they are as filthy and operate with a lust for money and number of illicit affairs that gauge how much testosterone they still have.
So young “Sultans of sales,” “Princes of Perpetual Cold Calling,” here are . . .
We owe this person so much respect
Uh, oh! This receptionist is angry. Stay clear!
Typical salesperson who doesn't know about powerful receptionists
Sorry, chum. The receptionist will have to get her boss' approval
Buddy, you better learn to wait
This is the fake salesperson of yesteryear
If the receptionist is on the phone, sit down
Being pushy will not get you anywhere
One more time. This is not the receptionist of today
This hub was intended to
raise awareness about today's over-worked, under-appreciated receptionists.
And if you own your own company, have you ever considered how your company would be if you DID NOT have a receptionist to
- Screen your calls
- Make sure that you are not meeting with people who waste your time
- Make sure that important clients are always put right through to you
and other important duties?
It scares me to think of this situation and I do not own a company.
So to all of the receptionists in our great country, and to those receptionists who are members of HubPages, I salute you and thank you for doing the important work that you do each day.
“The Ways That You Do Not Approach The Receptionist of Today”:
You can forget about using offensive phrases like:
- Honey bunch
- Hot legs
- Sweet lips
- Little hips
(these will get you locked-up for sexual harassment).
And you need to forget about trying to:
- Seductively blink
- Smack your lips
- And Whistle if she stands up
(Yep. These too will get you reprimanded for sexual harassment).
If you are cold-calling in-person, I suggest that you relax, check a mirror if it’s handy to see if you are being yourself or a fake, take a long breath, exhale and slowly open the door (unless it’s an automatic door or revolving door) to the company you are calling on for a sale of whatever goods or services you might be hawking.
Please do not storm to her desk, chewing gum as if the gum you are chewing is the last stick of gum in the world, and just interrupt her by bellowing, “Is ‘Mr. Ledlow,’ in? I called him last week and you said he was on vacation in Ireland?” This will get your nowhere.
Clue: if the receptionist has her head down, she is busy or on her Blue Tooth. Just stand for a moment until you see that she is busy, then quietly sit down and wait until she asks if she can help you. This is called being polite and courteous.
Another clue: this is how you approach the receptionist:
You say, “Pardon me. Is ‘Mr. Ledlow in? I called him yesterday and he said to drop by today.” And say this in a mild, respectful tone keeping eye-contact with the receptionist.
Odds are, the result will be positive. But if your approach is anything less than this suggestion, you can expect:
- “Oh, he is still in Ireland. You may leave your name and number.”
- “He was in this morning, but his pedigree goat passed away.”
- “Sir, a sudden new project came to his attention and he will be busy for the next two weeks.”
- “And you are whom?”
So it pays to approach the receptionist with respect and courtesy.
You may ask this question, “But Ken, I own my own company, so how I dress to meet a new clinet does not matter. Right?”
It matters as much as the earth shifting on its axis. Well, maybe not that much, but if you are interested in your company experiencing growth and prosperity . . .
You will not wear:
- Hawaiian shirt with open front.
- Loud musky cologne that would kill mosquitoes if put into an aerosol can.
- Tons of gold chains and rings on every finger.
- Cheap sunglasses that you do not take off when talking to the receptionist—if you get that far.
- Sandals with no socks.
Any modern-day receptionist will tag you a macho pig and create numerous excuses for you not to see her boss.
May I suggest that you wear:
- A nice suit. I didn’t say a specially-designed, hand-sewn suit made in Italy, but a nice suit.
- No gold chains or rings.
- Florsheim shoes with socks.
- Pleated pants
- No loud cologne. Just a mild-scented cologne that she will remember, not to make her hot for you, but “that” one detail that she will remember about your appearance.
If you must contact a new company by phone, these are not the ways for you to talk to the receptionist:
- “Lemme tawk with ‘Le bossman.’”
- “Hey, is that jackass-of-a-boss there? (loud laugh) do not fret sweetie. We graduated college together. We are closer than blood-brothers.”
- “Can you patch me through to your boss and do not tell me that he is busy.”
- “Oh, your voice sounds so sexy. Do you look as good as you sound?”
These are three verbal failures, so do yourself a favor and delete them from your vocabulary.
Use these ways to approach the receptionist by phone:
- “Pardon me. I will not take long, but is ‘Mr. Williams in today?”
- “I know you are very busy, but may I talk with ‘Mr. Williams,’ please?”
- “My name is, ‘Henry Duke. I represent Allied Machinery. I am calling to see if ‘Mr. Henson,’ is in his office?”
- “Hello. How are you? My name is ‘Tom Dickery,’ I sell for Ultimate Software. I wanted to talk with ‘Mr. King,’ if possible.”
See? All of these are polite and pushy. Note: When any receptionist allows you to talk with the person you are seeking, remember to say, “thank you so much,” for she will remember it if you don’t.
How to Handle Rejection From Receptionists (In-person or On The Phone):
- If she says, “Oops, I forgot to tell ‘Mr. Clark,’ you were coming,” you instantly smile and say, “No sweat. We all make mistakes.”
- If she says, “I thought your appointment was “next” Monday. Not today,” again, you instantly smile and say, “No problem. May I reschedule with your boss?”
- If she says, “He doesn’t do business with little companies like yours,” you keep yourself composed and reply humbly, “I don’t blame him, but in our case, we are growing. Maybe next time.”
- Above All, Do Not:
- Stamp your foot and growl underneath your breath.
- Glare at her as if your eyes were space-age ray guns that do damage.
- Take a deep breath of disgust.
- Curse at being rejected.
- Throw your briefcase against the wall and curse underneath your breath.
Self-image and attitude is what it’s all about.
The old saying, “Nice guys finish last, but they finish,” is still in play in 2014 in the fast-paced business world.