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Just calling to check in

About a year ago I attended a session on how to sell on the phone by Jeff Hoffman of Basho Strategies. He brought up a point that’s become a pet peeve of mine – people calling just to check in. Any time I get a call from somebody trying to sell me something, they’re “just calling to check in”. I immediately noticed I do it all the time. Whenever I’d call someone to bug them about something, or try to sell them something, I was really calling just to check in.

I’ve given up answering my phone, everybody gets to leave voicemail and then I can sort through them every hour or as necessary. As soon as I hear “Hey, it’s X and I’m just calling to check in…” I hit the delete key and move on. I’ve picked up at least an hour a week. I’m wondering if there’s a future in phone sales at all, or has my heart just turned to stone? Is it wrong for me to make change when I throw a $5 in the homeless guy’s cup over at the off-ramp to the Pike on Storrow Drive?