How to Not Let Your Ego Get You Snagged on a Sneaky Sales Call

The call comes in that you are “being considered for a project.” That sounds enticing and your ego is definitely intrigued.

“What kind of a project?” “Oh, yay, they chose me.”  You know the thoughts well, I am sure.

And so you schedule the call or the appointment.

This first happened to me when I was a new associate and a Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance agent contacted me.  I thought for sure he was contacting me to send me clients.

It turned out, he was contacting me to sell me life insurance and so that I would send him clients.  Those Northwestern guys are some of the best salesmen on the planet.  It worked.

Eight years later, I don’t fall for those kind of ego-boosting shenanigans, at least that’s what I thought.  Until I ended up on a sales call yesterday in the middle of a VERY busy day.

They were considering me for a project and instead of getting information about the project, we said yes.

Within 5 minutes, I could tell the project they were considering me for was that I would pay them to go to their event and learn how to leverage media in my business.

Right, thanks for calling. Do you have any idea what I’ve been doing in my business or life for the last two years?  Buh-bye.   And why would I want to take business advice anyway from someone who is using cold calling to build her business?

So now we have to make sure I have a system in place to make sure that those kinds of calls don’t slip through the system because my ego loves to be “considered for a project.”  And you can borrow the system so your ego doesn’t get you stuck on sales calls too

Step #1: My scheduling assistant Kelly will always get more information about the project by email before even talking with someone about it.  Information including:

What is the project?

Is there information on the web about it?

What are they considering me for with respect to the project?

Step #2:  If it seems to be something I might be interested in (and not a sales pitch!), then Kelly can forward me the information by email and I can let her know what other information I will need in order to determine whether it’s something I want to get on the phone about.

Step #3:   If it is, then Kelly or one of our other team members can have a prelim call to gather more information and present that information to the whole team at our next team meeting to determine whether a phone call is warranted.

Yes, this is a lot of steps to protect my time. And, it’s necessary because time is my most valuable asset.  What we saw when we completed our company Money Map last Saturday is that given the size of the team we have and the programs  we want to roll out and the container we want to hold, I have to seriously focus my time on the highest leverage activities and opportunities during the workday.  That means no sneaky sales calls that just appeal to my ego and don’t benefit the company.

Have you been snagged by a sneaky sales call? If yes, share about the experience in the comments and what you learned from it.


  1. Craig FilekThursday, February 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm 

    well, I sure am glad I read this 😉

    Lex – your time is INVENTORY, and it needs to be handled like fine furniture so that it’s not bumped and bruised when it gets delivered to people on the high-ROI calls we schedule for you.

    After that workshop on Saturday where we did the company Money Map, I realized why we can’t do any more free work, and why I gotta stop doing free work.

    The better we can guard the time of everyone in the company, so everyone can stay focused on their clearly identified high-ROI activities, the more we’ll run like an Ultimate Sales Machine.

  2. Mark SilverTuesday, February 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm 

    I so totally have fallen for this. We have something similar in place now. Thank goodness.

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