July 23, 2018

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Staying On the Phone When You Don't Want To

Have you ever tried to brush the teeth of a four-year-old? It's one of the most difficult experiences of my life, trying to convince my little boy of why we should brush his teeth, and he certainly hates the discomfort of it. How do I accomplish this in a gentle and loving manner? I explain how if we don't do it then we get cavities and have to get them filled. Logically, he understood. But it still didn't work.

So I asked him to be brave.

I said, "Dagsen, do you know what it means to be brave?"

"No, Daddy."

"Being brave is doing something you know you should do, even when you don't feel like it or don't want to."

Well, that almost worked. He at least understood the concept and considered the idea. Time for a different approach.

"Dagsen, let's do this. Mommy will brush your teeth while Daddy counts to ten. Once I reach 'ten' then we'll stop brushing your teeth."

It worked. It was a game to him. I felt like such a genius child psychologist. I figured out the secret to getting my son to do something he didn't want to do but needed to do. The secret was in counting to ten and stopping the activity. He knew that as long as there was an end to his discomfort, then he'd be okay with it.

Kind of like the concept of doing your phone calls and staying on the phone. Could you stay on the phone all day, especially when you don't want to do it or donít feel like it? Some of us can. Some of us are very brave. Not me. Not most of the people in our business. I'm just as undisciplined as the next guy. I'd rather have fun than do some boring and laborious task, and if we can be honest with ourselves, that's the way it is most of the time. Most of the time the series of call after call is arduous. I have no natural discipline. So I must create ways to keep me on the phone.

Consider the idea I shared with my son.

Count to ten. Make ten dials, and stop. Pull your handset out of the receiver of your phone, and dial ten phone numbers. Once you dial ten phone numbers, then you can put your handset back in the phone and take a short stretch break.

If you do this sequence of ten dials only ten or eleven times, then you'll be at the end of the day and it'll be time to go home. And you'll go home fulfilled and satisfied because you were able to find a way to make yourself stay on the phone all day, on your way to billing bigger numbers.

-Scott Love

Copyright © 2005 Scott T. Love

Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms and staffing agencies. His training website,, has become one of the largest free internet training sites for the industry. To have him show your staff how to produce more than they thought possible, call him at 828-225-7700.