A Barking Dog

Like many 21st century workspaces, we have an office dog here at Rally Prospecting. I used to guard that information carefully until I went to a prospect’s website that had, instead of pictures of humans on the “About us” page, pictures of the humans’ dogs. Then during a phone call recently I heard a prospect’s dog bark in the background, after which, he said, “Sorry. That’s our office dog. He barks whenever someone comes into the office.”

Don’t apologize to us. We totally get it. We have a Maltese named Jackson who barks when someone gets up to go to the bathroom.

Jackson makes you think twice about just how badly you have to go to the bathroom – because he only barks at one volume: ear-splitting.

I can’t blame him. It’s his job to alert me to new things in my surroundings. Some of them, I appreciate, like when employees come in late from lunch. Others, like a leaf falling outside, I really don’t need to know about.

Jackson has a difficult time differentiating between things I need to know, and things I don’t. Because of the alert overkill in our office, we try to be sensitive to what we alert our clients about:

When inundated with 30 responses in one day, our clients only care about the one who wants to talk tomorrow after 2 p.m.  The other 29 need to be addressed and responded to, but they are not a priority because our clients have 62 other things they have to accomplish today. So we’ve developed a system to help them manage, address and move forward the less important responses while they move on about their day. A business development rep (BDR) goes through responses and funnels only the most urgent to our client; the rest are answered by the BDR on behalf of the client. That way, if there is an unseen nugget buried in the dirt pile, we’ll get it out too.

We save our Maltese-ish bark for the urgent replies, and we pet the others on the head until they’re ready to bark.

I knew that dog was good for something.

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