Now everyone that knows me will know that I DO NOT COLD CALL however I too was taught that cold calling was the most effective way of getting new leads (WRONG WRONG WRONG). In fact, I believe this was one of the last cold calls I ever made.
To ease the pain of cold-calling I decided it would be fun to call houses that I had previously lived in (there were quite a few!). I picked up the phone and dialled the numbers provided via RP Data when an older gentleman answered the phone.
As I started my spiel and introduced myself I was stopped…not in the usual harsh way… rather in a soft almost defeated way. He continued by sharing with me that it was coming up to the one-year anniversary of his wife’s death and that he wasn’t think of selling.
As I continued with my day his kind Scottish accent kept popping into my head, he sounded just like my grandfather who had passed away two years prior.
Now I’m not sure what possessed me to, but I decided to write a letter to him to let him know why I had chosen his house to call. The first kiss, the boy next door… the experiences that changed the next phase in my life and eventually lead me to be living out of home at 16 years of age.
The following day I received a call on my mobile from the same gentleman who introduced himself as ‘Mr Craig’ and invited me over for a cup of coffee.
Now I can’t remember too much of what happened, but one cup of coffee turned into two and three and by the third coffee he had peppermint tea on standby for me and was asking me if I could hold onto a set of keys for him in-case he ever had a fall and needed someone to let the ambulance in. (His only son lived a couple of hours away and he didn’t have any family close by).
The keys went to the bottom of my bag and over our 4 year friendship I fortunately never needed to use them although there were plenty of visits to his hospital bed. There was also one day when he tripped over a neighbour’s cat and asked me to patch him up, being a proud man he didn’t want to go to the doctors over something so minor. .
As my career changed and grew busier and busier our coffees turned into lunch dates often located where ever I was closest to. For me, I loved seeing him out of the house and dressed up in his best outfit (and eating a full meal). For him, he loved to share stories of his career and of his son winning yet another competition as a champion bag piper. These were the two things in his life that just lit his face up ( well that was until the only grandchild came along!) I didn’t even mind that the stories were the same every single time we met.
As my life grew more hectic with the establishment of my own agency it started to become more and more difficult to take the time out, but he always sent a quick text message to remind me that we were due for lunch.
Sadly, this year my Mr Craig didn’t make it out of the hospital. His stories could no longer be shared as he was restricted to a note pad and pen in his final weeks but he still managed to tell me that he was able to witness the first steps of his only grandchild.
This week I will begin the marketing of his property and I am absolutely honoured that his son has allowed me the opportunity to do this one last thing for his father.
RIP Mr Craig