CALL CENTER CONFIDENTIAL: October ICMI Conference in Dallas – Brenda Martin’s Surprising Reason to Attend

by: Gordon Lawrence  

“Larry, got a second?”  

Brenda Martin, Call Center Supervisor, dropped the nineteen page ICMI brochure on her manager’s desk.

Larry picked up the brochure, noted the October 11-13 dates and Dallas location and asked, “How much?”

Brenda deflected the question, “Lots of good sessions. Improving Productivity.  Improving QC. Improving Retention. Strategic Planning. New Technology.”

Larry Randall, Call Center Manager, grunted, “That’s a lot of improvement. Are the speakers from companies or are they consultants and salesmen.”

Brenda was ready, “Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Intuit, an Insurance Company, a number of companies.”

Larry pushed for a specific answer, “How many speakers.”

Brenda replied, “32.”

Larry leaned forward, “and how many consultants and salesmen.”

Brenda replied, “26.”  But there are also two site visits.   I’d like to see how two other good sites run their business.”

Larry was stuck on the consultants.  “Run some of the consultants by me.”

Brenda put the list on his desk and started reading,” Michael McMillan, Adrian Gostick, Brad Cleveland, Mary Cook, Tom Diaz, Dianne Durkin.”

Larry put up his hand, “I know several of them.  They’re good. So how much does it cost?”

Brenda gave him the price sheet, “$1,895. The hotel is $169 a night at the site.  And airfare, meals, transportation, all in – about $5,500.”

Larry pushed back, “That’s highway robbery.  We need a discount.  Call them up and negotiate a better price. $1,895 is highway robbery. Put those good negotiation skills of yours to work.” Larry turned to his PC monitor, indicating the meeting was over.

Brenda left the office, went around the corner and pulled out her iPhone.  She punched out a text message that read: Lookng 4ward 2 staying w-u on Sat 10-8 to Mon. In town for a conf on Tue 10-11. Mom, I can’t wait to cu. Bren.


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