What D’Ya Got (Issue 557)

In which we are reminded to warm up and rehearse our calls before we sit down with clients.

“Hey,” I said, pulling the paint-peeling wood door fast behind me to keep out the sharp winter cold.

“Hey,” they said, nodding their heads, motioning me in.

There were a couple of guys sitting in the room when I arrived. A bunch of papers – lyrics, music – strewn around, a couple of guitar cases open… Nice instruments. I carried mine en case in my left hand.  I shook their hands and said hello.

“Why don’t you sit there,” one of them said, waving toward a dented folding chair.

I settled, pulled out my guitar, tuned, and looked up.

“You know what we do,” one of them said. “What d’ya got?”

“What d’ya got?” – the start of the audition. Not what I expected.  No discussion. No warm up.  Just, “what d’ya got?”

“Crazy” did not begin to describe my stomach nor “Ten Pound Hammer” my hands.

“Thanks for coming in,” the taller one said, when I’d finished. I pulled the door tight behind me.

“That’s lousy way to audition someone,” I muttered, walking dorm-ward in the dark cold. “You’re better than that. That was unfair. Those guys are idiots.  You should have played something else. You should go back there and ask them….”

Sales calls sometimes start like that – cold.  We arrive. We sit.  We open cases. We extract papers. We look up….. we hear or see, “You know what we do.  What d’ya got?”

Matter of fact, neither hostile nor encouraging. “What d’ya got?”  Show me.

I need about 15 minutes to warm up before starting almost everything except breakfast or a shower, whether it’s the opening songs in a performance or the opening questions in a sales call.

Good to know, now.

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