The definition of a ‘booty call’ (Note: this is the cleaned up version) is when someone calls at the last minute in hopes of receiving an immediate benefit from you without the hassle of a long-term relationship. Usually these calls occur because the booty caller wasn’t able to get the aforementioned ‘benefit’ from someone else.
Now we all know the most common use of this term, but I’m here to tell you that booty calls also happen in the business world – all of the time.
In fact, brand planning is the official strategic booty call season in Pharma. This time of year at ROF, we get lots of calls from old Clients who we haven’t heard from in a while. Frequently, our last conversations from the most recent engagement ended with, “Yeah, we’ve got that covered internally.” or “Our agency can handle it.” Then, several months later, there’s an urgent voicemail or email requesting participation in a meeting “later this week” or asking for a service that normally takes 9 weeks to be completed in only 4 weeks, so the results can be ready for a big, upcoming presentation that’s been on the books for months.
The thing about booty calls is that they’re unfulfilling for both parties and rarely ever evolve into a long-term relationship. Relationships are based on respect, and respect can only be earned over time. Neither of these elements are present in last minute meeting invites or RFPs with unrealistic timelines.
At Return on Focus, we see the best results when our Clients plan ahead and partner with us from the beginning of a project or process, however we realize this isn’t always possible. When you find yourself making a strategic ‘booty call’, ask yourself who was supposed to provide the ‘benefit’ that isn’t. Addressing them should be your first order of business.
And… if you become a habitual booty caller, don’t be surprised if we eventually say, “We’re just not that into you.”