What’s the Worst Sin of a Telephone based salesperson?
It was a really important sales training event involving all sorts of video technology so I was planning and practising the gadgets on the boardroom table. Cameras were wired up to DVD recorders, players were running pre-recorded DVDs and the projector was presenting the whole scene on the wall. There were cables strewn everywhere but it seemed to be working. I thought I’d cracked it.
Until the phone rang
It was my long lost Uncle Ivan who can never take a hint about convenient time to call or that someone else might be a tad busy. Ivan was an Oil Super Tanker Captain for BP throughout his career and was used to spending long voyages of 6 to 7 months with only a handful of people at anytime. It’s not that he can talk for England but he’s very clever at asking questions to get you talking and being provocative to encourage conversation. All those years with only a small bunch of shipmates to keep him company
So what did I do? I carried on listening in one ear and finishing off my complex wiring strategy for the video equipment.
Did I listen? A bit, but not enough to strike up anything meaningful with my Uncle Ivan and after the call, I felt really guilty as I’d spurned the chance of rekindling our relationship.
And I’d committed the cardinal sin of all telephone salespeople. The disease that causes more telesales people to not listen to their customers that anything else. Multitasking.
It has to be the biggest distraction. Taking a call and doing something else whilst they’re talking. We know full well that clicking on emails won’t affect the call or typing a web address won’t cause concern with the customer but this multitasking does stop us from effectively listening to the customer.
Beware of multitasking – we’re all guilty of it from time to time and it’s normally always recognised by customers. When someone is typing on their keyboard and listening to me, I can hear them tapping away and it annoys me.
And my Uncle Ivan. I phoned him back the next day and he’s popping up for Sunday Dinner next month. My wife can hardly wait!