Bad Salesman

Ring.

“This is Mark Bennett.”

“Hello, Mark, how are you doing today?”

“I’m w—”

“This is Glenn, with Xerox. I was just calling today because I thought you might be interested…”

Glenn, you numbskull. The object of “how are you doing today” is to get me in “yes mode,” responding to you positively in accordance with established social conventions, before you reveal that you’re calling to try to sell me something.

If you don’t give me a chance to answer it, it doesn’t work.

If you do give me a chance to answer it, it doesn’t work either—I don’t play nice with people calling to sell me stuff. But if you call a thousand people and don’t cut them off after you ask how they’re doing, you’ll sell more copiers than if you call a thousand people and do.

Slow down, Glenn. Take your time. Selling copier leases is not a race. If you don’t schmooze your leads a little, you’ll never close.

Put that coffee down, Glenn.

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