Do you want a "Best Ever Sales Tip" for your salespeople? Here's one, put your cell phone away. Personal cell phone calls and texting while on the job has gotten out of hand. Even taking business calls and texts are rude if you are already talking to another person in a business situation.When I was growing up there were many rules in our house, some important rules that you never tested, let alone break, and then there were those you could occasionally test with little or no repercussions. But a rule that you never, ever, ever broke was the “Don’t call Mom or Dad at work” rule unless it was an emergency! An emergency meaning one of us kids were dying or had died. Calling to complain that my brother was hitting me only lead to me being hit more once my parents got home. You never, ever, ever called the parents at work – period. And you know what? We survived.I was reminded of this seemingly forgotten rule recently as I was boarding an airplane. The flight was running about 30 minutes behind schedule. It was the end of a long day and everyone just wanted to get on board and go. Things were progressing along fine until about half way through the boarding process we were all stopped so the gate agent could take personal cell phone call from her son. Apparently he was instructed to contact his Mom once he had made it home from school. Needless to say, this did not make anyone in line happy as many of us had connections to make at our next stop and if we were held up much longer we risked missing those connections that would get us home to our families. “Us” being the airlines customers.Now don’t get me wrong, I have kids and I understand the need to make sure they are where they are supposed to be and to know that they are safe. But if you are working, can’t arrangements be made for someone else to take that call (i.e. neighbor, sibling, friend, etc.) and as my parents used to assume, no call from them means there is no emergency at home, no one was dying or dead and everything was fine. For that Gate Agent to take that call was unnecessary, rude and highly unprofessional.And it is not just that one episode either. This is happening more and more in what seems to be in every aspect of life. It happens when I am at restaurants, the theatre, at the convenience store, the shopping mall, when talking to family members and on and on. It seems the only time this doesn’t happen is when I am talking to my dogs. They seem to be the only ones on the planet that can or want to give me there full attention anymore, but that’s probably only because I’m the one who feeds them now that I think about it.As a minimum, let’s take a look at this situation from a selling stand point. If you are working with a customer and during that time you answer your cell phone, text or even look at your cell phone here is the least your customer will think:
Even worse, whenever you are working with a customer and you take your attention away from them you are now allowing the customer to take control of the sell. If you are not giving them your full attention than they will continue to examine your product and make decisions based on information they do not have because you were not there to give it to them. And most of the time, their decision will be to not buy what you presented, but instead only to buy what they originally asked for if anything at all. Any time you take your attention away from the customer for any reason and allow them to consider your product without you there to guide them your closing percentage will drop off by 95%. Work the deal, customer or situation you have in front of you and you will experience infinitely more success. The person on the phone is a possibility; the one in front of you is reality.I believe every business/sales person should implement the following rules:
In closing out this message, let me share with you how far I have personally taken this. When going to a presentation, my phone is shut off and is in my briefcase until the end of the meeting and I am out of my customer’s site. When I go to a lunch or dinner meeting, my cell phone is off, in my pocket and not turned back on until the meeting is over and the customer is out of site. It has even carried over to our home. No cell phones at the dinner table or during other family events.
Bottom line: It’s time to stop being rude to the people that mean the most to us; family, friends and customers, and start appreciating and taking care of what is right in front of us. After all, isn’t that where most of the things we seek are, right in front of us?
About the author: Jeff Cowan, in his 30th year of Service Department Sales Training, is recognized as the creator of the modern-day, walk-around and selling processes for dealership service departments and after-market auto service repair shops. Jeff is the nation’s authority when it comes to training service advisors and service support staff. You can see him on a weekly broadcast of CBT News and read many of his published articles on various automotive publications. Currently partnered with NADA, EasyCare, NCM, Marellen, and other vendors and manufacturers.Visit his website at AutomotiveServiceTraining.com get info on On-Site Training, Public and Private Workshops, DVD Training Program, Webinars, and a FREE trial of Virtual Training! For more great tips and advice, follow Jeff on Twitter at@JCowansProTalk. He’s also on Facebook, and Google+. You can also watch Jeff Cowan’s videos on YouTube! For more information call (800) 248-2931 or from outside the U.S., call (949) 713-4469.