A Word of Caution to Offline Sellers

17 replies
I was thinking about my selling days at the phone book company I had worked for. This story popped into my head, and I figured it would be a good one to share with those who are looking to venture into the offline selling business.

One day I went in to see a dentist who was on my prospecting list. He never advertised with us before. I went up talked to the receptionist being friendly but not phony. I even made her laugh a little bit. She told me to wait a few minutes she'll see if the dentist has a few minutes or would like to schedule an appointment and told me to have a seat.

There was another sales person that came in a few minutes after me. I don't know what he sold. He went up to the receptionist and he was extremely rude. In fact, I was kind of shocked at his rudeness. He was arrogant and cocky. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being confident, especially in sales. This guy was just over the edge of confident.

The receptionist was obviously very outwardly bothered by his behavior. She asked him to have a seat. He sat down a few seats away from me. He was giving me the eyeball with a smirk on his face. I just ignored him and was looking through my sales material.

Meanwhile, the receptionist went out of sight. A few moments later her and the dentist popped into the waiting area. After some quiet discussion, between them, he went over to the other guy.

He says, "Hello, my name is Dr. <his name>" I'm thinking, "You've got to be kidding me, I was here first." The other guy stood up and went to shake the dentist's hand. His whole demeanor changed. Because now he was talking to the dentist, and not a "lowly" receptionist. The dentist, did not extend his hand. Instead he went on to say: "My receptionist told me you were very rude. I don't do business with rude people. I don't care what company you're from or what you're selling, please leave and don't come back."

He looked like a dog with it's tail tucked between its legs walking out the door. I was kind of in shock. The dentist then turns to me and reaches out his hand to shake mine. He says, my name is "Dr. <his name>, my receptionist told me you were very nice and polite. I appreciate that. Follow me so we can talk."

She was beaming at me the entire time we walked back to his conference room. I sold him a very nice advertising package. I sent both her and the dentist a thank you card afterward too.

The moral of the story, be very aware of how you treat people who work for the owner of the company you are trying to sell to. Don't save your "best stuff" for the owner.

Always be nice, but not phony. I can't tell you how many times I experienced it that the "gatekeeper" was the spouse/relative of the owner. Just by me being nice to them, making them laugh a little, usually got me pretty far.

Oh, yeah, sometimes the gatekeepers aren't nice. You have to take it in stride. Understand it from their point of view. They have to deal with sales people all day every day. You're just one out of many who either call or come in.

Stay calm, stay cool. If you can make them smile or laugh, you may be able to win them over. Whatever you do, don't lose your cool and get angry, that will get you nowhere. If you keep your cool, you'll keep your dignity.
#caution #offline #sellers #word
  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
    What's that saying...

    "A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person."
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    I appreciate your word of caution, but am surprised that anyone has to be told this. Despite all of the arrogant and pompous people I've crossed paths with in my time, I still don't understand people who act all high and mighty and high-falutin' towards anybody. I guess their psychology allows it, but mine sure doesn't.
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    Project HERE.

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  • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
    Yes it definitely pays to be nice and when the competition doesn't know how to behave it makes it that much easier for you.

    -John
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  • Profile picture of the author chateauRedunet
    A story that works on several levels.

    Being considerate of others is one "thing" I am trying to become better at - after all it does appear the "Golden Rule" would indicate consideration was an optimum approach and policy. Now humor I do appreciate mostly because I have to work so very terribly hard at it!

    Thank you for sharing that.

    All the best,
    Chateau R.
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  • Profile picture of the author acedalright
    Great story.

    I can't believe how other seemingly normal people have such bad social aptitude. I'd like to think I treat everyone I meet the same, regardless of their "position", because I know that I can leave them them with a good impression.

    I think that's how integrity and leadership are built.

    If not - I'm worried
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Jason,

      Great story.

      Thomas Edison ran a think tank in New Jersey and before hiring someone, he would treat them to a meal. Edison observed them, and if they salted their food before tasting it, he would not hire them. They lacked the qualifications to invent.

      Other executives take someone out and observe how the candidate treats the wait staff, and as in your story, if they are rude, obnoxious or overly fussy, they don't get hired.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

    I was thinking about my selling days at the phone book company I had worked for. This story popped into my head, and I figured it would be a good one to share with those who are looking to venture into the offline selling business.

    One day I went in to see a dentist who was on my prospecting list. He never advertised with us before. I went up talked to the receptionist being friendly but not phony. I even made her laugh a little bit. She told me to wait a few minutes she'll see if the dentist has a few minutes or would like to schedule an appointment and told me to have a seat.

    There was another sales person that came in a few minutes after me. I don't know what he sold. He went up to the receptionist and he was extremely rude. In fact, I was kind of shocked at his rudeness. He was arrogant and cocky. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being confident, especially in sales. This guy was just over the edge of confident.

    The receptionist was obviously very outwardly bothered by his behavior. She asked him to have a seat. He sat down a few seats away from me. He was giving me the eyeball with a smirk on his face. I just ignored him and was looking through my sales material.

    Meanwhile, the receptionist went out of sight. A few moments later her and the dentist popped into the waiting area. After some quiet discussion, between them, he went over to the other guy.

    He says, "Hello, my name is Dr. <his name>" I'm thinking, "You've got to be kidding me, I was here first." The other guy stood up and went to shake the dentist's hand. His whole demeanor changed. Because now he was talking to the dentist, and not a "lowly" receptionist. The dentist, did not extend his hand. Instead he went on to say: "My receptionist told me you were very rude. I don't do business with rude people. I don't care what company you're from or what you're selling, please leave and don't come back."

    He looked like a dog with it's tail tucked between its legs walking out the door. I was kind of in shock. The dentist then turns to me and reaches out his hand to shake mine. He says, my name is "Dr. <his name>, my receptionist told me you were very nice and polite. I appreciate that. Follow me so we can talk."

    She was beaming at me the entire time we walked back to his conference room. I sold him a very nice advertising package. I sent both her and the dentist a thank you card afterward too.

    The moral of the story, be very aware of how you treat people who work for the owner of the company you are trying to sell to. Don't save your "best stuff" for the owner.

    Always be nice, but not phony. I can't tell you how many times I experienced it that the "gatekeeper" was the spouse/relative of the owner. Just by me being nice to them, making them laugh a little, usually got me pretty far.

    Oh, yeah, sometimes the gatekeepers aren't nice. You have to take it in stride. Understand it from their point of view. They have to deal with sales people all day every day. You're just one out of many who either call or come in.

    Stay calm, stay cool. If you can make them smile or laugh, you may be able to win them over. Whatever you do, don't lose your cool and get angry, that will get you nowhere. If you keep your cool, you'll keep your dignity.
    THE RECEPTIONIST IS THE GATES KEEPER, no matter if you're trying to sell a product or APPLYING FOR A JOB!

    I can't tell you how many "applicants/job seekers" were rude or just plain "not with it"!

    It's funny (not really, just reality), but the "boss" will ask the Receptionist what they thought of that person. Even if the "boss" doesn't ask them and that person was rude, trust me, she/he will tell them whether they've asked or not!

    So, yes, BEWARE everyone, you are 'JUDGED" from the second you enter the office/premise, until you leave; and your demeanour, personality, etc., will be scrutinized and discussed between the time you arrive and leave!

    Smile & Be Nice, 'cause - That's all that's between YOU! As well as:

    What you have Said! What You have Got!! AND, What You Want!!

    'Nuff said!
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  • Profile picture of the author L.James
    I think thats a wake up call to everyone in the offline world.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      After years of In-Person and Phone Sales, one thing that has worked for me is;

      "Ask a question, the answer to which is "No!"

      I discovered long ago that prospects have "practiced" a "comeback line" they have found they are comfortable with, when confronting sales people.

      And...the word that is usually in ALL their "comeback lines" is...."No!" "No! I'm not interested!"..."No! I don't have any time!"..."No!...No!....No!, whatever!

      So...I try to ask "Intro" questions that request a "No!" response. It's on their mind and their tonque is ready to spit it out so, why not let them say what they want to say.

      Example: Getting appointments with Dentists to sell them a website; Instead of saying to the "Rejectionist", "May I see Dr...for a few minutes at..... ?" (Which elicits an automatic, No! response) I say, to the "rejectionist"...."Would it be too early to see Dr Jones just after he arrives?' (No!...meaning YES! You MAY see Dr Jones right after he arrives)

      Getting the GM of a hotel to accept my "Free Advertising Program for his Rooms"; "Would you have any OBJECTION to letting me place these in all your rooms, if they were Free?" (A "No!" response means, "Yes!" go ahead and put them in!")

      So...when aiming for appointments or permission for anything, think about asking questions that will cause a "No!" response! They WANT to use it anyway...so let them have at it!

      Midas Man
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Reminds me of the days back in radio sales;

    There was this nice but tiny little office that had a receptionist that I would go in and introduce myself, and give info about the station and ask what she thought her management needed to know to be interested in a proposal.

    She told me what they needed to know so I dropped it by about a week later when I was back in that town.

    I called a few days later and she told me they looked over the proposal and they weren't interested.

    So the following month I again went in again asking what she thought the owners needed to know for them to be interested, she said I'm not really sure, but added a few points that she thought they needed to know.

    I did this for several months (well over 6 months)

    One day I get a call from the woman who was the receptionist, she told me she was working at another company in another town and she asked me when I generally was in that town, I told her that I was generally in that town tomorrow, she gave me the address to where she was now working, and told me to drop by anytime it wouldn't be a problem.

    So I stopped by just after lunch and looked for her, at the receptionist desk, and it was another person, so I told the receptionist that I had talked with so and so and she asked me to come by a talk with her.

    Without a moments hesitation the receptionist got out of her chair and said follow me.

    I hadn't given the new receptionist my name yet, and on the way to where she was showing me, she said Mark I was told to expect you to come in today and I was to drop everything and bring you back here.

    I was ushered into a large lavish office, and the former receptionist behind the desk.

    She had left the former company because no matter what good ideas were presented to them they turned their noses up at any thing that wasn't their idea.

    The new company was owned by her and her husband, and they knew that they needed to generate a lot of attention for their new business, and thought that I could help, they wanted more than just radio advertising, they wanted my input of how to build their complete marketing plan.

    I did sell them a large advertising package for the station I was working with, and they also hired me to consult with them with their marketing.

    That's how I got into business consulting.

    All because I was helpful, and respectful to the receptionist of a tiny little office...

    Mark Riddle
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    Today isn't Yesterday, - Products are everywhere if your eyes are Tuned!
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Yes, I know this situation all too well. And, the gatekeeper is usually the rudest in the company, so, sellers beware!
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by Christie Love View Post

      Yes, I know this situation all too well. And, the gatekeeper is usually the rudest in the company, so, sellers beware!

      That's why they're the gatekeeper. They take pride in keeping people out.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Sometimes the gatekeeper is the customer...

        I read a story awhile back about a wealthy man that was rehabbing a large house. He was very hands-on with the rehab, getting in with the crew and working alongside them.

        One day, a salesman was admitted to the great room. A gray-haired man in a paint-spattered t-shirt leaned over the edge of a scaffold and asked if he could help the man. The salesman ignored him and went looking for the owner.

        The man on the scaffold asked several more times if he could help the salesman. He finally answered that he didn't have time to talk to the guy on the scaffold, he needed to talk to the person in charge of the rehab job. So the older man summoned a well-dressed, attractive woman.

        The salesman launched into his spiel. After a minute, the woman stopped him. "I'm sorry," she said. "You'll have to speak to the owner about that. I'm just the decorator."

        "Okay, where do I find the owner?" the salesman demanded.

        Looking slightly confused, the decorator told him "But you were just talking to him. Up there on the scaffold..."

        What do you think the odds were that the salesman made the sale?

        If you said "zero", you can select a prize from the top row...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Money Maker
    In the business world I always think to myself, everyone is a future customer.
    Treat them with respect, and that I have done for years.... and I have made more money online than anyone I know because of this.
    It's more than just not being rude.....and it's more than just being honest...people sense if you really like them. And if you like them...they'll like you, and it opens doors.
    Life is more than a stage.....life is more than a performance....welcome to the human race, make friends then when you go home at night count your blessings.
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