Interruption etiquette

7 replies
I walked in on some businesses today.

What if the guy is busy? E.g. on the phone, with a line of customers, idly chatting with a client, etc.
Do you loiter around till the coast is clear? Wait at the end of the line to talk to him? Come back?

If on the phone, it would be a no brainer. Just call back or persists until he either hangs up, buys or whatever but here?

Thoughts?
#etiquette #interruption
  • Profile picture of the author Flamingo340
    It really depends on how busy they appear to be, what they're actually doing, etc. Back when I was pounding the pavement, if it seemed like they were going to wrap it up quickly (a relative term, I know), then I'd take a seat, hang out and wait. But my time is valuable too. You can always leave a message with a receptionist, drop a business car, etc, or just simply leave and come back another time. A lot of the time you're playing a numbers game, so it's usually not worthwhile to spend so much time on any one potential lead.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Flamingo340 View Post

      It really depends on how busy they appear to be, what they're actually doing, etc. Back when I was pounding the pavement, if it seemed like they were going to wrap it up quickly (a relative term, I know), then I'd take a seat, hang out and wait. But my time is valuable too. You can always leave a message with a receptionist, drop a business car, etc, or just simply leave and come back another time. A lot of the time you're playing a numbers game, so it's usually not worthwhile to spend so much time on any one potential lead.
      I can tell you how you could approach someone like me, and my store.

      Never interrupt if I'm talking to someone. Wait until I'm free. Don't even interrupt to tell me that you are coming back. Just wait, and I'll appreciate the courtesy. Or just leave and come back.

      When I've cold walked small businesses, I would just walk in and ask for the owner. The truth is, I just wanted to talk to one guy that day that was going to buy. So I made it very easy to get rid of me...and I would leave if they weren't available right then. Speed was important.

      I was sorting......panning for gold.....I knew that in the next ten places I went...there was one guy that was going to buy from me. I wanted to get to that one guy as fast as I could.
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      • Profile picture of the author rhealy29
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I can tell you how you could approach someone like me, and my store.

        Never interrupt if I'm talking to someone. Wait until I'm free. Don't even interrupt to tell me that you are coming back. Just wait, and I'll appreciate the courtesy. Or just leave and come back.

        When I've cold walked small businesses, I would just walk in and ask for the owner. The truth is, I just wanted to talk to one guy that day that was going to buy. So I made it very easy to get rid of me...and I would leave if they weren't available right then. Speed was important.

        I was sorting......panning for gold.....I knew that in the next ten places I went...there was one guy that was going to buy from me. I wanted to get to that one guy as fast as I could.
        I think this is probably about as good as it gets advice-wise. You've got your list of prospects, but there is no reason you must talk to that specific prospect at that exact time. If they're busy and it looks like a good opportunity to talk won't come up quickly, move on to the next place on your list and make a note to come back. The business will still be there. And if it isn't they probably weren't going to buy anyway!
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    I walked in on some businesses today.

    What if the guy is busy? E.g. on the phone, with a line of customers, idly chatting with a client, etc.
    Do you loiter around till the coast is clear? Wait at the end of the line to talk to him? Come back?

    If on the phone, it would be a no brainer. Just call back or persists until he either hangs up, buys or whatever but here?

    Thoughts?
    Carry with you a little sign.. "Are you interested in buying Locally Grown Garlic Scapes?" and let the rest fall into place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    I walked in on some businesses today.

    What if the guy is busy? E.g. on the phone, with a line of customers, idly chatting with a client, etc.
    Do you loiter around till the coast is clear? Wait at the end of the line to talk to him? Come back?

    If on the phone, it would be a no brainer. Just call back or persists until he either hangs up, buys or whatever but here?

    Thoughts?
    Some businesses are always busy. That's a good thing. It means they are making money.

    Don't let that deter you. Everyone else who sells to them has to deal with the same circumstances.

    There's always more / better opportunity with someone who is busy, than with someone who isn't.

    Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Pay someone $5 to walk in and tell them their car is being towed. When they get outside, GO, with the sales pitch.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWoodCould
    If the person you need to speak with is on the phone or dealing with a customer, wait until they are finished or acknowledge you.

    If you see a situation where they are occupied and it's busy, either leave something for them, or come back at a later time and date.

    If you did leave something, reference that you left something for them and ask if they got the opportunity to see it.
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