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Sales Planning - Cell Phone Trick

By Steven J. Schmidt

Another technique of gaining the customer's interest is by using the Cell Phone Trick. This is similar to the Distracted Sales Rep technique, but it's a different approach to use when you are out in the field. This will consist of talking on the cell phone on a real conversation, or a pretend conversation when the potential consumer opens the door. The point behind this is to look as if you are talking to someone about some important business enterprise.

The customer will answer the door with the thought in their head, "The nerve of this person to ring my doorbell, and he is on the phone." Once the person answer the door, they will ask if they can help you. You have a few options here. Your first option is to say with enthusiasm, "Yes, I'm terribly sorry about that, and I know that was rude, but I work for West Beverly Cable, and they just told me we are going to be able install cable for everyone on this block for free."

The object of this approach is to make the customer think that you just got the word, that you will be able to do something amazing for them. The customers will usually think, "Wow, they're going to do that for us? That must be a great deal!" In addition, nobody likes to be left behind and off the bandwagon. You may have some people, that may say, "Well, if my neighbors are doing it, I want to do it too." Customers may not do that, but may ask, "Well what is this free install all about?"

Even by asking a question, the customer is showing interest, and then you go into detail about your sale.

If the customer asks the same question, "What is this free installation all about?" You can then get a bit risky and reply, "Oh, I don't know if that's something you would be interested in." customers are curious, and always want to know what is happening with their neighbors.

You then play it off as if it's no big deal by telling them, "Well we're installing their cable for free, is that something you might be interested in?" Notice how i reverted back to a line from an earlier paragraph. This will get the customers attention too.

Speaking of being risky, I have worked in sales many years and come across my fair share amount of risky sales reps. I used to know a sales rep who pretended to be on the cell phone when a customer would answer the door. The customer would ask, "Can I help you?" The rep would then continue to talk on the phone about a new deal coming through, while holding his finger up to the resident, essentially asking the consumer to wait a second.

The rep would turn it around as if the customer was being rude to him. Sometimes the rep would say, "Can you hold one one sec, I'm really sorry, but this is really important and I really have to tell you something." It might sound silly, but it worked for him all the time. Just before the resident would shut the door on him or walk back into their house, he would get off the phone. He would then say, "OK, I'm off the phone, and you will not believe what I have just been authorized to do for everyone on this street!"

The resident, growing curious, will want to know what, and the rep would say, "I'm allowed to give everyone free installation for West Beverly Cable, one free pay-per-view movie, and free HBO for six months!"

Now, the sales rep already knew that he was allowed to give that, but the sales rep created the element of surprise and generated some great curiosity to the customer. Yes, of course he almost got the door slammed in his face, but he gained the interest of the customer to make it look like he was hearing some ground-breaking news, and that the customer had to be a part of it. In addition, the customer felt compelled to be a part of it because they were curious and wanted to know what was going on.

By using this strategy, the sales rep once again created interest in maybe an unconventional way, but a very successful way that caught the attention of the customer!

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