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Sales Planning - Distracted Sales Rep

By Steven J. Schmidt

Another technique to gain a customer's attention is based on looking as if you are busy when you making a sale. When an individual looks busy, people generally are curious and want to know what they are doing that is making them busy. In addition to that, if you're going door to door as in our previous example, a homeowner is going to want to know why someone is at their door.

Let's take a look at how some of the dialogue would actually be. Before we get into that, please refer back to the previous text, that you are still a sales rep working for some cable company. OK, now, you ring the doorbell, and you have a clipboard, or some type of clipboard. You are looking down at your notepad with a pen in your hand, either writing something. It can be anything, from looking back over a previous sale, to filling out a new sales form with the zip code and city.

The customer will open the door, and usually the customer will say, "Hello, can I help you?" You, then respond, "Oh, I'm sorry, I work with West Beverly Cable, and I'm just putting down that your neighbor down the street wants HBO because they like Curb Your Enthusiasm." The customer will probably say, "Oh OK, no problem at all."

At that point in time, you have just knocked down the imaginary wall that was between you and the customer by telling them why you are there. The customer will probably ask, "Are you running some type of deal or something?" You would then reply, "Well yes, we are running a promotion, but I was really just taking a survey as to what people like better, HBO or Showtime."

You will then get some type of a response from the potential customer, who will tell you whether or not they've seen Curb Your Enthusiasm. Please also make a note, and this should go without saying, that you MUST know your product inside and out. In this particular scenario, you should know all the channels that the particular cable company you are working for has.

Going back to the dialogue, you then say, "Well, how about the Emmy-award nominating show Weeds?" Basically, you continue to name TV series or shows until the resident says, "Yes, I love that show," or "Yes, I saw that show one time, and it was good." Once again, we are going back to asking the consumer questions because the more questions you get from the consumer, the more you are building interest, which we will take a deeper dive into later.

Once that person tells you a show that they like, you are then ready to proceed into conversation and you are on your road to getting the sale. Remember that this is just a technique of gaining the customer's interest because there is no sale without getting yourself in the door in the first place!

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