I got a phone call a few days ago from a rather eloquent, very chirpy sounding phone agent.  Knowing how hard their type of work is, I wanted to give the girl a chance to run through her script.  She opened by saying she was excited about my product having found it online and wanted to get to know more about it.  I mentioned with a little hesitation that I had received a similar call from another agent from their company.  She sounded even more excited and continued to talk about my product.  (Here was case of not listening situation 1)  So I thought, maybe she really does know what she is talking about.

cust agent cartoon

“So you know what my product is?”  She replied by referring to a site that was long gone.  So I corrected her and told her what business I was actually in.

She went back to her line of “I really want to know more about your product.” (not listening situation 2) And I replied, getting a bit frustrated: “But I had just told you about it.”  She proceeded to talk about how she wanted to meet with me within the week, and I responded with:

“I feel like you are just trying to sell me something.  This is really not a good time for me.”  Which was something she vehemently denied!  She proceeded to say she just wanted to present their platform to me, etc. etc.  (not listening situation 3) Clearly she was not listening to her customer at all.

Exasperated, I ended with: “I don’t think you are hearing me, I do not think there is a good fit. Thank you but I have to go now.”  She suddenly became very informal and switched to a very casual Taglish closing of “Ingat po.

If only she had picked up on the customer cues and really listened, this conversation could have ended differently.  It really cements the thought shared by coaching experts Bryan Franklin and Jennifer Russell: “People aren’t turned off by sales per se, but by incompetent selling.”  People want to be levelled with, not sneaked up upon with a hidden agenda.