Polite or Bloody Annoying?

Have you heard this new business sales pitch introduction lately?

“Hello Adam, this is John from Acme; how are you today?”

“Er, fine thanks. Sorry, do I know you?”

“No, but I thought you might be interested to hear about our …”

“No I wouldn’t be, thank you, have a nice day and goodbye.” BRRRRRRRR (the sound of me hanging up on someone. Ironic eh, given what I do for a living!!

The Dreaded Cold Caller!

Is it just me? Am I being overly sensitive? Or is it REALLY annoying when a salesperson asks how I am?

  1. They don’t know me and don’t actually care.
  2. For all they know I may actually be VERY unwell indeed and just about holding it together.

But this is not the only case of POBA (Polite Or Bloody Annoying) we should all be aware of and try to eradicate from our ‘patter’. Most of them are unnecessary verbiage that can irritate and lose us a sale.

Here are a few more to avoid in no specific order:

  • To be honest with you
  • With the greatest of respect
  • At this moment in time

I could go on but won’t.

And Another Thing …

I overheard a salesperson the other day giving a newbie some advice on how to handle people who are ‘rude’.

“Just be really REALLY polite back to them, there’s nothing they can say about it, it makes you feel better and shows you are the better person”.

OMFG was my reaction.

Firstly, very few people if any, are rude to salespeople if they are good salespeople; people are rude to bad salespeople because the approach is ill thought out, badly communicated and poorly timed. Secondly, what that person was advocating is amazingly passive aggressive and is the hight of bad manners.

So, To Summarise.

I am not saying you should not be friendly, just be sincere and polite and most importantly of all, MATCH the signals the other person is giving off and act similarly. If someones answers the phone …

**sighs** “Yes?”

The answer, “you sound busy and stressed, this is a sales call, should I try you another time?” You’ll be surprised how many grateful reactions you’ll get together with a time and maybe even a direct line or mobile number of you ask nicely.

Or they answer …

“Hi there, John Smith” So answer

“John, hi, Felicity Jones from Acme. Good to speak to you finally, you’re a difficult man to track down! have you got five minutes?”.

So, don’t be POBA, be sincere and MATCH their mood. It’s like building rapport face-to-face, only over the telephone.