ABC – Always Be Closing
Once I was hired for a job at a tech company. I’m a tech kind of guy. Tech is what I love to do for a living. I was interviewed and screened. Throughout the process I stressed that I didn’t want a sales position. I was told repeatedly the position was not sales. I was taken to meet the CEO. He presented the profit sharing plans and other fantastically creative benefits, stressing that these were “in the works” and something they “hoped” to offer “down the road.” Oh, and yeah, the position I was being hired for wasn’t sales. I had the CEO’s personal assurance on that.
I was subsequently hired and my first day was a Wednesday. I spent the entire day sitting in a chair by a salesman’s desk listening to him sell things on the phone. I shit you not. There was no orientation, no H.R. visit. Just go sit in a friggin’ chair.
I was told that on Monday I’d finally start training for my real job. They didn’t have what you’d call an official “training program.” So I sat there all day, bored out of my fucking skull, listening to this guy talk on the phone. It was so bad I wanted to reenact the final scene from The Deer Hunter. In his spare time, though, the salesman would actually interact with me and teach me vital “tech” things like: ABC – Always Be Closing.
Thursday and Friday my days were spent doing the exact same thing. Sitting and listening to this guy talk on the phone. Then, on Friday afternoon, they said my training would be postponed at least one full week. I was scheduled for, you guessed it, one more full week of sitting in a chair listening to a salesman talk on the phone.
I politely told them where they could stick their job and that I would not be back.
And that’s the cheerful story about how I learned all about ABC – Always Be Closing. 🙂
How many salespersons out there forget this very basic rule? And what does it mean to be “closing?”
I’m going to hazard a guess and suggest that “closing” doesn’t include things like harassment, rudeness, being pushy, not listening, automated phone calls, making the person who answers the phone wait for you to pick up the line, etc. You know, the various and assorted aspects of douchebaggery.
Keep in mind that this post is about people trying to SELL stuff to me. Not the other way around.
Lesson One: Don’t call my cell phone. Ever. This is the ultimate in rudeness. Fortunately for me, my cell phone days are numbered. I shot my TV and next I’m shooting my cell. Then I’m going to paint my face and run through the rain forest nearby screaming FREEDOM!!!
Lesson Two: Don’t call my cell phone. Ever. I’m already on the do not call list, so why the fuck are you even calling me? If you try to pull that loophole shit on me that the weak ass “do not call” act gives you permission, like I walked by your store within the last 18 months, you will not find me very receptive to the “let’s use a loophole to try to make a sale” approach. In fact, I’ll be wishing you a pleasant journey to a very warm place for attempting such a hideous thing.
Lesson Three: Don’t call my cell phone. Evar. Personally if I don’t recognize the number you can kiss my grits. I’ll never pick up. You’re just wasting my time (and yours). And I ignore all calls that come in without caller ID. In fact, I pound the reject key as fast as I possibly can to prevent you from reaching my voice mail, too, so do not try to be sneaky.
Lesson Four: Don’t harass your existing customers. I may already have the misfortune and retardation required to be doing business with you. That does not give you permission to call me daily and ask me to “upgrade” to your fucking bundle. THIS MEANS YOU, CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS!!! Being your customer (a temporary condition that will be remedied soon) is not an automatic invitation to be your phone bitch, yo.
Lesson Five: Don’t call me at work, dumb ass. This is not the time to listen to your spiel about how you want to rip me off.
Lesson Six: Learn some basic manners. Seriously. Do you really think that being rude and pushy is going to close the sale? I cannot stress this enough. Acting like a rude impatient ass is NEVER going to encourage me to give you my money. I don’t care if you have Jessica Alba herself in a box. I won’t buy from you.
It cracks me up that I actually know more about landing a sale than 90% of the idiot assholes who call me on the phone. And that concludes our little course on “salesperson things not to do” for today.