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Taking away a weakness

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by forever_town, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    For months now, the one thing that has been a weak spot for me at my current job has been sales referrals. As someone who provides customer service over the phone, I'm also supposed to offer products for customers to take advantage of, which would also improve sales figures and the like. Salesmanship is not something that's really easy for me, even when I can build a strong rapport with a customer.

    My other metrics are rock solid. My quality scores are usually near the top of the team, and have been even when the team I was on turned into an all star team of sorts. I'm pretty much always on time and quite a few people treat me as if I were just below the managers. One of the managers even treats me as if I were one of her peers. But it's those pesky sales numbers that would always do me in. They were for me what my company refers to as a "barrier to greatness."

    This past Tuesday, we all got word that everyone in our department is now being asked to NOT offer products to customers proactively. In other words, sales referrals are no longer going to be counted in our metrics. All of a sudden, my one big stress point is gone for now.

    I haven't felt this good about things at work since they got rid of our much reviled surveys (and my boss's boss told me I was the reason they got rid of it). It felt great to change a consistent weakness to a relative weakness.
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses at their job. Glad to hear one of your weaknesses is getting de-emphasized.

    How intense were they about sales pitches? I don't mind if it's something thrown in at the end of the conversation, as long as they stop when I say no. But there are some companies out there that you call for a simple reason, and they badger you for a couple of minutes until I get pissed off.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    "Barrier to greatness"?
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Nothing annoys me more than add on sales pitches at banks and retail stores. I am glad that your company has seen the light.

    "do you know we have a sale on toe nail clippers today"
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Which MBA thought of that one? I think half of an MBA program is devoted to coming up with mission statements and how to hold meeting.
  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Back in the not-too-long ago, I had to sit in on weekly meetings while another division of my then-employer went over the "upsells" that they were offering the 15,000+ people who called in to buy things each week. In the meeting was a mix of marketing types, a couple of CPAs, a couple of quantitative analysts folks and the owner of the company, who did everything seat-of-the-pants, despite being given a huge database of info. It was really fascinating to hear how the experts could change the order of various upsells and then analyze how much the company was earning or losing, say, by offering the expensive upsell that few wanted first, or the cheap one first and the expensive one last.

    My point being, is that when you are given those annoying pitches while working customer service, there's a tremendous amount of research done beforehand, to judge the risk of you (a) walking away completely (b) not buying the upsell or (c) buying everything.

    Then, of course, they track you over the next 6 months or so to see if you still make your payments, etc, or you return anything.

    Selling shit is a very complicated process!
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    As soon as I am hit with an upsell I immediately have a vision of 4 marketing slap dicks in a room dreaming this BS up. I pride myself on not being a marketers dream.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    They used to have stricter rules, such as you couldn't take credit for a referral if the customer brought up the product, but by the time they sent the instruction not to refer, it had changed. Basically, if you mention a product, that's considered a referral. If the customer mentions the product, you get credit for a referral.

    I dreaded the one-on-one biweekly meetings with my manager because my sales figures were so low. For my form this week, I went with a relative weakness (hold time), and that area is one that's showing growth.
  9. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member


    Now, if you could sell me something to take away my crazy we'd be all set.
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