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How to lose a sale by reading a script instead of helping a prospect

Sender

Message

Tom says:

Hi, I’m the live website attendant. Welcome to [car dealership]! How may I assist you today?

Andy Sernovitz says:

Do you sell [make of car]? When is the least crowded time to come by?

Tom says:

I’d be more than happy to help you out with that. May I have your full name please?

Andy Sernovitz says:

Andy Sernovitz

Tom says:

Nice to have you with us, Andy.

Tom says:

Least crowded time is around 2pm to 3pm on weekdays.

Andy Sernovitz says:

Do you sell [make of car]?

Tom says:

Let me go ahead and check that on our inventory for you. One moment please. [Note: 2 minutes pass. My BS alert goes off. How could he not know what kind of cars they sell?]

Tom says:

Oh, by the way, just in case we get disconnected at some point here while I go and check on our inventory, may I have your phone number and email address please, so we can get back to you?

Andy Sernovitz says:

Nevermind. You’re so eager to get my contact info instead of helping me that you lost the sale.

How about that? I go to the dealership’s website. Ask if they have the car I want, even ask when I should come by to buy it. Sales don’t get any easier than this. But the script says “Get the person’s name no matter what” — and they chased me away.

Anybody want to sell me a car?

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Comments

  1. Akash Sharma July 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    What an ideal excerpt Andy, to put something across which is commonly mistaken by customer service reps. It is not completely their problem as well because they are told to stick to the words of a script and not to use there own heads in solving something for the customer.

  2. Elizabeth July 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    I had a similar situation with a cable company. All I wanted was to pay my bill…I forgot my password. They wasted 25 minutes of my life asking me tons of questions before doing the simple password change. By the end I was extremely annoyed. I wanted a quick and easy way to pay my bill and was treated to so many questions it felt like an FBI background check. Companies need to do a mystery shopper thing for their customer service centers and fix the problems.

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