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Salesman Calling!: Where People Answer Their Cell Phones

kiwanjaWhat’s the strangest thing someone has said to you as they’ve answered a call from you on their cell phone?

Sports ticket sales professionals call thousands of prospects a day, and many times we catch people in strange, awkward, or questionable situations. Here are some of the best examples of responses from sales prospects during actual calls that sports ticket sales reps have made to people on their cell phones:

“I’m on a treadmill right now.” (out of breath)

“I’m going into a CATscan.” (Aren’t you supposed to leave those cell phones outside?)

“I’m teaching a gym class right now.” (he then accidentally blows a loud referee’s whistle right into the rep’s ear!)

“I’m holding a baby in each arm.” (Hmm… how DID you answer the phone again??)

“My kids are outside playing baseball.” (OK… and…?)

“I’m waiting for AT&T to come to fix my phone, because I can’t hear anything.” (No comment.)

“I’m on a roller coaster right now.” (Our games are WAY more exciting!)

“I’m on a bus chaperoning an elementary school field trip.” (Well, turn that bus around to OUR place!)

“I’m putting in my contacts.”Ed Yourdon

“I’m out here in the rain trying to pour concrete.”

“I’m a police officer on the way to a shooting.”

“I’m in the library” (whispering)

“I’m wheeling a beer.” (Our kind of fan!)

“I’m at a funeral right now.” (Dude… you have GOT to get Caller ID!)

“I’m a psychiatrist, and I’m with a patient right now.”

“I’m about to get in the shower.”

“I can’t talk right now… I have swine flu.” (Hmm…)

“This is a bad time… I’m in a VERY IMPORTANT MEETING!” (shouting and hanging up loudly)

“I can’t talk. I lost both my arms in a car accident.” (He really said it!)

“I’m at work and I’m not supposed to be on the phone.” (So why did you answer?)

“Bill’s actually out in left field right now playing softball… (screams into phone) BIIIIILLLL – IT’S SCOTT WITH THE STEEEELHEADS! BIIIIILLLLL!” (After all that, he never made it to the phone!)

“I’m about to go into surgery.” (This was a Surgeon!)

“I’m gonna have to let you go; my son is throwing a football at me.”

“This is NOT a good time! I’m stuck in traffic and mad as hell!”

“Hola, no habla English.”

“The doctor wouldn’t be interested anyway; he’s in the middle of a rectal exam. Could you call back another time?” (Tell him to be sure to wash his hands!)

“My wife won’t let me talk to you; she’s afraid you’re going to sell me something.” (Be afraid; be VERY afraid!)

“I’m a little busy right now.” (woman giggling in background)

What do you do in situations like this? Should you continue the conversation, or try to politely end the call?
Mykl RoventineUnless they’re in the middle of something that just shouldn’t be stopped (like a funeral or a rectal exam!), I’m in favor of continuing the call. They answered the phone, so obviously they were prepared to talk to someone. I suggest continuing the conversation, perhaps commenting on what they just told you, and seeing if they respond favorably. Otherwise, I’d apologize and find out when a good time would be for me to return my call – and then I’ll be sure to follow up when I said I would, referencing that first awkward call as an ice-breaker.

What’s the strangest response you’ve ever received for an outbound sales call to a cell phone? Send it to me at [email protected], and we’ll create a follow-up to this topic in the future.

P.S. My sincere thanks to the many people who contributed their experiences to this article, including Steve Reed and Laura Culbertson (Minnesota Vikings), John Donovan (Houston Rockets), Stefanie Starck and B.J. Brown (Chicago Wolves), Paul Ratner (Golden State Warriors), Scott Frasnelly (Bakersfield Condors), John Bowers (Indianapolis Indians), and Isaac Satten (New Jersey Devils).

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Image by Kiwanja

Image by Ed Yourdon

Image by Mykl Roventine

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15 Responses to Salesman Calling!: Where People Answer Their Cell Phones

  1. Tim Newman November 6, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    Classic comments. How about “I cant talk right now I am getting a speeding ticket”? I actually used the treadmill one last week!

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