Inside sales is a competitive business. There’s thousands of people who do what you do and then, of course, there’s the Bills and Shirleys of the world who have heard it all before. You have to be different. You have to stand out from the pack.
One way of doing this is in the words. Phraseology is key. What is not said is often more important than what is.
For instance, if you are trying to get Bill’s cell phone from Shirley you might not want to be so straight forward. Instead of directly saying, “Do you have Bill’s cell phone?” You might want to preface it this way:
“Gee, Shirley, I have another one of those splitting headaches, the pain it unbearable. Do you have Bill’s cell?”
Most likely, Shirley has never that line before. It’s unusual. It doesn’t mean anything, but since it’s so nonsensical it’s quite possible that Shirley will be focused on your headache and not the matter of giving out Bill’s number.
Receptionists are very susceptible to offbeat phrasing. They are also surprisingly fascinated with mottos. If they tell you they can’t find Bill’s cell, tell them:
“Have you tried looking in Outlook? Always be on the lookout for Outlook. That’s our motto? Do you like it?”
Most of the time they’ll say, yes, they like the motto and will give you the cell. The motto, “Always be on the lookout for Outlook,” by the way, is idiotic. But if you deliver it with conviction they’ll think it’s Shakespearean.
Other phraseology and mottos include:
“If you’re not on the ball you can’t have a ball.” “I’m up on the roof in the wind in Building 2, is Bill in?” “Well, as my grandmother used to say, ‘we can’t be in two places at the same time.’ Ah, granny, bless her heart. Can you put me through to Bill, Shirley?”
Being strange gives pause to normal folks. Using strange phraseology hypnotizes them. And if you deliver your lines in an upbeat, unworldly way, people will focus on the wrong thing and give you what you want. “Remember, Shirley, ‘If you’re doing nothing, you’re doing something, and that something is nothing.’ That’s my motto. Now, can you take a look at Outlook and find Bill’s cell?”