We all get them. Unsolicited phone calls at home or the office from people trying to sell us something.
The first hint that the call is a sales pitch is the caller ID. But then again, all of us get calls from people we don’t know and it might not be a sales call. It could be a new client, a friend of a friend or myriad other persons.
But the “dead giveaway” that the call is a sales pitch is when the person calling, unrecognizable to you, starts with “Mr. ((fill in your name)) how are you?
When a stranger calls and asks how you are, you know it is someone who only cares about your health to the extent that you can buy what they are selling.
So why to boiler room sales persons still start with “how are you?” Everybody knows that they are immediately telling you they are about to make a pitch.
All of use ask one another “how are you?” And we say it to people we actually know and even perhaps care about. But even then, we really don’t want to know how people are. If our friends and acquaintances would truthfully tell us how they are, we would immediately turn around and run away screaming.
It is a polite courtesy greeting, not an in-depth inquiry as to how a person’s like if really going. So we do it many times a day, hoping for the expected, “fine.”
If asking how someone how they are doing has become simple routine, then why would a salesperson care how we are?
So as a marketing consultant, my advice to all the phone salespersons out there is don’t ask me how I am. You don’t care, and I know you don’t care. Yet worse, it is a red flag that I am about to be pitched and a signal to say no.