You can learn a lot just by watching


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I spent 3 hours in the Ontario, CA airport the other day. There are no airline clubs there, so to work on my computer I sat at a Southwest Airlines gate at one of their work tables and stools. It happened to be right next to the credit card sign-up station.

If you fly much you know that most airports have a least one airline affinity card sign-up station where the “sales people” attempt to get you to sign up for an affinity card. I, and most people I talk to, assume this effort is probably not all that effective … just highly profitable, since credit card customers are highly valuable to the financial institutions.

Boy, was I surprised. There were three people at this sign-up station working to get people to sign-up for a Chase Bank Southwest Airlines affinity card. During the entire three hours that I sat there, at least one of those people was signing somebody up. Often two were signing and sometimes all three.

Their success came from an effective opening line and a useful offer. As my friend Ted Steinberg says, “A closed mind doesn’t buy.” Their opening lines (each person used a different line) were highly effective at stopping people and their offer was compelling to a surprising number of people.

In talking to them I found there was a compensation plan that also drove an effective effort. They all made minimum wage plus commission/bonus. Their commission/bonus was tied to their personal sign-ups, sign-ups who ultimately qualified, and a team-based bonus based on how their team did during their shift. This drove individual effort without a cut-throat attitude.

It was confirmation for me that “cold calling” works and can be a good job … if you have a mind-opening line, and an effective offer.

You can learn a lot just by watching.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mitchell Goozé
Mitchell Goozé is the president and founder of Customer Manufacturing Group. His broad scope of business experience ranges from operations management in established firms, to start-up and turn-around situations and mergers. A seasoned general manager, he has headed divisions of large corporations and been CEO of independent firms, always focusing the company strategy on the most important person in business . . . the customer.


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