fbpx

Could Cell Phones be the Root of all Evil?

I have often played with the idea of installing a cell phone jamming device in my store, but, of course, I find myself relying on it more and more for business purposes. Maybe I’m part of the problem. Cell phones are a useful tool, but I’m finding them more and more annoying as time goes on.

DA_iStock_000018631949_Large

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ere’s something that I’ll bet has happened to all of you: you’re right in the middle of a sales pitch, trying to get a customer to part with some of his hard earned dollars, and you’re making great progress, when you hear a musical interlude, or a whistle, or some other annoying sound effect coming from his (or her) pocket.

It’s his portable communication device, or as we call it, annoyance unit. Now you have to stop right in the middle of your presentation and watch him cool down, suddenly distracted by whatever outside problems have suddenly intruded into your economic endeavors by way of his cell phone. You may never get back to where you were in the sales process, as the client’s focus is now far away, and he’s got more seemingly important affairs than buying a motorcycle from you, here, today.

And, of course, customers also use the cell phone as a way to peruse other shop’s inventory, checking pricing and availability of the unit they are looking at. Or trying on a helmet or jacket while checking online for better deals on the same items.

All of this has been talked about by wiser people than myself. At my store, we try to appeal to the immediacy of getting the merchandise right here, right now. Kill them with service, kindness and smiles. And hope that the helmet they saved $50 on online comes to them in the wrong color.
Staff perusing their cell phone for entertainment has also become a problem, from playing games to looking at the latest crotch hits on YouTube. And it’s almost impossible to police something that’s so small and easily hidden.

I have often played with the idea of installing a cell phone jamming device in my store, but, of course, I find myself relying on it more and more for business purposes. Maybe I’m part of the problem. Cell phones are a useful tool, but I’m finding them more and more annoying as time goes on.

Which brings me to the problems I found at AIMExpo when I was there. The first day wasn’t so bad, but as time went on, I discovered that many booths were manned by single staff members who in the past were ready to tell you about their latest, greatest product. By the second day, however, I found many of them were on their phones, texting someone (to be fair, they could have been texting a potential customer about a huge order, but I somehow doubt it), looking at cute cat videos, or some such exciting drivel.

Several times, I walked into a booth, perused the entire booth, picked up or fondled several items, some of them perhaps sellable in my store, but the staffer in that booth was too busy looking at the phone screen, doing whatever was more important than talking to me. I always left without intruding on their privacy. I swear I could have made off with thousands of dollars in product, and they never would have known until they packed up.

These were booths paid for by a company that went to a lot of trouble to get organized, set up, and staffed to help merchandise its product to the hundreds of potential clients who attend this show, both wholesale and retail. Perhaps the person in the booth was the owner of the business, and he’d made so many sales that he decided to coast for the rest of the show. I have found, however, that entrepreneurs who build companies to sell their creations have a laser-like focus on their products. They have made many sacrifices getting them out in the world, they work hard and are consumed by achieving success, so I don’t believe that the ones ignoring me were the owners of the company.

It’s all just sad, and I don’t know what we can do about it. Maybe someone out there has a solution. Maybe it’s just the way of the future, and I should just get used to it.
Or maybe I’ll just get one of those cell phone jammers. And carry it around with me wherever I go.

Some say his tears are adhesive and that he’s scared of bells. All we know is his identity is hidden for various reasons. Send us an email if you have a topic for him to cover at: [email protected].

You May Also Like

The Critical Role of F&I Manager Performance Plans

The performance of F&I staff is critically important in today’s market because the days of passive order-taking are long gone.

customer and salesman discussing deal in motorcycle showroom

Powersports dealers continue to navigate a persistently changing industry, influenced by today’s economy that continues to feel the impact of high interest rates and inflation. These factors create a challenging environment for dealers. This article is the second of a three-part series covering pay plans, performance and participation while offering key strategies for dealers looking to revitalize and perhaps even modernize their business to ensure it is optimized for operational, financial and customer success.

Do You Pay Staff on Commission or Hourly?

Keeping staff happy and motivated comes in many forms, but how they’re paid is paramount.

NPA Pre-Owned Market Update: March 2024

Used pricing has finally returned to normal levels post-COVID, and normal seasonality has returned.

National Powersport Auctions, NPA, Market Report
The Future of Buying: Navigating Powersport Consumer Trends

Insights into a study on the future of powersport shopping.

Future of Buying Study
Racer and Dealer Sponsorship Must Be a Two-Way Street

You’re better to have no racers than the wrong racers.

Other Posts

How to Respond to Digital Leads

Timing, presence and tools are all critical.

Digital leads
How to Attract, Retain and Develop Talent

This recorded AIMExpo education track features a panel of dealers discussing their hiring and retention practices.

MPN talent panel, AIMExpo 2024
How to Grow and Excel in Digital Retailing

This recorded AIMExpo education track discusses the world of digital retailing and why you need to be there.

MPN Digital retailing panel, AIMExpo 2024
NPA Pre-Owned Market Update: February 2024

Average wholesale prices continue to improve, reflecting dealer sentiment and demand for pre-owned.

National Powersport Auctions, NPA, Market Report