Last week I posted the now mega-viral Comcast cancellation call and asked for your thoughts. Thanks to those who replied. There were many excellent, well-thought-out comments and suggestions.
My take: First, I agree that the rep went way over the edge. Regardless of the possible reasons—which I’ll address in a minute—just like you won’t get every sale you’re going after, you can’t overcome every objection, and like in this case, you won’t retain every cancellation. That’s obvious, and a huge understatement. After a first attempt at finding out the reason for leaving—and I agree with several of the comments that he could have asked in a way that would have enhanced the chances of getting a better answer—and the customer declines, it’s time to process the cancellation.
I’ve been the customer in that situation, calling when I had very little time to spare, and had reps try multiple times to follow their retention script, which I quickly cut off with,
“Look, I am cancelling. No more questions.”
That usually ends it.
In the post I had asked for positives from the call.
Again, commenters pointed out some good things.
The rep remained mostly calm and courteous.
The rep knew his product well (although he did try to tell the customer what the customer needed, which should never be the case.)
The rep did try to engage the customer with questions, although the customer repeatedly declined to answer.
(And it’s beyond me why the customer stayed on the phone so long…hmmm, he was recording the call, then did post it online, and it did go viral… coincidence? Just wondering. Funny comment on that one at the blog also.)
And here’s the biggest positive. One that I ask everyone reading this if you can say the same thing about yourself.
This rep was PASSIONATE.
He cared about retaining this sale.
Passion at that level of intensity is, sadly, unusual.
That’s a characteristic that sales managers would love to have in everyone who works for them.
But in reality, it’s not as common as you would think.
There are probably people in your organization who just show up each day and go through the motions, collecting a paycheck. Rinse and repeat.
And there hopefully are others who have the same burning passion as this rep, taking ownership of each conversation as if their life depended on it.
Don’t confuse that with desperation.
Some might call it being being excited. Actually, I just saw a great article about that by Robert Terson over at Top Sales World.
And this leads me to this rep and his possible reasons for doing what he did, which of course we don’t know.
(I’d love to interview him to find out and report back to you if anyone can get this to him.)
My speculation, based on experience, is that as a retention specialist he is measured and compensated based upon how many callers he retains.
Perhaps his numbers were low and he was determined to keep everyone he spoke with, or else he would be in danger of losing his job.
Or maybe he was on the final day and hours of an incentive program, and close to hitting a big bonus if he reached a certain percentage, and every call counted.
People will act in the manner they are trained, measured, coached, and compensated.
Mix in personal inner passion and fire and you get this guy, on this call.
I have to assume that his behavior on that call is a direct result of the process, policies, and environment that Comcast has in place.
It’s just like any good or bad sales call that you or I receive from any organization. Think about that one.
This rep seems articulate, intelligent, and oh, did I say passionate?
Could he be trained, mentored, monitored, and compensated to say and do the right things, in the right way, in a different sales situation with another company with the right processes in place?
How quickly do you think this guy would get hired by a smart sales manager with the right systems in place?
In a hummingbird’s heartbeat.
I know. Several have told me they’d take 10 of him right now.
When I was involved in kids’ sports we fellow coaches would always say “You can’t teach the ‘want to’.”
Instead of beating this guy up for the call, I challenge you to compare your passion level to his.
What is your “want to” level?
Amp that one thing up in everything that you do, work and otherwise, and you will definitely see different results.
If you’d like, I invite you to leave your comments at the original post last week