Skip to comments.Answer a Phone Before it Rings? (Vanity)
Posted on 04/23/2011 9:10:38 AM PDT by piytar
I have a friend who just started a job selling cars. Used to be a stock broker. This is a desperation move.
Problem is one of the other salesmen sits with his finger on the phone and insta-answers every incoming call on the first ring. That means he gets all the leads. Management knows and doesn't care.
Once upon a time, I read that the phone line actually has a change in voltage before the first ring. Any Freeper know of a box or program that detects that and could answer/forward a call BEFORE the first ring? (I figured if such exists, some Freeper would know about it.)
The guy must leave his desk to deal with customers occasionally, no?
...there is no voltage on the phone line until "ringing current" is applied...
He can do the same thing. Or, he could have a “friend” or two start making nuisance calls to break the habit, lol.
But, seriously, it’s not all passive waiting. He can generate his own customers without moping by the phone like a teenage girl. Hand out cards with only his cell number on them. Do so with “affinity groups” that he has credibility with or people who know him. If he has any residual goodwill left with the brokerage, that’s a natural start. His gym, his church, network network network. If he’s likable at all he’ll find some business this way. It’s draining though, very hard work. Gotta do it though, play the hand that you’re dealt and all that.
If they’re looking for a specific car it’s gotten quite easy to find it, even rare new models, but they come with a price. He needs to get inventive, he can’t just sit there and expect business to come to him, especially with an aggressive little turd hogging all the inbound inquiries and shutting him out.
Have him ply his co-worker with coffee.
He’ll have to leave his desk....
put a small battery operated radio near the phone (or cell phone) and you might hear a “crackle” type noise just before it rings. Just a thought.
We should all FReeperize the dealership manager with calls saying that you just spoke to the phone-hog sales guy, that he was a rude a**hole, and that you’d like to speak with another sales guy. What’s the phone number?
...if there is a dealership operator working there...she may be forwarding calls to his phone with some sort of deal worked out between them.
A sale only takes place at the dealship. Customers calling in are just making pricing inquiries they can take to another dealership, its difficult to get them into the showroom. They're typically a waste of time.
Indeed. Coffee with a teaspoon of mineral oil works especially well. LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!
Cold phone “ups” rank high on the payoff:effort scale - it’s for lazy salespeople.
The business card breadcrumb technique for me yielded better prospects.
A phone call to the dealership is merely looking for information.
A person who shows up on the lot with your card in hand is looking for YOU!
Sounds like the guy is a jerk, but sales is a cut throat business where Clymers excel.
Love some of the suggestions, esp the offer to Freep the phone hog. Thanks!
And the hammer and coffee ideas made me LOL.
Some great stuff here. Will pass it along!
You will go far my son.
Have him slip a laxitive in the other guys coffee, that ought to keep him away from the phone for a while.....heheh
He could duct tape the guys hands together. Hard to answer the phone that way
I made similar arrangements with a few service writers in the dealership, and the owner of a local towing company.
When the situation warranted the towing guy says, “Hey, you might want to give McBean a ring, if you need wheels fast.”
The service writers would give me a heads up if there was an orphan customer in the shop, and a new/different car would be a competitive option to having work done on their current car. These leads were gold. The used car appraiser wouldn’t have to guess at what the trade might take to get front-line ready, and if we did the deal, there was no extra pack for a shop check on the trade.
From the customer standpoint, they’re already familiar AND comfortable with the dealership = less unexpressed resistance on their part.
Oh, and whatever arrangement$ are made with whomever - be darn sure you payoff on them. The last thing you need is someone in a position of need/trust telling a potential customer, “Stay away from that guy, he’s a liar.”
Not true. If there wasn't any voltage, the phone system wouldn't be able to recognize when you took the phone off the hook.
New cars, new & used, used cars? Japanese, domestic, European, high end exotic? What is he trying to sell? It matters as far as how to go about finding customers rather than waiting for them to wander in or call up, and getting whatever shmoe runs out onto the lot or snags the phone first.
...there is no voltage on the phone line until "ringing current" is applied...
That is absolutely incorrect.
An on-hook phone has (nominally) 48 volts DC across its 'tip' and 'ring' terminals. To start the ringing, an AC voltage (around 100 volts RMS, IIRC) is superimposed on that voltage. Once the phone is answered, the off-hook condition drops the DC voltage to the 6 to 20 volt range.
To answer the original question, the time difference between any changes in the phone line voltage and the phone starting to ring would be so short as to make any attempt to 'jump the gun' ineffective.
Have a couple of people he knows call this guy and keep him on the phone a while. Finally tell him your on the lot in front of the furthest car in the lot and would like to see him.
I’d be bringing in food that would amke one have to go to the bathroom a lot and making sure it was in easy reach for him. :>
Well...then you get into "Bearing False Witness" which violates that "God's Law" thingy.
I doubt if what you need is already out there commercially, (but may exist privately but you’d not find that)
However, I believe a college kid in electronics could study your system and make something that did the trick.
I assume both of your phones ring at the same time and whomever answers first gets the lead. It takes time for the phones (after both getting a signal to ring) to actually start making enough noise that can be heard. But an electronic circuit could listen ‘faster’ and could pick up the phone faster than someone with their finger on the switchhook.
You could always win. The college kid could even synthesize a ring tone for the caller, and somehow notify you to pick up the call without making a noise, so it won’t even appear that you are tricking the other guy. he wont hear anything.
You would of course have to disable the system when you are not at your desk or else it would quickly become discovered and dis-allowed
Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
A second type of system could be even simpler...
You find what device inside the phone causes the ring tone.
You wire into that signal, (maybe even add a voltage step-up transformer. You take that voltage (or stepped up voltage) out to two electrical contacts you place on your switchhook
You now have to play the same game as him. Keep your finger on your switchhook. But your switchhook has two electrical pads that shock your finger. Your finger twitches before your ears hear the ringing. So you end up picking up the call faster than him.
Option 3 is you take your phone home at night and get the college kid to modify it so it starts ringing a little bit slower than normal (about a half second so that it is not too noticible). Then, the next night you stay a little late and when no one is looking you swap the phone (or the guts of the phone) with his phone. You then have to still play his game with your finger on the switchhook, but you hear the ringtone a hair faster.
(oh, and while the college kid is in there, he might see a way to also make one of the phones ring quicker also)
Two suggestions for your friend-
Follow the 3 feet rule, give a card to anyone who gets within 3 feet. Bars, social events, etc.
Second, go through the sales records and start calling the dealership’s old customers. “Sir/Maam, just calling to thank you for your past business blah, blah, blah...Would like to invite you in to see the new “insert car here”...blah, blah, blah.
That one is GOLDEN. Plus the Sales Mgr. will love him for his efforts.
So he is more agressive than the rest.
Quit the whining.
I would suggest:
1. Unplugging the other guys phone (break the tab that holds the phone line into the phone so it looks accidental).
2. Turning the guys’ ringer volume off.
3. Breaking the tab on the line that plugs the handset into the phone so when he picks it up it falls out of the phone.
4. Set up call forwarding on the guys’ phone to forward to his phone.
5. Finding the line of this guy on the PBX system and creating a bad/loose connection.
6. Gluing the handset to the phone so it cannot be picked up.
If they don’t care who answers the phone, they won’t care he can’t answer it first.
I hope it is Honda or Toyota. Outside of that Phhhhtttt.
That’s the best post I’ve ever seen from you. I’m impressed.
Depends if its a direct POTS line or something like Asteriks.
Trivia: The voltage is measured in “bells” ,
there are ancient devices and modern equivalents that measure the voltage called line testers or line-bugs.
Models with a flashing light or independent ringer and a output jack cost about $15 shipped. However I haven’t seen one in quite a few years.
Second option is a device used by the hard of hearing, it either flashes or vibrates upon the phone ringing. If he gets the flashing light model he can also find a local doctor to give him a hearing aid prescription, the bosses would be open to EEOC complaint and lawsuit if they try to fire him for his disability.
Au contraire. There is a DC potential at (almost) all times.
This potential senses when the phone is picked up, and also provides the "talk current" which powers the the features of the basic phone, particularly, its transmitter (mouthpiece). Because it is needed to sense the off-hook condition, it has to be present on the line even during the application of the AC ring signal.
Some exchanges may send caller ID data just ahead of the first ring.
Your comment prompts me to clarify that I’m talking about a POTS — a Plain Old Telephone Set. If the extensions on a PABX are sufficiently feature-laden, they do indeed talk on digital links to the office switch. They could even be on a LAN.
Each dome contained a plug-in replaceable neon lamp that flashed directly from the ring voltage, which was IIRC in excess of 80 volts.
I'm not talking about signaling to the central office, nor am I talking about VOIP. I'm talking only about the phone system installed at the dealership.
Almost all offices these days have PBXs on premises so that many desk phones share a few common POTS lines. If the phone this guy is using has buttons for dialing other extensions, a button to answer an incoming call, and another button to place an outgoing call, it is connected to a PBX. The PBX is in turn connected to a handful of POTS lines.
Most PBXs usually have more than one incoming line, and the Telco office will hunt an incoming call to an open line. So if you had access to the phone closet and could monitor the POTS line for a brief "voltage drop" prior to the ring voltage, you'd have to monitor all the incoming lines, since they all would ring in using the same main phone number. That's why you can have more than one customer call the dealership at the same time.
On a POTS line, there is about 48 VDC when the phone is on hook, about 9 VDC when the phone is off hook, and about 100 VAC @ 20 Hz for ring.
There may be a brief change in the 48VDC prior to having the AC ring voltage applied, but the transient would be in the millisecond range, certainly not enough time for someone to snag the incoming call first. Besides, with a PBX desk phone, there would be no incoming line lit, so there would be nothing to grab, until the PBX recognized the ring voltage and signaled the desk phones of an incoming call.
Thanks again, all. Some of you have given excellent basic sales advice. Some have come up with interesting tech ideas. And some of you have given me some much needed laughs.
They must have an old phone system.
I have worked at three call centers and the systems there are different. In those centers a call sent to a general queue such as “sales” is routed to the extension which has been tagged as “available” the longest.
The first one I worked at did have a system originally that sent the call first to the top sales rep, but they abandoned it when they segmented the sales staff by customer type.
..my first response was thinking AC ......
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