Who is That Mystery Shopper? Part 1
Guest articles > Who is That Mystery Shopper? Part 1
by: Daniel Milstein
If you don't know how your competitors answer their phones, you may be in trouble. It is absolutely essential to understand how the competition operates. You cannot effectively sell your product or service if you don't know how salespeople at other firms are selling. That means knowing how they explain their company's product and program features, respond to consumer questions, deal with objections and much more.
I am convinced that most salespeople don't take advantage of some of the basic intelligence gathering 'tools', including mystery shopping, which I first experienced as a McDonald's management trainee. One of our tasks was to visit various outlets and see how the staff handled their drive-thru and walk-in responsibilities. We would evaluate their customer greetings, food quality, delivery time, and other critical areas. In hindsight, I am not sure that we were the most objective judges, but we did our best, and it was a great learning experience. The regional managers also conducted mystery shopping research to see how well everyone performed. Years later as a new loan originator, I realized that the best way for me to understand my competition was to mystery shop other companies.
I would call XXX Mortgage Lending and ask for a loan originator. When he said, 'Yes Mr. Jones, how can I help?' I mentioned my interest in a purchase or refinance and asked about their rates, fees, special programs, closing schedules and everything else a customer might want to know. The responses varied greatly, with each call providing valuable insights about the competition. In addition to the basic information gleaned from these conversations, I also listened carefully to how they presented themselves. For example, whether they sounded interested, impatient or condescending, the kind of responses that can quickly influence a caller's decision to do business.
In order to gain more insight into your competitor's tactics, you should mystery shop them. When growing Gold Star, the data I gathered from mystery shopping my competitors helped me refine my own customer presentation.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 11-Oct-15