Who is That Mystery Shopper? Part 4


Guest articles > Who is That Mystery Shopper? Part 4


by: Daniel Milstein


Mystery shopping can be helpful for both the novice and the expert salesperson. It can help you expand your knowledge of the industry and competitors, but there is also a learning curve inherent in the mystery shopping process.

One of our new originators had just begun his calls and was talking to a lender who wondered, 'If you're a lender, why call us (the lender) to ask these questions?' Of course, our enthusiastic shopper realized that caller I.D. had revealed his name. He quickly finished the call and found the solution--block caller I.D.--then left the office on an errand. Upon his return an hour later, I stopped him and asked loudly, 'Any idea why we haven't received any calls, not a single customer or prospect, since you've been out? That's especially alarming considering we ran a newspaper ad this
weekend.' His puzzled expression confirmed that he didn't have the

Later that day, the sales manager from our unsuccessfully mystery-
shopped competitor called me with an unusual announcement: 'For
the last hour we've been getting calls from people wanting to talk
with you. It's great that we're getting all of these inquiries, but most
of them really want you.' After some additional checking with our
phone system, we found the cause of these misdirected calls. When
attempting to block caller I.D. on his prior mystery shopping
exercise, our originator inadvertently set the call forwarding code,
ensuring that all incoming calls were sent directly to the competitor.

Mystery shoppers also have to be careful about the personal
information they provide. Another Gold Star originator was
contacting various lenders to obtain their rates and other details. He
spent a full day speaking with different representatives from online
and local lenders. He finally walked into my office, sat down and
said in a concerned voice, 'Dan, I have been calling all these
companies and having them run scenarios for me and then
reviewing the presentations. The last guy said my credit score was
almost 100 points less than where it was when I started the day.' I
looked up and asked, 'Have you been giving these companies your
social security number?' He nodded sheepishly and responded, 'Of
course, how else would I get their rates and programs?' He
ultimately had 15 different companies run his credit, which severely
damaged his record. It took him several weeks to have all the
inquiries removed. A good tip for mystery shoppers Don't give out
your SSN.

I learned my own valuable lesson, to use a different name
when mystery shopping. During a presentation to our sales team, I
called a Connecticut lender to inquire about their programs, rates
and overall service. 'I'm in Hartford (CT) and just found a property
that I'd like to close on as soon as possible,' I began. 'I want to see
if you can help me.'
'I'm sure we can,' the loan officer said. 'Can I get your
'Daniel Milstein,' I answered.
There was a brief pause and then, 'The Dan Milstein?'
'Yes,' I replied, happily surprised that he would know my
name, but also aware that I would not gather much intelligence from
this call. I sensed some irritation as the loan officer advised me that
he wouldn't be able to help me after all.

Mystery shopping can help you succeed as a salesperson, but there are many tips you should know before beginning the calls--block your number, use a fake name, never give out your social security number.


Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.

Contributor: Daniel Milstein

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Classification: Sales

Website: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES