Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Idea: Questionable Sales Tactic

Given a person's first, last, or first & last name as an input, spit out the "likelihood" of the origin of their name.


Name: Ginter Trybus
German - 64%
Austrian - 28%
Russian - 5%
Swedish - 2%
Other - 1%

Could be very useful for salespeople, for which finding an intimate connection with a sales prospect could spark a meaningful conversation, which, in turn, could result in closing a sale.

It would be a good idea to research the most important or most useful "things" to know about a person (either explicit or general) in order to close a sale.

Possibly a way to learn more would be to sit and listen to a salesperson at work, and actively monitor his discussion with the prospects. What things does he say? How do the things he says affect the conversation?  Focus, specifically, on those conversations that lead to the closing of a sale.  What happened in these cases?

These other "things" could be implemented separately, so, what you would get, in the end, is a set of tools that would allow you to GUESS some DETAILED information about a person given some GENERAL information about them, such as name, age, sex, etc.

These tools could run in real time as the general information is inputted, and those results that are most relevant could be displayed, for example, as a sidebar on the screen.

SO, for example, a potential customer phones a company, say, ACME, Inc. for information about ACME's new product. The salesperson offers to send the customer marketing materials for the product. The customer accepts the offer, and the salesperson records the name and address of the customer, "Nima Bakhtiary", 1234 Anywhere St., etc.

CASUALLY, the salesperson says, "Ahh, that is an interesting name. Does it happen to be Iranian?"

Customer says, "well actually, it is."

Salesperson says "I thought so, [INSERT BULL%&*#, such as: 'a former colleague of mine was Iranian - a real great guy, he's one of the most brilliant people I worked with. .. .']

IF IT CLOSES MORE SALES: (most people would say:) WHO CARES.

ASSUMING that such a suggestion is not offensive (which may be, for example if you ask a Greek person if his name is Turkish, or, if you ask an Israeli if his name is Palestinian), then this could lead to a useful discussion (in terms of creating a relationship and closing a sale).

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