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  #1  
Old 10-05-2013, 12:53 PM
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Problem With Being A Saleswoman.

This is random but I thought I'd discuss my situation here since this is the forum where I am most active.

I work at a local Ford Dealer. I was a saleswoman for 4 months then I was moved to the internet manager's assistant. Being a managers assistant gave me the flexibility to go to school full time and work. Anyways, between my boss and I, we deal with all the incoming internet leads. We make the phone calls, emails back, etc.

My work emails has my picture, my full name, work number, and obviously where I work. Since I was moved to this new position I no long have a work phone, so I have been contacting people from my cell phone (which I thought was no big deal). Today I received a voicemail from a previous customer. He talked about some very personal things, and informed me he would be finding me a therapist in Cincinnati. I had only spoke to this gentleman twice over the phone regarding a vehicle. I have no idea how he knew so much about my personal life.

I called him back and left him a message asking him to please clarify the meaning of that voicemail. He has yet to return my call. One thing I found odd is i live no where near Cincinnati...at all. Maybe he had the wrong person? I listened to the voicemail maybe 10 more times and he clearly says "Hi Tara this is Adam" so it was definitely meant for me. The only way he could know about my personal life is if he Facebooked me or found my Instagram.

I contacted my boss and general manager about this. My general manager is in a tizzy saying I need to take down my picture, last name, and they are going to get me a work phone. I think maybe he is overreacting a little? I feel like being creeped on comes with the territory of being a woman and having a career in customer service. Especially sales.

This isn't the first time this has happened either. I have had 3 other guys find me on Facebook and contact me through there after giving them my business card. I think that this particular guy is an exception, because no one has ever brought up personal information like that. I don't think that I need to go to great lengths to hide my identity at work, whats the point of being in sales then? I enjoy meeting new people and interacting with them.

It's an awful lot of hassle for a girl who only works part time at the moment. What do you guys think? Is my boss overreacting?
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:59 PM
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I dont think he is overreacting at all! when i was in sales, it was against our policy to give out our personal phone number. People are crazy and you wouldnt want to make it simple for anyone to find out your info so easily. Its sad we live in a world were you have to take so many precautions with meeting new people but its the truth!
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by eli_harper13 View Post
I dont think he is overreacting at all! when i was in sales, it was against our policy to give out our personal phone number. People are crazy and you wouldnt want to make it simple for anyone to find out your info so easily. Its sad we live in a world were you have to take so many precautions with meeting new people but its the truth!
I'm about to pull the "its not fair" card. Men don't have to disclose their identities. At my dealer majority of the guys use their cell phones more than their work phones. I don't like the though of having to be handled with kid gloves just because I am a girl. Then again, on the flip side, if the guys at work were getting creeped on like I am, they might do something about it aswell

I feel I won't be able to be as successful in sales if I have to hide my identity. Hand out business cards without my last name, have emails without my last name, etc. Also, when people call my old work phone it reverts it to my cell phone. The only reason why I don't have a work phone is because there is no phone jack where my new desk is. Maybe there is a way I can block my number when making calls out to customers?
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:58 AM
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Well, I understand your frustration, but it's a sign of the times we live in. This is the downside of the Facebook decade, it's fairly easy to find out a Lot about someone, depending of course how much info you put out there. You also appear to have the added 'liability' of being attractive (if your avatar pic is you and your dog), which brings with it a whole 'nuther set of issues you'll have to deal with. I admire your pluck, and agree that it isn't fair. You shouldn't have to hide behind a partial or false name, but you shouldn't have to use your personal phone for business purposes. That it crazy, I would Never give my personal # out to any of my customers, and I'm a guy. 'People' are crazy, well, some are, and not necessarily in a mean or violent way, but at the least they can certainly bug.

If I were you, I'd make sure that I didn't use my personal phone, and try whenever possible to use the office vs. the work cell phone, that will potentially cut the # of callbacks you get on it. Have them wire a jack, in a dealership it should be very easy, and not take long at all. It sucks to have to be treated 'differently' because of who you are , but I guess your safety is more important than the inconvenience of having to handle things the same as the guys. Of course your other option is to just do what they do, but you have seen the potential downsides. Not fair, but reality. And as a guy, I'm sorry it's like that, but like I said earlier, it's the world we live in now. Best of luck on your new position, hope you are very successful!
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:50 AM
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Pretty girl + easy access to public information = creepers

My wife is in sales and occasionally has certain d-bags hit on her repeatedly. One of them waited by her car when she left work. She is 26 and he was in his late 40s. I drove down there and had a very persuasive talk with him (luckily it didn't escalate into a fight).

As a woman, you can get away with being a little more friendly or charming to both men and woman. A woman might feel more comfortable with another woman being friendly where a salesman saying the same things could turn her away. And men... well its as simple as sex appeal and a salesman can't compete with a saleswoman on this level. HOWEVER, in extreme cases this is also a disadvantage as some men might see a friendly sales pitch as something more. Answering questions with a smile and paying attention to a customer and dressing nice are all simple things salesmen/women do to make the customer feel this is the right choice and ultimately make a sale. Simply put, some men think you smiled at them and paid attention to them and dressed nice for them and read into it as something more. This has happened to my wife before and she kindly reminds said persons she is happily married. 9/10 times the man apologizes and leaves her alone... but there have been a few who "just don't get it".

You really should take advantage of the work phone being offered! And maybe carry bear mace in your purse. haha
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by alha View Post
Well, I understand your frustration, but it's a sign of the times we live in. This is the downside of the Facebook decade, it's fairly easy to find out a Lot about someone, depending of course how much info you put out there. You also appear to have the added 'liability' of being attractive (if your avatar pic is you and your dog), which brings with it a whole 'nuther set of issues you'll have to deal with. I admire your pluck, and agree that it isn't fair. You shouldn't have to hide behind a partial or false name, but you shouldn't have to use your personal phone for business purposes. That it crazy, I would Never give my personal # out to any of my customers, and I'm a guy. 'People' are crazy, well, some are, and not necessarily in a mean or violent way, but at the least they can certainly bug.

If I were you, I'd make sure that I didn't use my personal phone, and try whenever possible to use the office vs. the work cell phone, that will potentially cut the # of callbacks you get on it. Have them wire a jack, in a dealership it should be very easy, and not take long at all. It sucks to have to be treated 'differently' because of who you are , but I guess your safety is more important than the inconvenience of having to handle things the same as the guys. Of course your other option is to just do what they do, but you have seen the potential downsides. Not fair, but reality. And as a guy, I'm sorry it's like that, but like I said earlier, it's the world we live in now. Best of luck on your new position, hope you are very successful!
I give out my old work phone number, because all calls are forwarded to my cell phone. The issue is when I make follow up calls, I have to use my cellphone so It comes up as my personal number calling. But I completely agree that I should get a work phone, I feel like that is the main issue here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gotta_gofast View Post
Pretty girl + easy access to public information = creepers

My wife is in sales and occasionally has certain d-bags hit on her repeatedly. One of them waited by her car when she left work. She is 26 and he was in his late 40s. I drove down there and had a very persuasive talk with him (luckily it didn't escalate into a fight).

As a woman, you can get away with being a little more friendly or charming to both men and woman. A woman might feel more comfortable with another woman being friendly where a salesman saying the same things could turn her away. And men... well its as simple as sex appeal and a salesman can't compete with a saleswoman on this level. HOWEVER, in extreme cases this is also a disadvantage as some men might see a friendly sales pitch as something more. Answering questions with a smile and paying attention to a customer and dressing nice are all simple things salesmen/women do to make the customer feel this is the right choice and ultimately make a sale. Simply put, some men think you smiled at them and paid attention to them and dressed nice for them and read into it as something more. This has happened to my wife before and she kindly reminds said persons she is happily married. 9/10 times the man apologizes and leaves her alone... but there have been a few who "just don't get it".

You really should take advantage of the work phone being offered! And maybe carry bear mace in your purse. haha
He waited for her by her car? That's actually pretty scary to think about, especially considering he is much older than her. It's a very good point you made about them reading into things more than they should. Although I feel it comes with the territory. I usually throw a madeup boyfriend into the conversation and they back off a bit. Bear Mace isn't a bad idea either

Thanks guys for the advice
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:44 AM
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hes def not over reacting.... there are some real creepers out there... im with him on removing all your personal info and picture.....
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Raul@Stealth Automotive View Post
hes def not over reacting.... there are some real creepers out there... im with him on removing all your personal info and picture.....
He also wants me to remove my last name from my email headers. I am thinking about just using my middle name? Considering I deal with the online sales aspect of things, people are already skeptical enough giving personal information online. I don't want to give them more reason to be skeptical.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 6.boom View Post
He also wants me to remove my last name from my email headers. I am thinking about just using my middle name? Considering I deal with the online sales aspect of things, people are already skeptical enough giving personal information online. I don't want to give them more reason to be skeptical.
i wouldnt put your last name on there.. you can always just put the first letter of your last name.. like sometimes i just put Raul B
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:53 AM
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Yep, good idea 1st name last initial, along with getting both an work landline and cell phone, then have the forward of the old number go to the land line 1st, then to the cell if necessary. If it comes thru forwarded, it shouldn't show your cell #, and then try calling them back on the land line whenever possible, that will provide a little buffer.

When I deal with people in online sales, at least ones that I am newly dealing with, as opposed to ones I have dealt with for years, I don't have any issues with a first name last initial, doesn't really bother me. Of course, if we get into a longer term business relationship, then things would probably change, but in your case it depends on how you are interacting with your customers, and their as well as your employers expectations. If they are willing to do things to help shield you a little without restricting your ability to effectively do your job, I'd say heck yeah!
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