Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mobile phone etiquette for Salespeople beware the Michael Gove Gaffe

It is perhaps ironic that the person responsible for discipline and good behaviour in the Conservative Party  himself fell foul of his  dreaded mobile phone going off in his pocket during a meeting in No 10 Downing Street.

Mobile phones are banned from the Cabinet Room for security purposes – such as risk of bugging by criminals or foreign services.

We are told that there is a box in which to place mobiles directly outside the Cabinet Room.

Alongside to the Times headline “Gove leaves cabinet with a flea in his ear over mobile faux pas” was another column headline:-

“Being parted from your I-phone leads to anxiety.”

A study by the University of Missouri has been published in the journal of Computer-mediated cognition.

A group of forty I-phone users were asked to do a word search puzzle whilst their heart rate and blood pressure were monitored.  Midway through the exercise they were asked to surrender their I-phones on the pretence that their I-phones were affecting the medical monitoring equipment.

The phones were put in a locker. Unbeknown to the group the researchers then proceeded to switch on the mobiles and phone them.

Heart rate and blood pressure increased and the group also performed less well on the word search task. In post experiment questionnaire the group recorded increased anxiety  and that the task seemed more unpleasant to work on.

The researchers said

 “Our findings show I-phone separation can severely impact attention during cognitive tasks. Perhaps not just in the case of completing cognitive tasks but also in all areas of our lives including communicating with strangers, friends and Family, colleagues ad care providers.

Simply not being able to answer one’s I-phone may reduce attention in those daily interactions. "

Research I have undertaken in the Buyers’ Views of Supplier Salespeople  project reveals :-


Salespeople should not necessarily expect the courtesy to be reciprocated.

However the following might help:

·         Before you start the meeting make a point of switching off your phone in front of your client

·         “Shall we switch off or put our phones on silent to get through our meeting quicker?”

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