RDH eVillage cell phone survey

Feb. 8, 2011
RDH eVillage readers believe sales reps should not let incoming calls distract from a new product presentation.

The January 28th issue of RDH eVillage presented a scenario involving a sales rep at a dental office, making a presentation about a new product. During the middle of the presentation, he briefly answered a cell phone call before resuming his presentation.

Is that OK? We asked that question in a survey.

Seventy-one percent of you apparently would say, “Is your cell phone off? Yes? Now you can talk to me.”

Specifically, the scenario was presented like this:

A long-time sales rep meets with you and your team members to discuss a new product. The sales rep gives no indication that he is expecting an important phone call. During the course of the meeting, the rep's phone rings and he takes the call. The conversation is short; the sales rep asks a good time to call back, then he returns to the presentation. Which one of the following statements do you agree with most?

  • As implied above, 71% of the 275 RDH eVillage readers who responded to the survey chose the answer: “The rep should have his phone off during the presentation. Answering a call during a presentation is bad business. He can return calls after he leaves the office.”
  • 19% selected, “The rep should have asked ahead of time if phone calls are acceptable. If it was OK with the team, there is no problem with him answering the phone.”
  • 6% said, “The rep did nothing wrong by answering the call and keeping it short.”
  • 4% said, “The rep should schedule a break into his presentation to check for phone calls and text messages.”