March 12, 2010

What are the three things you hate about salespeople?

That's a good chance for all of us to learn a bitter lesson and to improve. It would be great if you could also write how do you see the best salesperson :)
All answers will be analyzed, categorized and then posted here. Thanks to all of you!!

Hi Alexandra-

Great question! As an engineer turned salesperson, I've seen this from both sides, so I probably shouldn't answer, but...

1) Failing to even try to understand my problem. They push their solution regardless of whether it actually even applies to my issue.

2) Not following up. If I ask them to get back to me with something, I expect them to follow through. If they don't, I begin to sense that my business isn't important to them.

3) Making statements that are easily verifiable to be questionable, if not downright false. While some "positive spin" is inevitable, I lose confidence very quickly when they say things that I can easily discredit.

Best regards,



Just three?

- Not speaking professionally
- Not being genuine
- Speaking too much
- Not listening well enough
- Not paying close enough attention to body language
- Taking anything personally
- Not asking the right questions
- Not providing the best and most complete solution (see previous).
- Not thinking in the present, and the future
- Poor grooming (not the way they look, but rather body oder, etc.)
- Poor stature
- Lack of patience (fidgety, look bored)
- Lacking a sense of humor (I'm tough on salespeople)

"... best salesperson"

The best salesperson is all the above and continues to mold him/herself to any given situation, is flexible, and can manage the most difficult of customers through kindness and patience. Like in poker, if you wait long enough, you will win at least one hand.



I wanted to address the whole idea of "not accepting NO" for an answer.

- Why is this person saying "No"?
- Did I provide them with enough information to make an educated decision?
- How can I address this? Should I just accept that I failed and move on?
- Should I challenge the issue a little more and open up an opportunity to better inform the customer / client as to the misconceptions or misinformation provided?
- In some methods of selling (usually it's commissioned sales, three no's make a yes)
- I would be disappointed in any salesperson who took an initial no for an answer. (I would caveat that by saying it takes a seasoned and well grounded person to know when and when not to challenge.)

*One thing I had forgotten to add to my list, and I am surprised I didn't think of it right away.

- Misinforming the customer / client (Passing bad information hurts everyone)
- Disparaging the competition. (Never do this) I've been baited by customers in the past to disparage the competition, and I never bite. It's wrong. If you cannot sell your product or service on merit, then find another job. This is not to be confused with weighing the features and benefits of yours over theirs in response to a comparison question. This also speaks to professionalism.



Here are the things I hate:
Salespeople who push a product or solution rather than finding out what a customer needs.
Salespeople who have "the" answer before they've even heard the question.
Salespeople who think that their job is "making the numbers".

What I like:
Salespeople who understand that they will be successful by listening to the customer, analyzing what the customer wants, and suggesting a solution that actually meets the customer's needs.



Interesting question, and while we'll always find a few common answers. . ."won't take no for an answer". . ."calls me when I'm in the middle of something". . ."has something I haven't realized a need for". . .I would argue that on the whole, the threshold of what is deemed acceptable to any prospect or client is truly individual in nature. And that is what makes sales such a tough gig.

Imagine yourself day in and day out, traveling to visit prospects or picking up the phone to introduce yourself with absolutely no knowledge of the personality and baggage of the person on the receiving end of that visit or call. If you've ever been to a networking function and been paralyzed with how to approach someone you don't know, or stuck on how to approach that guy or gal you've got your eyes on, then you'll know a little bit about what a salesperson goes through dozens, if not hundreds of times a day.

That takes courage.

We need to remember that salespeople are not dealing with inanimate objects; they're dealing with us. . .people. . .with all sorts of preconceptions about what salespeople are like from film and other forms of social influence. If we recognize that sales is one of the prime, if not the prime, driver of economies around the world, we might open our doors a bit more to salespeople, and understand that the real reason for their visit/call is that they truly think that they have something we need!

Sure, they're trying to make a living, and some work on commission that might skew their energies a bit, but, if we paused a moment to consider what it must be like to wonder how we're going to make rent, or feed our families if that sale doesn't come through, we might go a bit easier on our salespeople. Rent "The pursuit of Happyness" for a mere glimpse to what I refer. It'll help change the paradigm for many.

Also, if it helps to put things into perspective, remember, every company on earth -- even the one you/we/I work for -- HAS a sales staff. And THAT sales staff is out there on the streets, and on the phones, each and every day to ensure that the products and services our companies offer. . ..actually SELL!!

. . .and often to initially reluctant buyers.

The critical thing to remember, is that those men and women who pound the pavement everyday to insure the growth of our employer's firms are, in doing so, actually helping to pay the salary of every employee at that firm. Even you! Keep that in mind when that general distaste for salespeople creeps up. . .some salesperson out there is actually helping to pay our salary! An interesting thought!

For a lasting impression on the importance of sales to our everyday lives and general well-being, check out the link below to one of the most brilliant talks by Zig Ziglar. If you're not a fan of salespeople now, it might help to change your mind. If you're a salesperson and haven't heard Zig's "Everyone is a Salesperson" talk about Christopher Columbus and a host of other "unknown" salespeople, listen and enjoy!

Here is an excerpt:

"Not by any stretch of the imagination could you accuse Christopher Columbus of being a navigator. He was looking for India! He missed it by over twelve thousand miles. But was he a salesman? Well, he only had one prospect to call on… Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain kept saying to him “Chris, price too high; can’t afford it; we just can’t buy; don’t have any money actually.”

I also wrote a post on my blog some months ago about productivity and fielding cold calls so you actually BENEFIT FROM, and CONTROL the way you're pitched to on a daily basis, as control is often the biggest problem for a lot of people on at the receiving end of a sales call. If you're in purchasing or any other position where people might be calling on you for appointments, you may find it to be a good read. The link is below.



posted October 7, 2008 | Report answer as...

1. Not listening to me...the customer. What do I want, not what does he/she want to sell me.
2. Refusing to give up. Sometimes, I really don't want/need whatever it is you're selling.
3. Not being genuine. You don't have to be my best friend (or try to act like it) for me to buy from



A Bad Sales Man/ A usual sales person
1.They keep pestering you till they sell their product.
2.Lies - They say anything to get the deal!
3.Lack of product knowledge

A Good Sales Man
1.Good product knowledge
2.Good knowledge about his competitors
3.Knows when/where/whom to sell his product

No comments: