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Tennessean Column- Sunday, December 14th

Posted on: December 15

Author: Tom Black
Tennessean Column- Sunday, December 14th

I Don’t Like That About Salespeople

Recently I asked several people what they don’t like about salespeople’s behavior.  Based on their responses and my own experiences I would like to submit, for your pleasure and to improve your performance, an open letter to salespeople from the prospect.

Dear Salesperson,

After years of meeting with your profession I would like to tell you some things I don’t like.

I don’t like salespeople who just drop in on me without an appointment.  I don’t mind if you drop by and ask me or my assistant to set an appointment, just don’t expect to stay.  Another thing I don’t like is for you to flirt with me or the people in my office.  It sends me the wrong signal and puts me in a bad mood.

I don’t like salespeople who feign an insincere interest in me.  Yes, I will give you a chance to get to know a little about me but let’s not kid ourselves.  You want to sell me something.  On that same note, I don’t like it when you don’t get to the point.  Establish some rapport with me and then get to the point.

I don’t like salespeople who don’t find out about my needs.  The meeting is supposed to be about me.  So find out something about my needs before you explain your product or service to me.  I only listen to one radio station, WIIFM (What’s in it for me!).

I don’t like salespeople who don’t ask my opinion.  Some of you are so focused on your pitch and your PowerPoint that you never ask me if I am with you or if your product would even help me or my company.  I like a presentation of a product or service to be conversational.  Sometimes I even have questions as you rapid fire your presentation.

In addition, I don’t like to be misled, under informed, lied to, be fed B.S. or given half-truths.  Most of my friends in responsible positions can see through that as can I.

I also don’t like to be asked to make a decision in a vacuum.  I like to get other people’s opinions and reactions.  I like to check references and I like to expose new products or services to my family or some of my co-workers before I buy.  As a company leader I like to build consensus among my management team before I jump off the deep end.

I don’t like salespeople who are controlling or manipulative.  Leading questions like, “Something like that would be beneficial, wouldn’t it?” make me blow my stack.  By the same token, I hate pushy.  I’ve made decisions before.  This is not my first rodeo.  So don’t think that by pushing me to do something I’ll decide any quicker.  Your product or service may not be my top priority right now.

Furthermore, I don’t  like to be told directly that I am wrong when I raise an objection or a question.  I want recognition for my thoughtfulness and then I want to be corrected gently if I am wrong.

I don’t like it when you call me back every day after you leave expecting a decision.  Don’t send me an email every day with new information.  I do want you to be attentive.  I don’t want you to be a pest.  Just let me know you haven’t forgotten me from time to time if my decision making process drags out.

Sincerely yours,

The Prospect

P.S. Try to lose the image of a pushy, high pressure, con man, charlatan, cheat, dishonest, crooked, twist your arm, say anything to get the sale, good golfer!

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