It’s the plague that infects the sales industry, the ghost haunting all of our prospects and customers, the reason for our terrible stereotype, the wall that stands between good sales people and the trust from their buyer….
The BAD Sales Person….
When people think of sales people unfortunately the first thing they often think about is the “Bad Sales Person”, and this is the power of a bad experience. Often good experiences are pushed to the back due to expectation, but a bad experiences can stick around forever. If you ask someone what they think about when you say salesperson often words like pushy, untrustworthy, pestering, targeted, not caring etc
The bad sales stereotype tends to go back to years ago however there are plenty of bad sales people today who meet the same criteria. Speaking to someone a few days ago we were discussing why people dislike and distrust sales people and started breaking that down. I can fully understand why sales people have this reputation, but then I had to stop and remember how great sales actually is!
What frustrates me the most is that there are plenty of good decent hard working sales people who truly offer amazing value to their customers, yet when someone thinks of a sales person that’s not what they think.
They don’t think of those amazing sales people who work ridiculous hours to provide them a solution….
They don’t think of those great sales people who save them hundreds, thousands or millions of pounds/dollars with more effective or efficient products, services or solutions…..
They don’t think of those sales people who spend countless days getting to understand their business to help them….
How do we change the perception of sales people?
For sales people to truly be appreciated for the hard work they do, for them to have the reputation they deserve we need to get rid of bad sales people. This will come from business leaders and owners making sure they hire the right people, train them to be good sales people and manage them effectively. This will also come from individual sales people making the right decisions and choosing the right path.
Here are the top 10 things you can do to AVOID being a bad sales person:
1 – Learn HOW to sell properly
Sales isn’t something you can just do, it’s something you need to learn to do. Read books, attend training courses, learn from mentors and coaches, take the time and make the investment to learn how to sell properly. Become a credible sales person who understands how to best serve their customers.
2 – LISTEN to your prospects and customers
There’s nothing worse than a sales person reeling of the features and benefits of their product when they don’t know whether you may even benefit from it! “Hi I’m John and I’d like to tell you about….”!! Take time to listen to your prospects and customers and then try to find solutions to THEIR problems.
3 – STOP trying to persuade
People don’t like sales people when they feel they are being sold too, so stop trying to persuade! Instead demonstrate and show how it will solve their problem, allow them to see for themselves and learn in their own time how it is the right product for them.
4 – Don’t put pressure on customers, GUIDE them
Bad salespeople are known for being the ones who put unnecessary pressure on their customers to buy. Stop trying to make them buy but instead guide them through the buying process. Don’t be pushy but hold their hands. It shouldn’t be a sales process but instead a buyers journey which you are guiding them through.
5 – DELIVER on you promises
If you want your customers to trust you, you need to earn that trust. You will do this by delivering on your promises. This could be by calling them back at the date and time you promised, emailing the information you said you would, turning up on time for your meeting etc.
6 – Be a HUMAN being
We all know that people buy from people, so show that you are a human being and not some corporate robot who’s only interested if they buy from you! Show that you care, show that you understand, show that you work hard, show that you’re passionate. Let them see that you’re not some pushy arrogant person trying to sell but you’re a hard working caring person wanting to help them buy.
7 – Always Provide VALUE
As a sales person you bridge the gap between the customer and the product. That bridge should be full of value, from industry insight, previous case studies, referrals, recommendations, trials, knowledge and most importantly service. Don’t make your customers feel like they’re helping you succeed, make them feel like you’re helping them succeed.
8 – Build BIGGER pipelines
It’s an odd one for a tip on how to avoid being a bad sales person, but a lot of the negativity comes from sales people who either have weak or non existent pipelines. If you have a strong pipeline of customers you won’t need to put pressure on them or get stressed and pass that stress onto your customers.
9 – Be confident, comfortable and be PROUD
Be proud that you work in sales, be proud of the fact you spend your days helping people. Be confident that you believe in yourself, your product and your company. Be comfortable phoning people, emailing, sitting face to face. It’s when you don’t have those qualities that you become hard to trust and will struggle to offer the service your customers would like.
10 – Work HARD
Laziness will get you nowhere in sales and it certainly weren’t earn you the trust from your customer, your colleagues or your manager. If you work in sales you need to work hard. People respect hard work, people trust hard workers and people buy from people they trust and respect.
Those are my top 10 tips to avoid being a bad salesperson but as mentioned above this also
I love working in sales, I love being a sales person, I love being a sales leader and I’m super passionate about the fact that sales people are GREAT! Time and time again I’ve seen amazing sales people help people save money, create better results or make their lives and businesses more efficient. I’ve seen them create long last relationships, move heaven and earth to provide for their customers and genuinely be a force for good.
Let’s start to get rid of the bad sales people, raise the bar and show the world that sales people are good, they are valuable and they genuinely want to help you.
Now I need YOUR help……
I had a debate the other day about why sales people have such a negative reputation. The debate went into whether sales people will ever be seen in a positive light. How can they be if they are working against a target? If they’re rewarded on each sale, then how can they truly work in their customers best interest?
Do you think that the fact sales people are targeted is the main reason they can’t be trusted or the main reason they end up putting pressure on their prospects and customers? Should sales people not have sales targets?
Please write your thoughts in the comments section below, I’ll be using them to help with my next blog post!