How to Be a Bad Salesperson

Closing a sale is an art form, and not one that every entrepreneur has mastered. Still, if you run a small business, you’re involved in sales to some degree. These are mistakes that the very worst salespeople make. Just be sure you don’t make them too!

1. Research? Who Needs Research?
Greedy salespeople want to make as many cold calls as possible in as short a period of time as possible. That means there’s no time to visit a potential client’s website or read its Twitter stream to see what the company is up to.

So you missed the news on that merger. So what? You can backtrack and bluff your way out of not being prepared!

In Reality: Always do your homework before calling or visiting a potential client. Impress him, even, by catching the personal stuff, like reading that his son won a Little League tournament. By showing you’re paying attention, you immediately disarm a contact and make him warm up to you.

2. Sell! Sell! Sell!
Every salesperson has seen that glazed look in a potential customer’s eyes. It’s natural. And the fact that they back up into a corner when you emphasize why they should buy from you? Well, that’s not your problem. You’re there to sell, and you won’t leave till you do.

In Reality: Learn to read cues. If someone is nodding his head yes, but not paying attention to you, you’re through. He’s decided not to buy from you, and while he might not tell you why, you’ll only be making matters worse if you keep pushing. Pay attention to body language and respect when someone is ready to end the conversation.

3. Turned Down? Move On.
If a contact flat out tells you no, burn that bridge and move on to the next poor sucker. They’re useless to you. Asking why they didn’t want to buy from you? Nah, that just makes you look weak.

In Reality: Be humble enough to ask why a contact didn’t want to buy from you. It might be as simple as price or budget. If so, you can usually work around that. And by asking, you might find out there’s still the potential to do business down the road. Never burn bridges.

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3 responses to “How to Be a Bad Salesperson

  1. I think all small business people should take at least one sales seminar, particularly those involved in MLM.  It's mind boggling how so many folks try to sell you something without qualifying the prospect first in terms of whether that person is really a potential customer that has a need for a product or not.

    • Regina_krishtein

      absolutely agreed. However, I find it extremely difficult to keep up with the times and have a full time job. Sometimes people just do not know where the first place to start is. Miss a minute miss a lot. To me the more I learn the more I know nothing.

  2. Miki Ellsworth

    It's like the old adage that we are not (as we foolishly believe) masters of our own destiny.Rather, we are (metaphorically speaking) architects of our own character.It is in fact our character that ultimately determines our destiny.I believe that a good salesperson has to sell the client on themselves before they can sell them on the product. The client's belief in the product claims is only as strong as their belief in the person standing behind those promises.

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