Sales Guy Who Hates Salespeople
our phone rings and by force of habit, you pick it up. Even though you don’t recognize the number, you’re answering the phone. All of a sudden, someone on the other end is hammering you with questions they aren’t listening to the answers to and you realize this is their attempt at selling you something.
Everyone knows this feeling. It isn’t a good one.
The other day, I went through the motions and listened to a salesperson’s pitch about how I needed his product. Out of respect, I let him go through his routine and then explained I just wasn’t interested. At this point in the call, he could’ve taken no for an answer. However, “no” didn’t seem to be an active word in his vocabulary. In sales, we’re often taught we need to hear the word “no” three times before moving on. The “no” is simply an objection to buying that must be overcome. So, the salesperson overcomes two objections and if they get a third, it’s time to move on (not necessarily abandoning the sale altogether, but definitely stepping back right now).
This particular salesperson was well versed in the objection-rebuttal cycle and every time I shut him down, he came back swinging. He clearly never learned to respect the rule of three nos. At this point in the conversation, I was not only annoyed, but I couldn’t last any longer. His persistent (essentially aggressive) state left me with no choice but to hang up without looking back.
THIS is why people hate salespeople. THIS is why I get to write a piece with a seemingly hypocritical title. This interaction is just one of many that left me thinking, “Wow, for a guy working in sales, I really don’t like salespeople.”
My opinion of salespeople comes down to an intense love/hate relationship. Don’t get me wrong- I can respect the game. I’ve been in positions where I get paid by commission for my entire professional life. I deeply understand the need to close a deal.
As a sales guy myself, I can quickly identify the tactics another salesperson might use on me.
Like I’ve said many times now: I AM a salesperson. So, I feel completely comfortable expressing my true feelings. You see: the bad salespeople are giving the rest of us a bad rep.
“No” Will Lead to Success
Flash back to the phone call we all know too well. The salesperson was knowledgeable, but I just wasn’t interested. He was smart and saying all the right things. If he was really smart, he’d realize that sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change someone’s interest level.
At that point, experienced salespeople know to take the no and move on, knowing that there is a yes in their near future. They stop wasting both parties time and search for a more productive interaction.
Realizing when to take “no” for an answer can be the mark of an expert salesperson.
Transaction -> Relation
Moving sales from being purely transactional to meaningful interactions is extremely important. When I first began my sales career, I wanted customers on and off the phone quickly. Working in a retail store, I saw people face to face. Meeting my clients made it easier to see each “sale” as more than that. By building trust, credibility and relationships even within single interactions it allows me to see their needs.
Once I know what the person I’m selling to needs, I can think of a solution, and personalize the product I sell to them. You won’t always have the product/service someone is looking for, but by getting to know them, you can be sure you aren’t missing something.
Read my insight Partnership v. Vendor“ship” to see how companies can invest in the same ideology.
At Hyperion, we like to think of our salespeople as an extension of our customers team. We pick up where they leave off.
Today, COVID-19 has begun a wave of clients searching for technology innovations to improve their work-from-home experience. One recent client used to send devices to an in-house telecommunications team when an employee left the company. This posed many issues when the team occupied their houses rather than an office. Hyperion had the pleasure of developing a solution. We could only do this after we listened.
Rather than saying, “This is how we will do it.” We always ask, “How can we best accommodate you?”
This might not sound like a sales conversation. In fact, some might say it sounds more like a help desk. The thing about good sales is that people don’t have to leave conversations feeling like they got played. Instead, salespeople can relate to their clients in a new, relational, game-changing way.
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