December 17, 2008

Salespeople… something that had to be said!

I hate being condescending; condescending people usually get on my nerves and give me strong urges to punch them in the face, but sometimes I am severely provoked and I find myself doing it.


Yes!!! I’ve said it. I don’t know if it’s this country and its collective culture or it's global, but for the love God, I need a break from all the sales phone calls, I don’t have it in me to be pleasant and appropriate both in my professional life and in my personal life all the time, I too need to practice my right of being obnoxious!!!

I do not mean to undermine salespeople or their profession or the science behind the whole theory of selling; hell, I’m a huge consumerist, I would normally be a salesperson's best friend in a perfect world!!

But let me just clarify a couple of things here…

Being a business grad, I kinda studied some of that; however, I am really not in the mood of saying big business jargon, partially because I’m a bit rusty here, but mostly because this post is not about showing off my rather limited knowledge.

I was taught a few sales principles that every salesperson, as well as his/her employers (most of which I’ve known of are idiots who know/practice nothing of those principles) should be aware of…

  • - Sales is NOT marketing… marketing is the backstage for sales; they complete one another, but they are definitely not the same… any half decent academic book can simply explain that!

  • - Salespeople MUST know their customer… before you call in a company offering your product/service, ask about the company you’re calling; it may sound like no big deal to you, but trust me, it will save you unnecessary embarrassment and heck, it might even make the conversation a bit more interesting or you might learn something new!!! And if you’re at the mall or whatever, and you notice a married couple (the rings theory), don’t approach them with a stupid greasy smile about timeshare or such crap while they're both wearing their angry faces or struggling to discipline their kid(s)! And FYI timeshare: BAAAAAA

  • - Salespeople MUST be honest… for the love of God, whoever said you should lie or hide facts to make your product/service look/sound flawless is a big fat jerk who could have been really successful, but it’s not guaranteed that you have the same kind of evil wits they had to pull it off yourself!! I –as well as the next potential customer/client- prefer to know the cons of whatever it is you’re offering before the pros; this way, I can never be really disappointed when I expect something to expire within a certain period of time! I appreciate honesty, and I doubt any other reasonable person wouldn’t!

  • - Salespeople MUST have wits… now, being honest does not mean you have to make the truth sound as dull as it might be; you can simply focus on little perks in your product/service that would appeal to your potential customer. Be smart and use decent humor, but don’t push it; no one likes a jerk who says lame jokes and laughs at them!

  • - Salespeople MUST know when to STOP… please, do know when to stop pushing, because once you lose the attention of your audience, there is no way you're getting it back, and then it gets really humiliating and annoying; so just know when to back off!

  • - Salespeople MUST be pleasant and polite… even when you’re turned down, maintain the smile WHILE backing off; be a graceful loser, no one likes a sore loser. And if you’re turned down rudely, trust me, it will embarrass the other person much more if you keep your cool and just walk away with your head held high; rude people are either angry people who are likely to feel horrible after such reaction, or crazy people who would take it against you and keep giving you more rude words until they cause trouble, you see, the customer is always right ;)

Now, I completely respect and communicate with any salesperson who contacts me –either at work or while I’m out on a personal errand- who knows and practices those rules; even when I don’t need the product/service, I politely say "thank you" and smile.

On the other hand, I have serious issues with those who don’t, and sometimes I turn into my angry b**** mode and make that salesperson feel like crap by stating in so many ways how unprofessional they are. I really hate doing that, and I feel horrible afterwards (unless the salesperson was a super jerk who pushed buttons other than my intolerance for unprofessionalism). I feel bad because I hate that some people might mistake my attitude for me being less appreciative of people working in that field, especially that it’s a common misconception that sales people are not as cool as marketing and advertising people!

I don’t hate you good salespeople out there; as a matter of fact, I love you, and I love buying things from you, sometimes I am even too impressed by your qualities that I spend money on things I may not really need and it still feels good, and I even spread the word!! See, I am your best friend for real, just do not take me for grated.


Umslopagas said...

And I thought I wrote long posts, you just took posts into a new dimension;)

Anyway, about salesmen:

I know what you mean about marketing and sales, one of the simplest differenciations between them is this "Marketing is how to fill your warehouse, sales is how to empty it"

As for salesmen, most are a real pain in the neck, but there are the exceptional few who are a joy to behold while working, I once knew a salesperson who sold 2 copies of The Encyclopedia Britannica to an illeterate person.

But you can safely say that the majority of salesmen in Egypt are professional liars, this is true, and no, I'm not over-generalising.

insomniac said...

u call that a long post? it was only a page and a half on word! i have a category that i labeled "long long posts", do not check it out if you think that was long ;)

you know, it's even harder at work, when i do it to myself and actually contact salespeople and telemarketers and have to leave in my contacts for feedback... almost brings me to tears having to do that and knowing it will backfire on me

Umslopagas said...

What can I say, going to salesmen of your own freewill, you definitely have a deathwish.

Have fun and good luck:D

insomniac said...

it's not that much of free will, when you need something you do the research for it, you gather offers and evaluate them!

medical insurance is one hell of a painful research!!!

but that's not what provoked me to write that... it's people calling my company, asking to speak to me (sometimes ppl in the same corporate building are nice enough to give my name as a contact person)and they would want to sell me things they would automatically know i would never be interested in had they bothered knowing what the company initials stand for!!

The.I.inside said...

I don't know much about sales-personals, but I know that I don't like them, or appreciate them. sorry! but they almost always lose my interest from the first minute, and am kept feeling that I could be somewhere better doing something more interesting. but on rare occasions I've been tempted to buy things I know I don't need, but wanted never the less. after revising the rules you gave I could easy see that they would follow it.
Maybe I should have some respect to professionals salesmen.

insomniac said...

trust me, good salespeople are very interesting :)) or it could be because i enjoy watching people and how they can influence others :))

hey, ur changed ur blog temlate and i couldn't leave a comment on something u wrote! of course now with the internet misfortune it takes twice as time to load! any explanations??