Salespeople should be nice.

I’ve had a rough week with salespeople.  Like most business owners with a brick and mortar place, we get a few random people popping in that want to sell us their magic beans, or whatever.

Most of the time if I get lucky enough to chat with the solicitor, I do what I can to listen to their spiel in an attempt to find something that can help my sales process.

I am convinced that some of them must have some magic sales process that woos most that hear their siren song, because what they are selling is usually just this side of worthless.

For example, a few days ago a salesperson came in to chat about marketing.  After a few seconds of her qualifying us, she went into the pitch about how we needed to be in the yellow pages.

As a reminder, it is the year 2020 and you are reading this on a screen connected to this world wide web thing.  

She insisted that the path to riches and prosperity for our business was limited to this one decision.  Spend a few hundred dollars on her quarter inch thick yellow pages book or be demoted to the pile of small businesses that just could not survive.

I decided to risk our business by saving a few hundred dollars.  You will not find us in the yellow pages. At least, not intentionally.  For all I know we are in there, I just never looked. I don’t think many other people have either.

Because it’s 2020.

Another sales person came along, this time at my request.  They were hustling some business service that just about every business needs.  No, that is not yellow pages advertising.

Anyways, this person gave me a vague runaround about what they were offering to solve my issue.  My understanding was that we needed to use their overpriced, archaic service or, once again, risk being demoted to the pile of small businesses that just could not survive.

There are a few things in common with these salespeople that I take offense to.  I am a salesperson, just as pretty much every business person is. Especially those that need to sell something.

I like to think that I am an ethical salesperson that has the best interest of the potential client in mind.  I don’t need or want clients that are not happy with me. The services I sell (call answering through Calls On Call and business coaching through Draw In Customers) are designed to be solid, practical, affordable solutions that are better than most, if not all, competitors.

If the people I sell are not happy, they will tell many people.  If the people I sell are happy, they will maybe tell their coworker.  Anyone that tries to get reviews for their business knows this story.

I also understand that my services are not a great fit for everyone that I would like to sell.  

These recent salespeople did not hold that same line.  They were literally trying to sell me on things that were not better than I could find elsewhere for more than those other things cost.  At the behest of my no, they proceeded to attempt to insult me into buying.

Of course, we are all just squirrels trying to get a few nuts.  So I can’t really blame them. Maybe they think the stuff they are selling is really that good.  Though I have a hard time believing that the yellow pages could even come close to fitting that bill.  I cannot even imagine the job interview for that position. Maybe it is an employment test for selling something really tough, like caskets or timeshares.  Who knows and who cares, right?

My point is that we as salespeople would be much more appreciated, and could arguably make more sales, if all salespeople held themselves to a higher standard.

But they don’t.  Not by a very long shot.  In fact, I would argue that salespeople like me that do our best to have the client’s best interests in mind are the exception, not the rule.

At least, my recent visit to a car dealership makes me believe this.

Alas, I must give credit to all salespeople for doing what they can to help the public buy.  It can be a tough and challenging gig. Without a sale, nothing happens.  Sometimes, that’s just fine.

James Kademan is a Business Coach for Draw In Customers Business Coaching in Madison, Wisconsin as well as the author of The BOLD Business Book. When he isn’t mocking ethically-challenged salespeople, he is busy guiding entrepreneurs to success in business and beyond. He blogs successfully to the world at If you are considering hiring a business coach, take a moment to call James at (608)210-2221. If you see him asking you for a sale, go ahead and say yes.  You know you should.

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