Bad salespeople may get sales, but they often do it at someone’s expense. In the short-term, that might be the customer, but in the long run poor salespeople hurt their own companies. In a recent post at the Inc.com blogs, John Treace makes this point, sharing the 5 Worst Mistakes That Salespeople Make:
- Blaming the company for mistakes. Sure, sometimes the company is to blame, but shouldn’t a sales professional be seeking a solution instead of blame?
- Failing to recommend a competitor. Your product isn’t the best for all customers all the time. Sales professionals are trusted advisors, so tell the truth when the competitor is better for a particular situation.
- Putting the sale first. When a sale becomes about what the salesperson wants and not the customer, it puts the relationship at risk. You might get that sale, but will you ever get another one with them?
- Not honoring commitments. Sales professionals keep their commitments because that builds trust. If customers cannot count on you, they will go elsewhere.
- Making “trap” presentations. Nobody wants to be goaded into a purchase they aren’t ready to make, so avoid “If I could show you X, would you buy today?” presentations.
As you can see, good sales professionals work to create relationships based on trust with clients. They take responsibility and put the customer first, always. Are you a sales professional? What do you do to create trust in your relationships with customers?
5 Worst Mistakes That Salespeople Make by John Treace at Inc.com
Over at the Inc.com blogs, Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick recently posted a great piece about how to mess up business relationships. They share two great ways to screw up a business relationship: inattention, and not being 100% present.
To illustrate their first point, they share a story about a friend, “Sam,” a great guy but he doesn’t get around to responding to responding to emails or phone calls with any rhyme or reason. This can threaten relationships if people begin to believe you don’t really care about them. They then point to a survey their company did with 10’s of thousands of employees for client companies and found that one of the biggest problems affecting employee satisfaction was perceived disrespect from their bosses. When you are too busy to make time for people, they perceive that you don’t value them. Don’t be careless with your relationships, like Sam. Decide what is important to you and work on those things. Don’t let the urgent get in the way of doing what is important.
Which brings us to the other thought, being 100% present. There are tons of things that scream for our attention during the day, especially with 24/7 access to information, it is easy to let the urgent chirp or vibration of a text or email distract us from meetings or other work we may be doing. But is it wise to sneak that peek or tap that quick reply. When you do, you are telling those around you that they are really not as important as that other message. Once again, you are showing disrespect, however unintentional it may be.
John Maxwell says that connecting with people is hard work. If you value a relationship, give it the attention it deserves, and show respect for your connection. This is true whether a colleague, customer, or significant other.
…I guess I need to catch up with some people this next week! How about you?
How to Ruin Business Relationships by Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick at Inc.com