Where salespeople slip up – by the buyers

I read an interesting and entertaining article by Chris Murray of Varda Kreuz about what buyers say about the mistakes salespeople make in the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management magazine.  Some interesting thoughts about what to do and what not to do as a sales person. I recommend you read the article yourself here or if you’re short of time here’s a quick summary of the key points and some key quotes from buyers.

You never earned their trust

Sales people should be honest. If they don’t know the answer to a question they should hold their hands up and say sorry I don’t know the answer to that but I will find out and get back to you rather than guess and invariably be wrong.

You had the chance to move the process forward, but missed it

Just because I don’t need you now doesn’t mean I don’t need you forever. But find out when and schedule a call, so you don’t have to bother me again until then. Being in my face constantly is the quickest way to turn me off so give me some breathing space”

You thought the marketing department has already done your job

Do salespeople ever look through their own presentations and work out which of the few slides in their standard pack might interest me.

You didn’t know how to justify the cost of your product/service

What’s the point of salespeople who are unable to justify their mark-up and profit margin. Of course I’m going to hammer everyone down on price, that’s my job. That doesn’t mean to say I want tat! Receiving great value is what I’m paid for too.

You think it’s all about relationships

while I understand they have a budget for these things, I don’t need constant offers to be taken to lunch and golf particularly if not I’m not currently doing business with them. I’m a fellow professional not a date to be wooed. I hate it when a salesperson tries to be my best friend on the first call.

You’ve left it too long to follow-up

There’s nothing more annoying than when people don’t keep their promises. Why do so many salespeople say they will get back to you and then not bother communicating in any way afterwards

You’re selling at not helping to buy

There are still too many sales people who don’t listen to what I’m telling them and just go on and on about their products and services without taking a breath

Bob Bradley

Bob is a specialist in running high value added service businesses, having run five such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. His last employed role was as Chief Executive of a £16M, 200 person family owned business having previously been Chief Executive of an AIM listed company for which he raised £5M funding and which he grew from £4M to £12M in three years through two acquisitions and organic growth, and a corporate PLC subsidiary where he was Managing Director responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

Bob is now following a portfolio career providing entrepreneurial business leaders with mentoring and coaching around business leadership, business growth, merger integration and exit planning.

Core to his portfolio is MD2MD. Having experienced for himself the value of having a strong sounding board of fellow Managing Directors he founded MD2MD in 2004 to provide groups of business leaders with a confidential environment within which they can support and challenge each other to raise their game as leaders and by doing so improve the success of their organisation.

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