Don’t Ask Me, I’m Just the Salesperson

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Some days I just like to blog about things that amaze me. The following story is true – I couldn’t make this up! As a former salesperson, I am truly amazed by this conversation between a salesperson and the customer.

A friend of mine received a phone message from a salesperson asking her to return the call otherwise they were going to lose coverage on a product they were utilizing. Although she typically does not handle this type of issue, she decided to call this person back to see if she could direct her to the correct contact.
When she spoke with this salesperson, she was informed they were not going to lose coverage since they did not actually use the product. She was just calling to try and get them back as a return customer. Then, when my friend asked what the product was, the salesperson didn’t know, and stated she was only the salesperson. And, by the way, could she direct her to the correct person who would handle this? My friend informed her that it would difficult to help out if she didn’t know anything about the product. Five minutes later, the salesperson leaves a message informing my friend that she can now explain what the product is and how it works.

Let’s take a closer look at this. First lesson of sales – don’t lie to a customer to get your foot in the door, or you will end up with your foot in your mouth. This salesperson left an incorrect message for a customer. Did she think no one would question this? How do you think this makes you and your organization look if you open up a conversation with a lie to a prospective customer?

Second rule (and most important in my opinion) of sales – know your product inside and out! If the product you are selling is highly technical, at least have the courtesy to have a basic working knowledge of what the product does. It is unacceptable to attempt to sell your product to a customer if you do not have rudimentary product knowledge.

Needless to say, my friend did not call her back and has no intentions of doing so. In this scenario, the salesperson did not instill a feeling of trust and competence. If you cannot get a customer to trust you, it will be very difficult to get a customer to buy your product.

I always felt as a salesperson, that I was the face of the organization. However the customer felt about me, they in turn felt the same way about the entire organization. How do you get your sales people to convey your brand image, and not view themselves as “only” a salesperson?

What was the most unusual thing a salesperson has ever said to you?

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