Are You Chasing Away Your Customers?

j0448106I was talking to a colleague yesterday about an encounter she had with a young salesperson. My colleague, let’s call her Carol, and I were co-presenters at a networking event and met the salesperson there. After the event, the salesperson, I’ll call her Sue, called Carol.

In the phone call, Sue didn’t say anything about Carol’s presentation nor did she ask Carol anything about herself. Instead, she spent the whole time talking about herself and her business. Well, as you can imagine, Carol was immediately turned off both by Sue and her company.

I’m sure because Sue is young she doesn’t know better. I would surmise that she didn’t receive any sales etiquette training, which is too bad. While she may be a very nice person who is very knowledgeable about her products, she probably isn’t having much success getting many new clients.

What could Sue have done differently to have more success with Carol? I bet her first mistake was eagerly collecting business cards at the event and not later writing information about each person on the back of the card. So, even though Carol was a co-presenter I bet Sue hadn’t noted or remembered that and therefore missed an opportunity to compliment her on the presentation. She saw a name, a number and thought “prospect”.

Her second mistake was not looking at Carol’s website and/or LinkedIn profile to learn more about her business and possibly her personally. This is key to having things to talk about with a prospect and to position your product or service to address the prospect’s needs.

Sue’s last mistake was to spend the entire call talking about herself and her products. A good salesperson knows to listen more than talk and to show a sincere interest in the other person.

Poor Sue. I feel for her. She needs some training. Hopefully she gets it and learns sooner than later how to interact with clients.

Have you been a victim of a bad salesperson? Feel free to share the details. Just change the names to protect the guilty.

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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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