Having my background from both sales and marketing (and sales before marketing, which I see as essential) I think I have a more open minded attitude towards sales than many. In fact I know so based on discussions I have been involved in different LinkedIn groups about the relationship between sales and marketing.
But occasionally even I can start hating sales reps. and sympathies with those who do:
It was early afternoon, during dinner, and I just managed to get my three kids to eat instead of running around… The doorbell rang.
First I struggled to keep the kids at the table. I had told them that there is bad people in the world and they should not open the door without mum or dad around (the oldest is 6).
It was a young guy who sold home alarm systems from Securitas . I started telling him how bad his timing was and told him I didn’t want to change my alarm. But he wouldn’t stop. He started his sales pitch as if he hadn’t heard a word of what I was saying.
So what do polite people do when someone continues speaking to you? You don’t close the door… This seamed to be the signal he was waiting for. If your customer doesn’t just close the door on you that is a sure sign of interest – right?
Wrong. So I, politely, waited for him to take a breath, and then gave him my “not interested” speech again.
Did he stop? No.
Now he was telling me just how bad my existing alarm company was, and how good the product from Securitas was, compared to theirs.
By the time he got to this point I had three kids hanging around me and I did something I don’t normally do. I closed the door listening to his last words:
“Don’t you want to save money and feel safer?”
He broke some of the most important elements of a good sales process:
- Not listening to, or react on, your customers signals
- Not understand when you timing is really bad
- Throw dirt one your competitors to emphasize you own product (it wont work unless your a politician)
- And not having a strategy when encountering the three points above…
The worst thing is that I actually felt bad after closing the door on him.
I felt a little bit better after talking to some of my neighbors the next day and they told me about similar experiences with this Securitas sales rep.
But I will give you one promise Securitas, I will NEVER buy I home security system from you, even if you are cheaper or even better than the others.