Frank's Take

Boosting Mid-Market Media Buys Through Uncommon Sense

OMG…My Kingdom for Good Salespeople!

Businessmen shaking hands in front of employees

Far be it from me to criticize anyone else. I definitely have my flaws, but I do try to work on them and make improvements every day.

And before I get everyone in sales ticked at me, let me clearly state this article isn’t directed towards the hard working, knowledgeable salespeople that I work with and respect, just the rest.

Here’ s the typical description of the ones I’m speaking about. They’re in their late 20s to late 30 somethings, look like they rolled out of bed, didn’t brush their hair, so I suspect their teeth neither! They use words like dude, man, yup, a-ha, hmm and want to stay in their bedrooms the rest of their lives, except on weekends! And the ones I really appreciate are the ones who won’t even turn their camera on during a meeting or pitch! Can’t get out of those jammies, huh?

Many are intelligent, I can’t argue with that. They try to schmooze you, pat you on the head but they honestly think they are the smartest person on the call, and they are arrogant enough not to try and hide it. And right about then I love to start asking legitimate and relevant questions, they should know the answers to!

They damn near stutter or talk like a politician, circling around the question but never squarely answer it. They’re sure you didn’t follow their BS, so they think they’re safe and try to deflect the conversation and move on. That is when I go right back to the question, explain the portion of the question they didn’t understand and ask them to clarify it again.

The next thing you know, they’re back peddling and need to get someone else on the next meeting to answer my questions. Now, let me be perfectly clear. While these questions are specific to the product or service they are selling, I’m not asking for proprietary information or company secrets. I’m asking questions directly relevant to helping me decide whether I have interest in purchasing their goods. Questions well trained, knowledgeable salespeople should be able to answer, no matter their age.

Which brings me to actual point of this article. Since I’m obviously not their first sales call, then I question, whether their company has a lousy training program or are other agencies not asking the same questions we do. Personally, I think it’s a bit of both. But if it’s the latter, then God help the agencies’ clients.

Surely someone other than us has taken a relatively mid-level dive into their products, systems, or services. Why don’t they know the answers to questions? The answer I believe is in playing the odds. They try and get seven to ten calls a day, maybe more and maybe they land one or two. The next day they simply wash and repeat!

Better yet, they blindly reach out by email, send you one very vague and mysterious message concerning their services and then supply you with their calendar to set an appointment, in half hour increments.

Seriously, are they kidding? Does anyone just make an appointment with a stranger to discuss a product they don’t know? They must!

My reply is cordial, but I clearly explain I need a business deck and a better explanation of their business, then I will review it and then if I have any interest, I’ll contact them.

Good salespeople come in all shapes, ages, genders, and backgrounds. They don’t have to be young, old, or even college educated. But what they need to be is personable, humble, genuine and most of all knowledgeable! They understand that relationships, not text messaging matters! And maybe most importantly, when they don’t know the answer, they admit it and go find it, so they are prepared the next time!

I don’t know about anyone else’s business, but one of my greatest fears is someone from my company giving an answer that is incorrect! Boom! Can’t get their foot out of my mouth! So, I hope all the bad ones read this article, get really mad and never contact me again! That will keep my inbox manageable and more time to speak to the good ones!    

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