There was a recent article entitled the 6 Most Infuriating Tech Sales Styles and clearly it resonated with the IT community, because it was printed in ComputerWorld, CIO magazine and Network World to name a few!
The fact the article was picked up is a good indicator that salespeople are still turning their clients off, and as a “sales guy” I find it sad that we are still viewed so poorly. What is even sadder is that we, as a profession, have EARNED that status!
The traits and operating styles of the salespeople in the article were stereotypical, but also so often true … not listening, pretending to know the answers, misrepresenting capabilities, being too pushy, amongst others.
For me one of the worst aspects to this is that clients will work really hard NOT to have to talk with salespeople. This means that one of the hardest tasks for a salesperson is to get some face time with a client. A related story even provides tips on how to “deal” with sales calls … which in most cases is how to not have sales calls!
There is some good news in this however, because the professional salesperson, who truly looks for ways to bring value to their client, will differentiate themselves from the competition. I have written quite a few blog entries on this subject:
One of my favorite articles on this subject was written by Kevin Eikenberry called the 7 Lessons of Great Salespeople. He hits on most of the hot buttons that address the concerns the clients raise in the infuriating sales styles article.
In October 2006 I wrote a blog entry about why clients will choose to spend time with a salesperson … essentially this is a trust that is earned!
In August 2007 I wrote about the Essential Art of Listening … again focusing on just one of the common client complaints, salespeople talk a lot but don’t REALLY listen when their client or prospect talks!
Finally, one of my favorite sales trainers is Colleen Francis who has often said that people want to deal with “nice people”. In August 2007 I wrote a blog entry around that theme after reading a McKinsey Article about “Jerks”. Certainly clients want to have a positive relationship with their vendors, and working with “nice” people is always better than the alternative!