Salespeople get a bad rep. Some of it might be deserved, but most of it comes from the unfair stereotypes of sleazy, fast-talking sales reps from movies and pop culture. Most salespeople are honest, hard-working folks making a living and providing for their families.
Many people go into sales so they can make a lot of money (which Spiro, our personal sales assistant can help you with), but they are usually surprised by how badly much of the general public treats salespeople. Here are some good reasons why you should be nicer to salespeople:
1. They’re probably honest
There is a small segment of salespeople who will lie and cheat to get their way. But the same can be said of any profession and the overwhelming majority of salespeople are honest and ethical, so your salesperson is most likely telling you the truth.
2. You’ll get a better deal
Being rude or angry with a salesperson doesn’t make any sense, especially if you’re trying to get a better deal. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and many salespeople will refuse to go out of their way to help you get a better deal if you try to bully them into it. Trust me, being nice will get you everywhere with salespeople, especially since they’re not used to it.
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3. If you don’t buy, they’re working for free
The overwhelming majority of sales is spent talking to people who won’t be doing business. And a significant number of salespeople don’t get a base pay at all, so when a salesperson is working with you, they’re doing it for free unless you sign on the dotted line. So if you don’t end up buying, the salesperson has essentially wasted their time with you, so be nice.
4. They’re keeping you employed
People tend to forget just how important salespeople are to the economy. There’s a famous saying: “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” It couldn’t be any more true. Salespeople are the front line of nearly every single business in the world, and they’re probably the ones bringing money into your company and making sure you keep getting a paycheck.
5. They’re probably very stressed out
Sales is one of the most stressful jobs out there. Not only do salespeople deal with the normal stresses of any job, but they also deal with looming sales quotas, pressure from management, prospecting for new business, handling issues for existing customers, and rudeness and distrust from the general public. Can we at least cross that last one off the list?
6. They are your family, friends, and neighbors
You should be nicer to salespeople because there are so many of them out there. Nearly 13 percent of the ENTIRE United States workforce is in sales, which means that salespeople are all around you, whether you like it or not. Your friends, family, and members of your community are probably full of salespeople, so treat them as you would everyone else.
7. Their goal is to make you happy
The best salespeople know that their only goal is to help you get what you want. Boiled down to its most basic form, that is exactly what sales is: helping people. So with that in mind, why wouldn’t you want to be nicer to someone who is there to help you? Sure, they’re doing it to make a living, but so isn’t your waiter, your lawyer, and your accountant. There’s no reason to treat salespeople any differently, especially since they’re expecting you to.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in April 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.