There are some inherently bad salespeople, who aim to get rich off of the naivete of others. There are also good salespeople, who aim to solve their customer’s problems by presenting the right solutions, and work tirelessly to help others. Even if you’re in the latter group, you’re bound to make a mistake or two (or more…). Sometimes, these mistakes can be big ones. Even good salespeople do bad things. However, there are some steps that you can take to avoid a major catastrophe. Here are the 5 things you should never do in sales:
1. Steal Your Coworker’s Sales
No matter how poorly you think your coworker is handling a lead, don’t be that guy. I get it, sales is competitive, but you should be able to generate your own leads and close deals accordingly, without encroaching on someone else’s territory.
Instead of stealing your coworker’s sales, try generating new leads, or trying to revive some that went cold. It’ll feel so much more rewarding, and you won’t end up the most hated person in the office.
2. Make Excuses
Inevitably, you’re going to have a bad quarter or two. And maybe it’s not really your fault. But, there’s nothing a sales manager hates more than a salesperson who is constantly making excuses for their underperformance. They’d much rather have your future results speak for themselves.
Instead of blaming everything but yourself, try to pinpoint exactly what went wrong, and how you can get back on track for the next quarter. This will prevent you from dwelling on a bad quarter, and ensure that things go in your favor in the future.
3. Get Angry at a Lead
Sometimes, people just suck. As a salesperson, I’m sure you’ve been told quite a few times exactly where to shove it. But save the expletives and yelling for when you get off the phone. Getting angry at a potential customer can only end poorly for you. Plus, they might not be a total jerk, they may just be having a bad day. And, now you and your coworkers have something to bond over.
Instead of getting angry and giving it right back, try to put yourself in their shoes (I know, I know, but hear me out). What problems are they having? How can you help? Put on your sweetest, most understanding customer service voice, and see what you can do. You might be surprised how often you can actually turn these types of situations around.
4. Lie to a Potential Buyer
Since childhood, we have all been told not to lie, and it’s stuck. Most salespeople truly have no intention to blatantly lie to their customers. But, it can be easier than you’d think to tell a little white lie in the moment, like that your competition doesn’t have a certain feature, or that you’re super into their taxidermy hobby. No matter how small, that lie is likely to catch up to you. Prevent any later problems by avoiding fibbing altogether.
Instead of lying, focus on how you can use the truth to serve the same function as that lie. For example, in the above examples you could focus on how your product implements that feature differently, and how you enjoy collecting ancient coins (if you actually do, of course).
5. Give Up
And here it is, the worst possible thing a salesperson could do, because there is no way to come back from quitting. Through perseverance, almost any obstacle in sales can be overcome. By giving up, you are only doing a disservice to yourself.
Sales can be challenging, but you need to come to love the challenge. If you do that, the sales will follow, and you’ll be destined for greatness.