Sales isn’t for the faint of heart. But despite what some people might think, this doesn’t mean all salespeople are ruthless, uncaring drones just looking to make a buck. To the contrary; since salespeople tend to have people-centric personalities, they’re more likely to be empathetic and have higher emotional intelligence.
So yes, salespeople have feelings too, even if the good ones have learned how to deal with rejection. Hey – even the most hardened sales rep can’t help but reach for the Kleenex and cry when certain things happen. If you’re curious about what kinds of things can cue the waterworks in your nearest sales office, take a look at the following list and (please) try to avoid doing any of them.
1. String them along
Believe it or not, salespeople would prefer that you tell them you’re not interested, rather than stringing them along for weeks, months, or longer. In sales, time is money, and time spent with people who don’t intend to buy is time wasted, which can bring tears to a salesperson’s eyes.
2. Withhold relevant information
Some people think that not giving a salesperson the entire picture can put them in a more advantageous situation. This, however, is rarely the case, as this information tends to come out at some point in the process. So if you’re hiding the fact that your credit history isn’t so great, or that there’s someone else who’s the decision maker, you’re doing the salesperson and yourself a disservice.
3. Use them for information and buy somewhere else
Maybe it’s just the nature of business, but there’s something particularly unpleasant about prospects who spend hours picking a salesperson’s brain without any intention of buying, and instead use them as a resource before going somewhere else (usually online). While it’s understandable that people want the best deal, it’s still important to respect other people’s time and to try to avoid asking them to work for free if you don’t want to make them cry.
4. Make a ridiculously low offer
It’s possible that there’s certain instances where buyers who make ridiculously low-ball offers actually get the price they’re looking for, but it’s usually very few and far between. Instead, unrealistic offers mostly serve to make sellers stop taking the person who is making the offer seriously, and just puts more distance between them. An absurdly low offer isn’t just upsetting, it’s counterproductive.
5. Don’t show up to an appointment
Do you want to show someone that you don’t care about their time whatsoever? The quickest way to accomplish this is to schedule a meeting with them and then not show up. Again, you’re better off directly telling a salesperson that you’re not interested instead of ghosting them. Unless you’re trying to make them cry.
6. Change the comp plan
When a salesperson finds out their comp plan is going to change, they rarely assume that it’s for the better. In the minds of salespeople, comp plan changes are synonymous with lower commissions. And while that’s not always the case, usually it is. So even if changing the comp plan is a necessity, don’t expect many dry eyes on the sales floor after you’ve announced it.
7. Force them to use outdated software
A day in the life of a salesperson usually involves getting pulled in a hundred different directions and trying to fight distractions long enough to actually close some deals. Of these distractions, almost none are as obnoxious as using outdated software that doesn’t help salespeople get any closer to their goals. Software (like Spiro’s Proactive Relationship Management platform) should help salespeople, not hinder them. So keep the sales team happy and ditch the old tech.
8. Break the coffee machine
“Coffee is for closers,” is one of the most famous lines in sales, but it’s a bit of a paradox because most of us need coffee if we want to become closers. Caffeine and sales go hand in hand, so if you want to make your sales team cry and reduce their closing percentage by at least a dozen points, break the office Keurig. If that happens, you’d better hope there’s a Starbucks or a Dunkin’ nearby, or you’ll have some very grumpy salespeople on your hands.