Sales and Sales Management Blog

July 7, 2007

And You Wonder Why Salespeople Have a Bad Reputation?

Filed under: Personal Marketing,trust — Paul McCord @ 10:43 am

Today is simply a day to vent.

Daniel from British Columbia sent an email a few days ago that I’ve been fuming over since I received it: 

“Mr. McCord, I’ve only been in sales for a few months but I’m quite confused at this point.  I’ve read your book, a book by Tom Hopkins and a book by Anthony Perinello.  All three of you make sales sound like something hard to do.  Like something that you have to learn.  But my sales manager says to ignore all that stuff and just do what the company tells me to do and that selling their way is easy.  The company I work for sets our appointments and when we get in front of the prospect we have a flip chart and a presentation that we’ve memorized that we go through.  If the client doesn’t buy, we call our manager and he tries to sell them.  What’s the deal?  I seem to be doing alright and we don’t use any of the stuff you guys talk about.” 

Daniel is unfortunately under the impression that he is selling when in fact he either simply taking the order after his canned presentation or is, more accurately, the set up man for the manager to come in with high pressure tactics to browbeat the prospect. 

Many believe this old style of high-pressure sales has gone the way of the dinosaur.  I wish.  This format, or a variation of it, is still common in many industries.  Daniel happens to be selling insurance, but it happens in auto sales, mortgages, healthcare related items and services, and many others.  Not all use the format Daniel described; there are many variations on the high-pressure sales method. 

Some delight in their methods.  For instance, one local used car dealership that has a reputation for their high-pressure sales tactics has a picture of each of their salespeople in their ads with the salesperson’s name.  What would you expect from a car lot whose salespeople are named Slick, Dogg, Bling Man and Moneymaker?  These are, of course, their nicknames.  But would you expect anything less than high-pressure from these guys? 

Several mortgage companies in the US target military vets to refinance their homes.  They use the same formula as Daniel’s company. 

The sad part about Daniel’s letter is that he doesn’t even recognize a difference between legitimate sales and what the company he works is doing.  To him, he is selling.  In addition, unfortunately, many prospects have the same view of our profession as he does. 

These companies will always be around to prey on the poorer and weaker members of our society.  Some, like the vet oriented mortgage companies rely on people being too lazy to seek out a more honest solution.   

I realize that as long a human nature is the way it is, these companies will exist and some will thrive.  There will always be those looking for the easy, quick way to make a buck and the buyer be damned.  Nevertheless, it also makes you wonder how much of this exists hidden in the reputable companies?  More, if afraid, than we’d like to admit.


1 Comment

  1. […] that still subscribe to traditional high-pressure sales tactics. A salesman from British Columbia claims that his sales manager instructed him to run through a canned presentation with potential clients, and […]

    Pingback by You Give Sales a Bad Name - Zopim's Blog — May 20, 2014 @ 3:15 am

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