July 10, 2017

30 Things I Wish Salespeople Would STOP…

I am tired of seeing salespeople flailing, failing and whining, quoting morons and false teachers, executing horrendous sales process, acting like amateurs, and shooting their own sales effort in the foot. The list below stemmed from a twitter rant several years ago where I reeled off consecutive tweets proclaiming what I wish salespeople would STOP doing in order to be more successful. It was originally posted on my blog in 2013 and I just updated it with a few fresh observations – although the majority of the items listed are even more true today!

I wish salespeople would STOP…

  1. Starting the day by spending two hours responding to emails
  2. Calling prospects to “check-in” or “touch base” (nobody wants to be checked-in on or wants you touching their base!)
  3. Overusing this most overused phrase in business: “I’m reaching out”
  4. Leading with their offerings/products/services or using lame openings like the pathetic “we’re a supplier” or “we offer…
  5. Showing pictures of their facilities early on during sales calls and presentations (or any time for that matter!)
  6. Allowing the buyer to dictate the flow of the sales call
  7. Initiating the price conversation and saying stupid things like “let me quote that for you and see if we can do better”
  8. Pretending they’re part of the Operations department
  9. Volunteering for committees, other corporate assignments and projects so they can avoid prospecting for new business
  10. Waiting around for a warm inbound lead or for an existing customer to raise their hand
  11. Over-qualifying prospects too early in the sales process in the name of “protecting their time”
  12. Playing for hours in LinkedIn groups and commenting on posts thinking that they are actually selling
  13. Looking for excuses not to make outbound phone calls like…
  14. Immersing themselves in customer service issues and putting out fires so they can use that as an excuse for not developing new business
  15. Spending an inordinate amount of time tweaking marketing materials
  16. Telling prospects about how long their privately held company has been around
  17. Changing direction on a whim instead focusing on a strategic, finite list of target prospects
  18. Seeking out and then quoting false teachers who preach that prospecting is dead
  19. Complaining about getting a prospect’s voicemail and instead embrace the wonderful opportunity to touch the contact and leave a value nugget (snippet from their sales story)
  20. Talking so much on sales calls and talking over the potential customer who is trying to provide clues as to how to sell them
  21. Committing sales malpractice by rushing to the demo stage or presenting solutions before doing appropriate discovery work
  22. Hiding from potential objections and pretending that everything is going to work out
  23. Pretending that they “love the hunt” even though they’re wired like zookeepers that are extremely uncomfortable with the associated risk, conflict and rejection that is part of prospecting and new business development, and they’d be better off finally admitting the truth that they are nurturers, not sales killers
  24. Spending more time on Facebook or sports websites than reading sales blogs or investing in their own development
  25. Playing the victim; blaming everyone and everything else (Obama, Trump, Congress, their mom, their manager, their territory, the customer, the competitor, operations, etc.) for their lack of success
  26. Hanging out with the whiners and losers on the sales team who do nothing but bitch and complain about the company
  27. Showing up late and disinterested to sales team meetings
  28. Living as “prisoners of hope” who obsess over the very few hot opportunities in their pipeline as opposed to spreading effort and energy across deals and prospects in various stages of the sales cycle
  29. Providing proposals just because a potential client requests one (typically way before the appropriate time and adequate discovery work has been done)
  30. Trying to fool everyone by overcomplicating the sales process in an attempt to hide their lame effort or poor results

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