02 May The Scariest Person in Business
He comes in many shapes and sizes, but we’ve all seen him. He’s terrifying, sneaking up on us when we least expect it. His methods of disruption and fear have gotten more varied as technology has progressed- 20 years ago, he would just call us on the phone. Ten years ago, he would call and send emails. Now, he send us text messages, and LinkedIn messages, and finds us, through any means necessary, wherever we go. Once he gets ahold of us, he won’t stop until we scream, “No!” He’s relentless.
He is the scariest person in business. He is a bad salesperson.
For as long as there have been salespeople, there have been good salespeople and not-so-good sales people. Technology has changed a lot, but the difference between bad and good remains. Take a few examples from just the last six months of my life:
- I receive dozens of cold emails every week from salespeople trying to sell me something, without knowing me or anything about me and my needs.
- I receive dozens of LinkedIn messages and requests every week from people who don’t know me and who, unsolicited, often try to sell me. At least 20 such people have actually asked me to recommend them on LinkedIn!
- I received a text message while on vacation in the Caribbean from a commercial real estate salesperson “trying to set up a call to help me.”
- I was taken out of a key meeting when an insurance salesperson lied to my assistant, telling her he had a call scheduled with me and was an old friend.
It’s hard to fathom how these people could have actually thought they would win my business!
The differences between a bad salesperson and a good one:
A bad salesperson interrupts you and disrupts you and talks about himself and his company and his products. A bad salesperson tries to bully you into talking to him, and tries to bully you into doing business with him.
A good salesperson carefully finds the right person (or the right person finds him!), adds value first, asks smart questions, listens intently and consistently, and then delivers a solution to your problem.
A bad salesperson causes pain.
A good salesperson relieves pain.
Most salespeople fall somewhere in the middle. But today, more than ever before, social media and content marketing allow us to attract the right prospects to us, rather than chase them down. Software allows us to track every interaction with a prospect, and to nurture them from a lead to a customer to a happy customer.
The tools are all there, but still, selling nearly always requires salespeople. The question is, which salesperson do you want to work with?
Here’s to more of the good ones in our businesses and in our lives. Oh, and to all of those celebrating today, Happy Halloween!
Now it’s your turn. Haveyou ever encountered a scary salesperson? Share your horror stories, thoughts and questions in the Comments section below, and please share this article with your network.