I read an interesting and entertaining article by Chris Murray of Varda Kreuz about what buyers say about the mistakes salespeople make in the Institute of Sales and Marketing Managementmagazine this month.  Some interesting thoughts about what to do and what not to do as a sales person. I recommend you read the article yourself here or if you’re short of time here’s a quick summary of the key points and some key quotes from buyers.

You never earned their trust

Sales people should be honest. If they don’t know the answer to a question they should hold their hands up and say sorry I don’t know the answer to that but I will find out and get back to you rather than guess and invariably be wrong.

You had the chance to move the process forward, but missed it

Just because I don’t need you now doesn’t mean I don’t need you forever. But find out when and schedule a call, so you don’t have to bother me again until then. Being in my face constantly is the quickest way to turn me off so give me some breathing space”

You thought the marketing department had already done your job

Do salespeople ever look through their own presentations and work out which of the few slides in their standard pack might interest me.

You didn’t know how to justify the cost of your product or service

What’s the point of salespeople who are unable to justify their markup and profit margin. Of course I’m going to hammer everyone down on price, that’s my job. That doesn’t mean to say I want tat! Receiving great value is what I’m paid for too.

You think it’s all about relationships

while I understand they have a budget for these things, I don’t need constant offers to be taken to lunch and golf particularly if not I’m not currently doing business with them. I’m a fellow professional not a date to be wooed. I hate it when a salesperson tries to be my best friend on the first call.

You’ve left it too long to follow-up

There’s nothing more annoying than when people don’t keep their promises. Why do so many salespeople say they will get back to you and then not bother communicating in any way afterwards

You’re selling at not helping to buy

There are still too many sales people who don’t listen to what I’m telling them and just go on and on about their products and services without taking a breath.