5 Ways Salespeople Drive Customers Absolutely Nuts

By Jeff Shore

Let’s call these five the most irritating and common behaviors of less-than-professional sales professionals.

1. Talking Too Much
How have we not figured this out? Salespeople influence decision making when they deeply understand the customer’s issues and can identify a solution to the customer’s problems. You cannot talk and learn at the same time.

Talking too much during a sales conversation can be inspired by insecurity, bad strategy, or just a lack of curiosity. Whatever the root cause, yada-yada-yada loses sales more than anything else.

2. Using the “I” Word
This is the cousin of #1, above. Constantly using the words “I,” “me,” “my,” “mine,” “we,” “our,” “us,” “myself,” etc., exhausts and irritates your buyers.

Here is a common example: “I love my product. Let me tell you why: I find that, for the way I live my life, I can’t find anything else that gives me the sense of security I need.” While here it sounds semi-ridiculous, this sentence is quite plausible in a sales presentation. And there were five – count ’em… five – first-person references in that sentence.

Do yourself and your customers a favor: record your presentation and count up the number of times you refer to yourself. Then, edit! Personal testimony is a great sales technique to a degree. In the end, though, you are not the buyer – so be wise about how you express your opinions.

3. Lying
Oh, but they are just little sales lies, right? Do the following sentences sound familiar? “I’ve got someone else looking at this, and it’s the last one we have”; “My manager says I’m not supposed to deal, but I like you – let me see what I can do”; or “We never get any complaints about this product… ever.”

Common? Yes. Socially acceptable? Kinda. Appropriate? Never.

4. Closing Someone Not Ready for Closing
There is a time and place for closing – for helping a customer make the right decision. But closing on a customer when they are not ready (or, worse, when you know there is a better option out there) is worse than just bad manners. It’s mean. It also shows that the salesperson is in this for one person: the salesperson. Consider this: Do you see your customer as a partner or a target?

5. Losing Touch
You get a customer strongly considering your product; you ask for the sale; you promise them a better life; you treat them like you are all lifelong buds – and then… they never hear from you again.

Acting like you are your customer’s new BFF and then dropping off the planet only reinforces the salesperson stereotype that we are all in it only for the sale. Your customer doesn’t need you to be their best friend; they need you to be their best salesperson. If you hit it off with a customer and genuinely become friends, great! But don’t fake it and then disappear as soon as the sale is made. That is just lazy sales technique and, in the end, it will tell your buyer that the only thing you really care about is product – not people.

Please, salespeople everywhere, if you are guilty of any of the above, stop the crazy-making! Shut up; get over yourself; keep it real; don’t rush; and be genuine… and you will change someone’s world!

Jeff Shore is author of Be Bold and Win the Sale.