The word “sales” always manages to stir different emotions in me every time I hear or utter it. It has become a vital part of my life since I chose to pursue a career in this field, from being a salesperson to being a sales trainer. Therefore, the topic of sales makes me happy and excited. Yet, at the same time, it brings out unpleasant memories as well.
Having been a salesperson, and a consumer at the same time, for many years allowed me to gain many bad experiences related to it. Here are a few of them:
- A prospective client ghosted me. This ordeal did not only happen once but many times. Several times in my life as a salesperson, I experienced being left hanging without knowing the reason. Being in this career entails a lot of disappointment, such as being ghosted. One has to endure the pain of broken promises. Yes, buyers can also break a salesperson’s heart by suddenly changing their minds or by deciding to disappear. We should not let this dampen our spirits and become hopeless. We should use this kind of story to motivate ourselves to become better salespeople that prospective clients want to have lasting relationships with.
- A mall salesperson kept following me around like a stalker. I believe I am not the only one who experienced this kind of treatment by salespeople. As a salesperson myself, I could understand their desire to make a sale. However, as a customer, being followed around makes me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel pressured to purchase something that I might necessarily not need or want to own. This kind of selling behavior is pushy and will more likely lead a salesperson to lose customers than gain sales.
- My prospective client suddenly zoned out as if gone out to another world. In the past, I often got worried about my future clients while I talked to them because they seemed to be somewhere else while being physically there with me. What would you feel when in the middle of your discussion, the other person no longer responds? I would usually think that the customer has not heard anything I had talked about and that the long time I spent talking was useless. It took me a long time to realize that it was my fault for not involving my prospect in the conversation. Instead of asking them questions to know what they need or want, I unconsciously made them uncertain about the service I offered them.
You see, many horror stories happen in the world of sales between a salesperson and a customer. With these stories that I shared, the horror occurred because of the salesperson’s failure – failure to prove credibility, failure to make the customers feel safe, and failure to identify what the customers need or want.
While experiencing undesirable situations is inevitable, it does not mean that we can do nothing to prevent it from happening again. To become a better salesperson, you should know how to serve your customers better and equip yourself with knowledge and skills to help you do so.
How about you? What horror stories have you experienced throughout your time as a salesperson?