Monday, May 16, 2011

Deal or No Deal, A Sales Training Tool

Dealing with sales people is something that I've done in many of my jobs.  On the whole I don't like sales people. More specifically, I don't enjoy the process of being sold to. It's uncomfortable and I'm good at asking questions and I find it annoying when my questions aren't answered and then everyone is uncomfortable.

And because I think that deep down, sales people are probably all pretty good eggs, I'm writing this post as a training piece, a training tool if you will.  Something for all you sales people who probably think I'm a grumpy bitch.

I am. It's your fault. Change that and you might make a sale....

Don't get me wrong, like I said,  individually, I think most sales people are probably pretty ok people and I have a few that would even qualify as my favorites Those being my current SYSCO guy, who has helped me tremendously as of late and prior computer hardwares salemen that I came across in my last job-No one provides dinner like a company about to make tons of money from you. (Have you ever priced a high end server, some of them are more expensive than cars....) .I also like the girls at the local pizza place. They are nice to me even when I'm only spending $5. And probably the most genuine....

At any rate, today I wasn't talking to my SYSCO guy and I'm not planning on spending tons of money anywhere. .

Today I was working in my office enjoying the luxury of an afternoon sans meetings when I received a call:

"Two men from XXXX are here to see you."
"I don't have a meeting with them."
"I think they just showed up"

I'm sure they did, because last week I sent them an email declining their request for a meeting to try and sell me their product. I had already gone with their competitor.

I'm sorry, waiting to contact me until the week the museum is ready to open is  pretty much a sure-fire way to insure I won't be using your product.

Another way is coming into my office and forgetting to tell me your name.

And the third, and this one I really really hate... I mean this last one makes me not want to ever deal with you, is coming in to see me and telling me you had no idea that this museum was even here. Or that you've never been here, or pretending that you've been to one of our events and then when I ask you which one, you stumble over your words. (Hint, if you mumbled Civil War, you could probably get away with it.)

I'm not saying everyone needs to visit us or know about their local museums. Maybe 19th century life isn't your thing. I get that.  But when you try and sell something to someone, it would behoove you to know SOMETHING about the place you are trying to sell to. We have a fairly nice website that tells you EXACTLY what we are about. You can also find our opening dates. This is not rocket science. Additionally, we are the biggest living history museum in the state and the 3rd biggest in the country. Telling me you've never known what we are about tells me you're a dolt. It's also kind of insulting and I wonder how you expect my business. This is not the first time this has happened either.

Incidently,  these 2 men were selling something that an "attraction" type place would use.  They were not selling printer ink or something where the type of business they were selling to didn't matter. It mattered very much. And they couldn't figure that out. Or they didn't care. And rather than tell me why their product was good, they told me why their competitor was bad.

The meeting ended quickly. And I'm not buying anything from them.

For you sales people taking my home study program, here are a few more pointers to follow if you want to walk away from me empty handed.:
1) Don't try the museum's signature beer when it's offered to you because you "Don't like dark beer" Take a sip you idiot and smile. It's not going to kill you. We're pretty jazzed about the beer, you might realize this if you were listening to me talk these past 5 minutes.
P.S. And I think you are a wuss if you can't take even take a taste of something darker than Coors Light.
2) Ask me if we have people in costumes here.
3)  Forget when your appointments are with me.
4) Take phone calls about other sales calls when we are meeting.
5) Text
6)  Treat me like the non-profit-without-a-ton-of-money that I am. I used to spend a lot of money in my last job. I see the difference. I love being made to feel like you could give a rip about my business because I don't spend a lot.
7) Make sure you aren't able to tell me how your product will make my job easier, I love trying to figure it out myself. I don't have enough stuff to do.
8) Wonder what it is that crawled up my butt today when you leave empty handed, because it certainly wasn't you.


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