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Five Things Salespeople Shouldn't Do
Monday, January 30, 2012 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group

Editor's Note: To listen to Dan's weekly column, as you've always done in the past, click here. For the written transcript, keep reading...

The thing your salespeople should be doing is selling--selling at all times. The last thing you want is for them to be distracted by other things that will take their focus away from getting those sales. If you can keep your salespeople moving in the right direction you will be successful. If not, you’ve got trouble, big trouble right here in River City.

Keeping that in mind, here are five things you don’t want your salespeople doing:

  1. You do not want them worried about their customers’ orders getting out on time. You have to be worried about that to the point where you make sure that it happens…all the time. If the salespeople don’t have the confidence in your facility to do things right, to get good product out on time, they will not sell effectively. If they feel they have to spend most of their time babysitting their customers’ orders through your facility, they do not have the confidence to convince customers to buy from them. They will also spend too much time worrying about what is going on in house and not enough time concerned about what is going on in their territory.
  2. You don’t want your salespeople spending their time apologizing to customers. This is really counter-productive. You want your salespeople tracking down the next order, not spending time making sure they keep the accounts they've already won. I once heard someone say that if everything was perfect you wouldn’t need salespeople--the customers would just come to you. This is, of course, pure nonsense based on justifying poor performance. No, everything should be perfect, your jobs should be right, always, and they should always get out on time. A salesperson is not an apologist for the shop’s inadequacies, the salesperson has to know that his product is the best product on the market and use that to differentiate his products from those of other companies who are less than perfect. If a salesperson is apologizing, she is not selling. If a sales person is spending her time playing defense, and trying to keep a customer, she is wasting her time, your time, and the money you are spending on her.
  3. The salesperson should not be the only customer advocate in the company. We are all customer advocates and we are all salespeople in a way. If the salesperson has to waste time convincing you to do the right thing by your customers, you are on the wrong track. If you feel that the salesperson is spending too much time defending his customer against your people--notice the words “his” and “yours” in this sentence--then you are really on the wrong track. If you feel you have to remind your salesperson that he works for you and not the customer, you are really really on the wrong track. Do not force your salesperson to choose between you and the customer because you and your salesperson should be in the same side--the customer’ side.

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