In a recent episode, Adapting After Hearing No in Sales, John starts out the show talking about getting a pretty aggressive no from a potential networking connection.
The person just assumed John wanted to sell him something, and it seemed to really set him off. And it got under John’s skin a bit.
I’ve known this man for almost 17 years, and he lets so few things get to him that I was honestly a little surprised. I was downright shocked when it affected him so much that he wanted to talk about it on the podcast.
But it brings up a good point to those of us that aren’t in sales.
They’re just people doing a job.
For some reason, people think it’s okay to yell at, be sarcastic with, or walk all over salespeople.
One of my dad’s biggest pet peeves on the planet was when telemarketers would call during “the dinner hour.”
Which, for him, meant any time after 5. I remember listening to him mess with these callers, saying all kinds of crazy stuff. Or he’d just tell them where to stick it and hang up.
As a kid, I thought it was pretty damn funny. And it even made sense; how dare they call when we’re trying to have dinner?
Now that I’m an adult and understand a little bit more about sales and business, it makes sense.
Why would they be calling households at 11:00 in the morning when most people are at work? How could you ever hit quota only calling during the workday?
But even for salespeople, it’s important to remember that those who may not do it as well as you, or work in a job where they have zero freedom to do it in any other way than they’re told, deserve a little kindness and leeway.
In a different episode, John also talked about a pest control guy that stopped by one day. He was new to the job, and just assumed that everybody wants and needs pest control. That’s probably reasonable, except I’m a weirdo… I actually really like most of the bugs around my house. Bees and wasps pollinate the flowers, spiders eat the bug I don’t want, and pillbugs and snails help fertilize the soil. Also, they’re adorable, all of them. (Okay, I’ll stop talking about my weird love of creepy crawlies.)
Anyway, I’m not really interested in pest control. We recently moved, and I haven’t had any invasions that I would want to remove or prevent yet.
But I’m terrible at just telling people I’m not interested. Don’t know why. Some ingrained female powerless feeling that I still struggle with.
So I usually pass off these situations to John. Well, John being John let him get his schpiel out, told him no, and then asked if he wanted some pointers on his sales delivery. (These are the moments when I want to crawl in a hole.)
He told him some things about finding pain before assuming his services are needed and some of the other basic things they talk about on Sales Throwdown. And, like any good self-promoter, suggested that he look for the show on YouTube or podcast service.
But as much as it embarrasses me when John tries to educate the masses, I’m also really proud of how he deals with salespeople that maybe haven’t gained the knowledge or experience to increase their skills.
I’m sure it can be super frustrating spending so much time getting really good at something and then having to deal with somebody who sucks at it.
But let me echo the wonderful Miss Nannette on this, the answer is kindness and patience, not anger or sarcasm.
And while dealing with salespeople can be frustrating, intrusive, or difficult depending on the situation, they’re just doing their job. And they’re people, just like you. So if you’re going to turn them down, remember that rejection sucks for everybody. Keep the Golden Rule in mind when you do it.