|How do they close deals?|
I have even heard many entrepreneurs say building business opportunities and bringing in more money is the sole responsibility of the salespeople because they should know if “they don’t sell, they’ll get immediately fired and replaced by somebody else".
And it’s understandable an entrepreneur wants its sales department to operate autonomously, independently and requiring as little attention as possible on its part.
It’s normal: the sales area of any company can become a very complicated one, especially when achieved results are not as expected or, even worse, when it’s required to develop the sales area from scratch and nobody has an idea on how to make it happen.
A salesman without supervision is a double-edged sword for your company, and a very dangerous one.
And this same desire to have a self-sufficient and independent sales department is most probably the reason why we can see many sales representatives on the road by their own, trying to sell their products all over the world, without rhyme or reason, headless, without any sort of plan and, the most worrisome thing, using any kind of trick to close any deal they come across with.
When the cat's not in duty, mice go out to have fun.
Some time ago I wrote an article on this blog entitled "Business Reputation and The Sales Rep Responsibility" (you’ll find the corresponding link at the end of this post, as always) and I tried to showcase how important the sales representative performance is to developing a solid reputation for your business.
However, day after day I get to know about more and more cases of companies leaving their reputation in the hands of sales professionals whose practices, rather than adding value to the relationship with customers, do quite the opposite, compromising reputation of the business they’re supposed to be representing.
It’s not the same thing to say "I’m an independent sales rep" than "I do whatever I have to do to close more deals."
The saddest thing is that, by sticking to the policy of having "independent and autonomous sales departments" in most cases the company doesn’t even get to know how their representatives are approaching new customers, not to say all the arguments, tricks and strategies they are using to convince prospects about making a buying decision favorable to products or services offered by the company.
As always, every time I make this kind of statements, I like to do it backed up by recent situations I’ve experienced firsthand.
Here is the story.
When your sales guy’s persistence gets the door shut down for your business.
A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a commercial agent from Mexico, who wanted to offer me their financial advisory and investment services. I kindly attended him, spent the time required to listen to what it was all about and what their working conditions were.
When I realized he was trying to convince me to make a decision immediately and over the phone, I asked him to put everything on writing and email it to me, so that I could go over it at my own pace. He agreed on that, promised to send me all requested information and to call me back the next day to follow up.
I did receive the information without any problem, read it calmly and when I realized they required a strong initial deposit to start operating with them, my decision to not doing business with them was made. I then emailed him back, thanking him for his time and attention and indicated him I was not interested on their services.
Without replying to my email, the guy called me back the next day as if I hadn’t written anything. I remarked over the phone my decision not to sign up for their services and asked to keep the contact open just in case things could change along the road and an opportunity could arise.
And I think either he didn’t hear what I said, or didn’t understand me, or simply didn’t want to understand what I said, but the fact is that, the day after our second conversation, he called me back again, this time to ask me if I had already cleared things up and changed my mind.
The difference between being persistent and being stubborn, can only be recognized by a true professional.
I told him I wasn’t going to change my mind, neither doing business with them and thanked him again for his kindness on following up with me.
From that day on, I blocked his phone number on my mobile and made a firm decision not to speak to him again. Just imagine the experience has been so negative and disappointing that I can’t even remember the name of the company he was working for and not even his own name.
Is this the way you want your salespeople to close deals for your business? Is this the way you want your customers to be treated?
More importantly: Is this the reputation you want to develop for your business? One that is blocked on the phone and put aside?
That’s why my advice will always be to take charge of your sales department, no matter how many people work in it, supervise it properly and, above all, make sure you give proper training to every single person doing sales for your business, just to make sure on the way they are approaching your prospects and representing your business’ brand.
Picture credit: poosan | See portfolio
Following you'll find links to the posts I mentioned above which you'd like to read:
Corporate reputation and sales reps’ responsibility.
How to Effectively Supervise Your Sales Team