Just say no to bad sales tactics! A friend tweeted, “Should I feel bad after taking a sales call?” No, Probably not. If you weren’t rude or disrespectful, no, you shouldn’t. I called my friend and asked a few questions about their experience. I asked if it was OK to share the story.

Just Say No to Bad Sales Tactics

Over two months, my friend took several telemarketing calls from one company. They presented the initial call as if it were a follow-up to an inquiry submitted by my friend. Not wanting to be impolite and uncertain as to whether they had initiated the correspondence, my friend took the call. After listening to the “pitch,” they realized they hadn’t contacted this company and politely ended the call. The company called back, and back, and back. After two months of calls, my friend agreed to a 20-minute sales call for no reason other than to end the calls.

The Sales Rep 

The Representative began the call with, “Do you have 20-30 minutes for my call?” The call was 1 hour 30 minutes. The first 20 minutes were questions about my friends’ knowledge and use of digital marketing and PR. I think asking clients about their needs is a wonderful idea, but this didn’t seem to be the case. The questions were presumptive, condescending, and belittling. The Reep treated my friend as if they were ignorant. The questions didn’t seem geared toward uncovering the prospects’ needs but rather as a justification to sell their one size fits all product. For example, the caller pitched the value of sheer numbers of friends and followers on social media. My friend expressed that the quality of connections was more important to them and their organization. To which my friend was pretty much told they were wrong.

The Last Word 

The call ended with the “Salesman” asking about the marketing budget. My friend explained that as a good steward of the NFP funds, they didn’t have a budget but did bring suggestions to the finance committee. After explaining how the committee worked and that the next meeting was a month away, the rep asked, “If your budget is zero, why am I talking to you?” No, he didn’t. Excuse me? Shut the front door!

A Do-over

I asked my friend, if they had a do-over, what they would do differently

  • Refuse further calls after determining she had not made the initial contact
  • Not scheduled the sales call
  • Once scheduled, set a time limit on the sales call

Is it rude to politely follow these guidelines? If salespeople and organizations using questionable sales tactics are allowed to get away with it, they’ll keep doing it. Just say no.

How I Help You?  

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book The New Sales Managers Workbook

Are You in Sales Management?

Are you leading people or managing projects? Do you set goals based on activities to continue, eliminate, or improve or do you strictly look at the results? Do you believe one sales strategy fits all your clients and all your sales team? If so, you’re walking the streets I paved, and those streets lead to disappointment. The good news is if you recognize these behaviors in yourself, you can change. I did. I eventually became a highly effective sales manager and so can you. This workbook is the place to start. The New Sales Managers Workbook

If you enjoyed this post you might like The Customer is NOT Always Right

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash