Getting the most out of working with salespeople isn’t always easy or possible. We’ve all had sales experiences that left a bad taste in our mouths, for example, Just Say No to Bad Sales Tactics. Most of us have dealt with salespeople that didn’t deliver the goods. And more than once, we’ve been disappointed when working with salespeople or a sales team that didn’t meet our expectations.

Unless we cut salespeople out of our lives, the odds are we will all be faced once again with sales teams whose results are less than desired. So, what’s the answer? Buy everything online. I don’t know if that’s possible, and besides, one can still be disappointed with an online purchase. There might not be an absolute answer. However, there is something we all can do to avoid the bitter pill of a disappointing sales experience by being the best, most proactive customer possible. Here’s how:

Getting the Most Out of Working with Salespeople

Know What You Want

Know what you want, not what you think you want, but what you need, and then share your expectations of the product or service. If you don’t give the salesperson your expectations, what can you expect?

Share Your Budget

If you’re worried that sharing your budget will jack up the price, you can do one of two things: offer a range or find another provider because if the level of trust is that low, then other problems will emerge. Sharing your budget can help the sales team serve your needs.

Explain What You Don’t Want

If there’s a product or option you don’t want, then don’t waste your salesperson’s time. Let them know upfront what doesn’t fit your needs.

Provide Information

Give the sales team every bit of information they need. Don’t guess at it when the salesperson asks for information, don’t wait a month to provide the info, and don’t change the information several times during the sales process.

Unify Your Team

Never tell a sales team to begin the process without consulting everyone on your end who could affect the decision. From the sales perspective, nothing is more discouraging than starting work on a project and then scrapping it because the customer changed their mind. If you’re the sole decision maker, don’t begin the order process until you know what you want. Change orders can be expensive and lead to problems.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Give the salesperson time to deliver the product you want. Rush jobs are a sure way to lead to mistakes and disappointments.

Pay Your Bill

What does paying your bill have to do with working with a salesperson? Try not paying your bills promptly and see how responsive the sales team is to your next request.

Know What You’re Talking About

If you don’t understand what you’re hearing, don’t nod your head in agreement, ask questions, or bring a team member into the discussion who does understand.

And Sometimes it Won’t Matter

Yes, occasionally, when working with salespeople, you can do everything right; you can dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s, and the outcome may still be less than desired. However, you can avoid a lot of expense and disappointment by being a proactive customer. The best customer can make a mediocre salesperson look good, and isn’t that the outcome we all desire?

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