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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

12. Being Rude to Customers

By Steven J. Schmidt (2/23/09)

Once you are engaged in conversation with the customer, being rude is one of the worst things you can do in sales. You have to remember that you are there to make a sale. Customer's will consistently test your patience, and it is up to you, the salesman, to pass that test with composure.

There is no need to be rude to a customer because you are there to offer them a service or product. Since you want to help them make a buying decision, you want to be nice to them. However, it's worth noting that there are certain people who actually enjoy you being rude to them. I have no idea why that is, but they have more respect for you if you are rude to them. Maybe they feel that you are being up front with them and telling them the truth. Those people are far and few between, and you have to keep an eye out for those people so you can adjust your sales speech to them.

However, in normal situations, being rude to a customer shows that you are not keeping yourself under control. A customer that sees you losing control will also question the authenticity of the service or product that you are selling.

I remember an incident where I was being trained out in the field. A sales rep took me out into the field, door-to-door in a residential neighborhood. The sales rep was trying to convince a customer to buy a triple AAA membership. The customer was giving the sales rep a few objections, and the sales rep overcame the objections quite nicely. The sales rep signed up the customer eventually and got the deal.

The sales rep then said, "Well since we signed you up, I can give you good deal for the rest of your family to have the Triple AAA membership." The customer replied, "I will not be interested in that at this time, but you can call me in a few weeks. I want to try mine out with you first before I make any other decisions." The sales rep replied, " I don't understand why you would wait. There is really no point, plus it's not the brightest idea." The customer angrily asked, "Are you calling me stupid?" The sales rep responded, "No, but I could save you money and help you out." Well, the customer said, "You know what, give me the form back and I'll call you if I am even interested now."

Not only was that rude of the sales rep, but he was not listening after he made the initial sale. Once you sign up the customer and they tell they do not want anything else, you have to listen to that and not push too hard, which could cause you to lose the sale, like he did in this case.

Once you provide good service or a good product to a customer, there is than a great chance that they will use another service or product of yours. Or, you can be rude like this sales rep and lose the whole deal to begin with.

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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