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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

23. Sounding Desperate

By Steven J. Schmidt (3/14/09)

One of the last things that you want to do, in almost any form of life, including sales, is sound desperate. Sounding desperate in your pitch can put up a red flag very quickly. It's a great way to get the door slammed in your face.

Sounding desperate can and will make the customer feel uncomfortable. Instead of being confident, you will come off almost as if you are trying to rob the person. If you sound like you're trying to rob or con someone, you'd have trouble selling a life jacket to a drowning victim. Trying to get someone's business takes a certain type of composure.

Sounding desperate can occur during any part of the pitch, but the worst part is usually the close. Suppose you are a contractor and you are bidding on painting a 15-building apartment complex which has 450 units in it. That could be anywhere from $20,000 to even $40,000. This means we are talking a big job and some good money to be made.

Lets move to where you have introduced yourself. You have a relationship going on with the property manager and they asked you to give them an estimate. You gave her the estimate and she said, "Thank you, and I will talk this over with boss, and I will get back to you when I talk to him." So, right there, it is definitely fine to ask her, "Should I contact you within a certain time frame," or "Is it OK if I contact by a certain date?"

However, if she says, "Oh no, that's OK, I will contact you when I have the time to speak about this with my manager." At that point, you should leave it alone because she is interested or she would not have had you give her an estimate. However, she is being honest that she is not the one with the final say, so you have to let her present your service to her boss. It's also fine if you say, "If either of you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me, and I will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have."

It's not OK, however, to say something along the lines of, "Well, I was really hoping you could give me an answer so that I know if you are interested or not." That right there sounds desperate, and you are applying the pressure in a situation in which she has no control over. She already told you that he has someone to answer to, so you are getting nowhere really fast. She will think think to herself, "Boy, he must not have listened to me when I said I have to talk it over with my boss. So, if he's not listening to me now, he might not be the right person for the job because he might paint something we do not want him to."

By always maintaining your composure, your customers will have a sense of confidence in you. It makes them believe that you will always be in control, even in a tough situation, instead of getting flustered or buckling under pressure, like a desperate person may sound. When you are in control, you can perform at the height of your ability, as opposed to sounding desperate or panicking and underperforming.

So, do yourself a favor, and do not sound desperate!

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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