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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

32. Acting Like a Salesperson

By Steven J. Schmidt (4/23/09)

One of the most overlooked things you want to do when making a sale is simply not acting like a salesperson. When people say "you're such a salesman," it can be inferred that you are always trying to sell something, and trying to make a buck off of someone. Even worse, they might even think that you are trying to rip them off.

This is why you don't want to act like a salesperson. Instead, you want to come off as someone who is trying to help the potential customer make a smart buying decision. When you help someone do that, they tend to appreciate that much more than a salesman just trying to give them a deal or taking advantage of them.

When I was involved in the carpet cleaning business, a potential customer told me that she wanted her house cleaned. We would charge $75 for a large room, $65 for a medium-sized room and $55 for a small room. The customer had three large rooms, five medium rooms and four small rooms worth of carpet to be cleaned. That total came out to $770, which is what I told her. In addition, I told her that we also give out a 10-percent discount to first-time customers. She really liked the discount, but told me that previous company did the job for $655.

Our total with the discount came to $693.00, which was $42 more than what she paid with the last company. So I asked her, "Were you happy with the last company that you used, and did they do a good job of getting the out the stains and dirt of your carpet?"

She replied, "Actually, I was not too happy with the service because some of the dirt that was easy to get off, just sitting on top of the carpet, barely came off."

I told her, "I cannot promise that grape juice and wine will come off. But I can tell you that we thoroughly shampoo the carpets, use stain removers in certain spots that are tough, and then extract all of the moisture off the carpets so that you can walk on it with a few hours. In addition, we provide excellent quality service with a guarantee that you are satisfied before we leave."

At that point, she did not even care about the price, and just liked the fact that we would not leave until she was satisfied. In a service industry, customers usually like to hear that because they can walk around the house and see if there any specific spots that they want you to give special attention to. However, lots of companies usually just get in and then get out so that they can make a quick buck. By having the customer walk around the house, that allowed us to completely satisfy them. It also shows the customer that you truly care about their satisfaction, rather than just their money.

Remember that when you look to genuinely make the customer happy, it will make you stand out tremendously from the other salespeople. In the scenario of the carpet cleaning that I mentioned above, the customer mentioned price, but really cared about the quality. This is where helping the customer making a smart buying decision kicks in. Get to the root of the problem, and you will make them very happy and satisfied, and much more business will follow.

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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