I had a really awful sales call today. The potential client was one that I had called upon once, briefly, two weeks previous, then sent a follow up email. The prospect had replied to my email asking for more info and for me to stop by his place. Since I had not had any prior conversations with this prospect, I was flying blind, and wanted to get a better idea of his goals. This is a common step, and is usually a great way to build rapport and develop a proposal together. So, with this in mind, and at his request, I showed up today at the appointed time, and into the line of fire. He was confrontational, rude, denigrated my profession, and the call ended with me awkwardly making my exit.
Now, I realize that you do not need to take a marketing class to open a business (though it would be an excellent idea). I also realize that advertising mediums change constantly, and frankly, there are many things that you can do to promote yourself and your business without breaking the bank. My particular medium is yellow page advertising – known as Directive Advertising. It is called this because when a person is looking for a service or number, you already have the need, you just need the provider. A well-placed and informative ad can give you an edge up over a competitor, and may be your last chance to influence a buyer before they commit. As times have changed to a more electronic world, we also have online directories.
I do not wish to turn this post into a job description or marketing class. My essential question, when it comes right down to it, is why do people feel it is in their right to be rude to a sales person? Why do people feel it is within their right to be rude to anyone? It is my job to call on businesses, show them our product, and IF they have an interest, show them pricing options. I am not an aggressive person, I am well-spoken, educated, professional appearing, and incredibly polite. I do not question others in their choice of business, so why do people feel it is appropriate to unload on a salesperson?
Now, this is not the first rotten meeting I have had, and I certainly expect that I will have others. You cannot be successful in this business if you give up after one harsh call. I just ask for common respect in professional dealings. If you don’t want what I’m selling, say so…I’ll go.