John O' Gorman

Buyers: Treat salespeople As you would expect to be treated

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Applying the Golden Rule to Sales

What goes around goes around. So treat salespeople as you expect to be treated. Call it good karma, good manners or simply The Golden Rule.

Almost everybody in business will have to make a sales call at some time, or other. When they do they hope to be treated with professionalism, courtesy and respect. But is that how they treat the salespeople that call on them?

Treat salespeople as you would like to be treated

Many managers don’t treat the sales people calling on them very well. In the mist of a busy workday the sales person who calls, or visits, often gets short shrift. After all, time is scarce and we cannot just entertain every salesperson who either rings up, or drops by.

However, if managers don’t treat salespeople with respect, how do they expect to be treated with respect by their customers and prospects?

When the shoe is on the other foot

How you treat other salespeople is ultimately how customers and potential customers will treat you. In a karmic way if you are rude and impatient with a sales person when he/she calls, then you have no right but to expect anything different when ‘the shoe is on the other foot’.

Yes, cold calling sales people are the lepers of the modern age and those who apply pushy and intrusive selling techniques may deserve to be shunned. However, it is important to treat salespeople in the same way as you yourself, or your salespeople would expect to be treated. So here are some guidelines.

When a salesperson calls you on the phone:

  • Put yourself in the salesperson’s shoes
  • Be nice, if you cannot speak then ask the person to call back again
  • Assume that the sales person is a professional , unless proven otherwise
  • Give a minute to listen, maybe it could be of interest
  • If you are not interested say so, don’t for example fob the person off by requesting a brochure if you are not really interested

When you are in a sales meeting:

  • Be clear on the purpose of the meeting and agree in advance what time you can give to the salesperson, after all you have invited him/her to travel to see you
  • Interact and show some interest – we all know how off putting it can be when a customer, or potential customer sits there and says nothing, or when the conversation is all one way
  • Don’t just ask for a proposal without being prepared to give the customer the time to explain your needs
  • Don’t ask the customer to do a presentation unless you are prepared to give him/her some background on your company, what you would like to cover, etc.
  • Don’t ask for a proposal unless you really will consider it – we all know how much time it takes to prepare a proposal and how frustrating it can be to discover it was a waste of time

– None of you has faith until he wishes for his brother (salesperson, or not), what he wishes for himself (Islamic Hadith).
– Do onto others (salespeople, or not) as you would have them do unto you (The Bible).

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