Why do sales people make things so hard for themselves?

heBuying is a great way to learn about selling. Some years ago I worked with an organisation and several of their members became interested in using a particular product. Because I knew about these products they asked me to contact the vendor to arrange a meeting and negotiate a group deal. So I contacted the vendor’s CEO who confirmed that they would be delighted to meet up and arrange a group deal. Their VP Sales was cc’ed on this response and I was told he’d be in touch.

Over a month later I hadn’t heard a thing. Frankly if I’d been buying the product for my own company I would have gone elsewhere. But my client’s members were still interested so I persevered, a meeting was arranged, a deal agreed and business was done. But this was despite their sales guy’s poor follow up on multiple occasions.

The VP Sales was charming and knowledgeable face-to-face and in some ways this might be the root of the problem. Many sales people are charming and knowledgeable and love the face-to-face aspect of their job so much that they lose track of the dull, boring stuff such as following up on actions agreed. But you have to remember that people might buy from you the first time because they like you, but they’ll only buy again if they trust you. And by trust I don’t mean honesty, 99.9% of us are honest, I mean trust in the sense of knowing that what you say, you’ll do.

If you find it difficult to follow up promptly on your meetings, it’s up to you to improve your time management skills and effectiveness.



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