Since today is April Fool’s Day, I thought I would write about sales fools.
What is a sales fool?
A sales fool is someone who –
1). Creates a lot of busywork that does not yield a lot of sales or orders. You know the type – makes a lot of phone calls and leaves voicemail messages without first qualifying the lead or prospect. “Sales is just a numbers game.”
2). Is a clock watcher and feels that selling is strictly a 9-to-5 job. He’s the fool that doesn’t occasionally come to work early to call European clients or stays late to contact prospects in Australia or New Zealand. “I’m not a morning or night person.”
3). Feels that he doesn’t have to fill his pipeline because the Marketing Department will give him all the leads he needs to contact. To the sales fool, prospecting is a historical term from the California or the Alaska Gold Rush days. “Who wants to get their hand’s dirty prospecting.”
4). Treats the gatekeeper like a piece of trash and then wonders why he’s not able to reach the decision-maker. “Bitch, why can’t she just let me speak to her boss!”
5). Attends trade shows but pretends the events are more like extended vacations. He comes to the booth four hours late hungover from going to strip clubs the night before. “Sorry, Mr. Attendee, I’m sick. Can you come back later?”
6). Feels that he doesn’t need to learn his craft by reading books, attending seminars or watching webinars. Instead, he believes that constantly learning about sales is for “sissies” and he knows everything there is to know about selling. “I haven’t read a book since I graduated from college.”
7). Scans and spams every attendee that comes to his trade show booth without qualifying them, and then wonders why his leads aren’t returning his phone calls. “I thought they all wanted to speak with me.”
8). Steals leads and prospects from his co-workers and lies when he’s caught and confronted by his actions. “I didn’t know the leads were in your territory, honest!”
9). Doesn’t help his absent or unavailable co-workers when customers call. Instead, he treats other people’s clients like dirt or only gives them minimal attention which only undercuts his colleagues. “I have too much on my plate to help your clients.”
10). Doesn’t take the time to find the right decision-maker and ends up wasting two months talking to the intern. “Well, he sounded like a heavy hitter to me.”
11). Doesn’t ask for the order. Instead, he sits back and waits for the prospect to magically pick up the phone and place the order with him. “He’s going to call any day now, I just know it.”
12). Spends weeks calling the same phone number with no answer or voice mail intro, and doesn’t take one minute to Google the contact or company to find the correct phone call to dial. “The Marketing Department told me that this was a good phone number to call.”
13). Doesn’t take the time to constantly learn about his company’s products and services, or stay up-to-date on what’s going on in his industry. He feels that he knows “everything” until one of his competitors bites him in the ass by stealing one of his largest customers. “I had no idea my customer was speaking to my competitor.”
14). Goes on job interviews without researching his potential employer. He asks stupid questions like “what does your company do?” And then he wonders why he doesn’t receive a job offer. “I should have heard back from them by now.”
15). Uses the sales meetings to harp and complain about issues that would better be addressed at another time and place. To the sales fool, he likes to waste the time of his colleagues during meetings, rather than just stick to the agenda and get down to business. “I know this isn’t on the agenda, but….”
16). Only makes one or two attempts at reaching a lead or prospect, and then gives up. He wonders why he’s not getting a lot of orders. “I guess if I don’t hear back from them, they must not be interested.”
17). Is a master of playing computer Solitaire or Chess because he’s not making sales calls or doing his job. “Maybe I should switch careers and become a professional Chess player and hustle people at the park.”
18). Doesn’t use LinkedIn to add more professional connections. “I have all the contacts I need.”
19). Sends out long and boring emails to prospects and wonders why he’s not receiving any replies. “I spend hours writing 8 paragraph long emails, but no one ever responds.”
20). Doesn’t think that selling is a real profession and he’s only waiting for something “better” to come along. “Yessiree Bob, my ship is going to come in any day now, just watch, any day.”
The lesson here? Don’t be a sales fool. Because if you’re a sales fool, you’re only kidding yourself into thinking that you will have a long sales career.
For the sales fool, every day is April Fool’s Day!
Second photo credit: Essential Advice for Christian Persecution via photopin (license)