Sales Tricks That Lose the Sale in Business and at Work


If you don’t even bother to get to know me and find out what my needs are, your chances of making a sale with me are slim.

But if you waste your time and energy (and mine) to use stupid sales tricks to try and shove a sale down my throat, you’re just going to annoy me to the point of never doing business with you.

Three examples of stupid sales tricks I have experienced this past week:

  • The salesperson who left me a voicemail with their name and phone number (but not their organization), saying they were following up on a letter they had recently sent me. When I Googled their phone number, I found out what their product was. I don’t need it. I’m not calling them back.  If they don’t have the common courtesy to leave all of their information (name, organization, phone number, why they’re calling and how their product will meet my needs), I don’t have the time in my already-full schedule to call them back and play their time-wasting game.
  • I was interested in buying a product, but it had too many bells and whistles for my business needs – I emailed the salesperson back and told them what my needs are. The salesperson emailed me back, and gave me less 24 hours to respond back to them in order to get the product price and parameters that I needed. I don’t have the time to respond to artificial, high-pressure deadlines when I have enough real-life deadlines that truly require my attention.  How does that meet my needs as the customer?
  • A sure sign of the continued improvement of the economy has been the plethora of election collateral cluttering our mailbox in advance of the upcoming election.  One piece that particularly annoyed me was the letter from a candidate who used his law office stationery for his election message.  The law office envelope motivated me to open the piece, thinking it was some sort of important legal correspondence.  When I unfolded the letter within and realized it was an election piece, I made the decision not to vote for the candidate.  I don’t like being manipulated.

A similar incident about a year or so ago produced the same effect.   Same modus operandi as the first stupid sales trick example:  a voicemail with just a name and phone number, saying that I had been invited to a meeting at a local chamber of commerce. Instead of calling the mystery sales caller back, I called the chamber – not surprisingly, they had no knowledge of such a meeting.  Not only was it manipulation, it was also a lie that also involved a reputable organization like that chamber. Because of the lie and manipulation, I had no desire to do business with the mystery phone-call organization.

Stupid sales tricks rarely, if ever, close a sale.

Building relationships that breed trust and identify needs make the sale, more often than not, in business and at work.

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