6 traits of really bad sales people

Back to blog

What traits make a bad sales person?

There are a lot of things that set the good apart from the bad. Sales is a high-stakes game, and to thrive you need to combine your drive and ambition with flair, experience and an eye for a deal. However, it’s all too easy to take it too far, or to push just that little bit too hard with a customer, and impact your chances of closing a deal as a result.

In sales, it’s important to get it right: using bad sales techniques will eventually affect your bottom line. With only 18% of buyers convinced that they trust sales people, you need to have every advantage on your side if you want to close the deal and establish a close working relationship with your clients.

To make sure you don’t fall into the same trap, take a look at yourself and your team. Do any of the below apply to you? If so, you need to fix it before it’s too late.

Bad sales people… don’t listen 

Though sales people are renowned for talking, one of the most valuable skills you can possess when you work in sales is actually the ability to listen. After all, if you don’t listen to your prospective clients, how can you be sure that the product you’re trying to sell them actually meets their needs, and will solve their problems?

Taking the time to develop active listening skills will improve the relationship that you have with your clients, and build trust. By taking the time to understand their needs, you’ll be able to provide solutions that work, rather than pushing your latest product forwards- and as a result, losing future business. In a market where buyers are increasingly frustrated with sales people who don’t listen to them, you need to make the client feel heard. Don’t interrupt when they’re speaking, and encourage silence in your conversations: leaving a pause of a few seconds before you start speaking can encourage them to open up further and disclose information you might not have heard beforehand.

Bad sales people… don’t ask quality questions 

How are you going to understand how best to solve problems for your client if you don’t know what they want or need? The more questions you ask, the more credible you will be as a sales person, as you’ll be better able to work with them to create solutions that work for both of you.

70% of purchases are made to help the client solve a specific problem, so you need to know exactly what it is they’re looking for. Good, detailed questions will help you uncover more information to do just that, and it never hurts to have a few written down before you start so you know that you’ve covered all bases. Keep them simple, use a logical question sequence, avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions and don’t be afraid to ask ‘why’, or for clarification, should you need to. You should also resist the temptation to pitch, especially at an early stage: these questions are here to help build trust between you and the client, and it won’t help if you then damage that by going for a hard sell.

Bad sales people… are uninterested

Almost 90% of workers are not actively engaged in their jobs, and this can apply to sales people, too. If you’re not enthusiastic about the product that you’re selling, you cannot afford to let this show in your interactions with customers. If you sound like you don’t believe in the product that you’re selling, this makes it difficult for people to trust and buy into your offering. Instead, be passionate, be enthusiastic, even if it’s just over the phone, and know your product inside out if you want to make those sales and clinch deals.

Bad sales people… are excessively pushy 

Don’t let this cliché become your reality. Yes, persistence is needed to make it in sales- after all, 80% of prospects require five follow-up calls after an initial meeting to invest in a deal. Pushing too hard, too fast to make a sale can end up discouraging clients rather than pushing them over the line.

Instead, be an advisor first, and a sales person second. Guide your clients through their decisions, be patient, be prepared to answer any questions, and address any queries they have rather than hurrying them through the process. Given that 57% of people say that they’d be encouraged to make a purchase from a sales person that doesn’t apply pressure, or hassle them, it pays to take a step back some of the time and let the customer make the decisions by themselves.

Bad sales people… don’t keep in touch 

If you regularly have good conversations, but then don’t follow up on them afterwards, you might be just as unsuccessful at closing deals as those who are pushing too hard. Be proactive and send across useful and relevant information to your clients to keep them in the loop: remind them of your existence. This way, you can appear informative at the same time as touching base, which will further encourage them to pursue a sale with you.

Bad sales people… don’t show value 

Sales people who don’t give back to their clients will end up losing them. In a market where information can be accessed at the touch of a button, sales people aren’t just there to sell anymore. Today, they can be advisors, too, guiding clients through the sales process and providing them with knowledge at every step of the way.

Understanding your clients’ needs is only half the battle. You also need to provide insights, knowledge and a good customer service to convince them that you are the right person for the business. In a competitive market, sometimes this can make all the difference between retaining or losing a client, so make sure you show them the tender loving care that they need.

Closing the deal with BMS Performance 

With more than twenty years of experience within the sales industry, we know the value of getting things right. If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, don’t wait: get in touch with us today.

×