Salespeople types

Lots of people confuse sales with marketing and vice versa.

Sales is an important function of marketing and sometimes that function is carried out by salespeople. Unfortunately, good salespeople are hard to find. I’m sure you’ve run across one or two of these sales types in your life…

Psycho Sales
–A little too happy with tracking sales on spreadsheets
–Own way too many Successories and motivational books.
–They “network” way too much.
–Arm-wrestle clients into a purchase.
–Over-promise and under-deliver (also called lying)

Floaters
–They got out of college and had no plan. They think they’ll “they’ll try sales for awhile” and 20 years later they’re still trying to sell you copier toner.
–Have absolutely no knowledge about what they’re selling you
–Typically promoted to Sales Manager.

Stable Horses
–Have little knowledge of the product/service they’re selling.
–Sales mostly occur through long relationships with clients, sales promotion (gimmicks), and luck.
–The majority of all salespeople fall under this category

Order Takers
–Pick up the phone, write down the order, turn it in.
–Rinse.
–Repeat.

Eye Candy
–Can be male or female
–Clients tend to buy just so the salesperson keeps coming by.

Good Salesperson
–They’re concerned about what the customer needs versus what they can be sold. They understand that this sometimes means no sale.
–They know what they’re selling inside and out. That means both the advantages and disadvantages.
–Using this philosophy, they are always very successful and very well compensated.
–Sadly, I can count on one hand the number of these salespeople I’ve ever met.

I’m sure I’ve missed some sales characters. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

This Old Pledge Week

It’s pledge week for both my local public television stations. And frankly, it’s annoying on many levels.

Don’t get me wrong. I really like public TV. I watch both these channels quite a bit. But here’s the problem.

The shows that they air during “pledge week” are REALLY hard to find on the station during the rest of the year. The rest of the year I have to scan for something good between British non-humour and watching zebras mate. But, for now, every show is really good except when they interrupt it with pleas for money a.k.a. “gifts”.

Ahhh, but they really aren’t gifts. People are buying the CD with their $20 gift. Or you could buy the DVD with your $50 gift. Or you can get the CD, the DVD, and the limited edition hardcover commemorative book with the fold out sleeve and a compass in the stock for your $100 gift.

In reality, these gifts make the station blind to their own ruse. They see the $100 pledges come in and can promote the “fact” that people in the community support public TV. No. People in the community want to buy $100 CDs.

But what annoys me more than anything are the blatant lies. “Only you can keep this type of music on public television”…..”You’re helping to keep Elvis’ music alive with your pledge”….”You’re supporting this traditional gospel music with your donation.”

You’re not supporting anything. You’re giving money to the station who probably won’t broadcast anything like what you’re watching until the next time they need money. And I guess they do need the money. But it’s another example of a business achieving short term gains while killing their long term prospects.

What about the politically conservative little old lady who sent in 20 bucks because she wanted to “support” the gospel music of Bill Gaither? Next week, she’ll tune in and see a show that features things that are the polar opposite of her moral compass.. Or what about the die-hard Elvis fan who sent in 50 bucks to keep rock-n-roll alive (and to get the CD) and tunes in next week only to find musical choices that are anything but rock-n-roll? Are the people you’re tricking this week going to stick with you the rest of the year? Or will they be back next year?

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a tirade against public TV. It’s a tirade against ANY business (your business?) that lies/fudges/puts on a show this week to trick someone into a sale….and then scratches their head next week when their core customer base shrinks.

Are you putting on theatre this week? Are you now offering specials that are REALLY going to be hard to find the rest of the year? Do you think your business model is a success just because people are giving you money…or are they really just trying to get a “gift” that has nothing to do with your business?

Are you killing your own customer base?

Marketing with Sally Struthers

This happens more in small businesses in smaller markets, but I’ve seen examples of it everywhere.

“We’re doing a special section this week to highlight the boy’s basketball team trip to the state tournament. Will you support the team?”

Ask the salesperson how buying a miniscule 3×3 ad will help the kids. The answer is…that it doesn’t. Your money goes to the owner of the media outlet and a commission for the salesperson. The cash never even gets near the kids.

Not only are you being duped by the salesperson into believing you’re helping the kids…but you’re wasting your marketing funds.

“WILL YOU HELP THE KIDS?” is the the rallying cry of salespeople who don’t know how to sell the merits (if there are any) of their media.

I do think a responsible business should support local charities, schools, and other philanthropic ventures. But give the money directly to the organization and be careful not to confuse these donations as marketing.

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I have an opportunity for you

Maybe it’s a sign that your “company” is a little too pushy when cabbies can identify escaped convicts by lack of “sales enthusiasm”. See this news story.

Takeaway: If you do happen to murder a law enforcement officer and then try to pass yourself off as an Amway salesperson, try to get people to sign up under you. It will help your cover.

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