The Five Archetypes of Problem Salespeople
Last week, I regaled you with tales of the stars of the sales world and wished for you that you had at least one of them in your midst. Today, I may be twisting a knife in your gut; talking about the kinds of salespeople that make your life and business a kind of hell on earth. Hyperbolic? Sure. But that’s me on a Wednesday. This week, it’s all about identifying them: next week we’ll talk about what to do about them. Here are some descriptions of the kind of salespeople I hope you don’t know personally, again, in no particular order:
1. The Distractor—You sit down to talk to her about one thing, and the next thing you know, 45 minutes have gone by, and you haven’t even gotten a word in edgewise. At sales meetings, she can hijack your agenda faster than you can say "STOP IT!"
2. The Nostalgic—This person is like an elder statesman who has lost his edge. He lives in the mid-80s where he was making a couple of hundred grand a year by taking people golfing. He laments technology and blames it for the loss of over 50 percent of his livelihood (and YOUR revenue).
3. The "IFONLY IHAD"—This person would be the biggest rockstar you ever had IF you bought him (a new press, new software, a new laptop, a new brochure, a new sample kit). He can’t be successful because YOU won’t get him the tools he needs.
4. The Staller—This person has a robust pipeline that is just set to explode. The next big deal is right around the corner and will be happening ANY SECOND NOW. "When?" you ask him. It’s coming. Don’t worry. It’s coming.
5. The Landmine—This person blows things up as an art form. Production meetings. Sales Meetings. Client meetings. She has the best of intentions, but she lacks self awareness. She has no idea of the effects of what she says and does, and therefore has no ability to see how destructive she is. She complains about the clients to the pressman, which is a fire that you do NOT need fanned. She complains about estimating to her clients, which she thinks is building camaraderie, but is really just shooting you in the foot.
They all have to be stopped, like you are Superman and they are Lex Luthor. They are killing your business, costing you money, and you are losing opportunities you can ill afford to lose. Next week we’ll talk about whether they can be turned around or whether it’s extermination time.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.