The Wah-Wah-Wah Sales Rep
I had an interesting coaching call recently. But then, aren’t they all…?
This was the third or fourth time that I've spoken to this particular sales rep. At the beginning of our call, he interrupted me to say:
“Bill, I need to tell you something. The first time you and I spoke, you said something that absolutely enraged me. I'm not sure if you could tell (note: I couldn’t!), but I was ripping mad at you and remained that way well after we got off the phone."
When I asked him what it was we talked about, he continued…
“On that call, I was complaining about our plant. You had asked me your favorite question, ‘Why aren’t you selling more?’ and I launched into a tirade about the various frustrations that I have in experiences with Customer Service and Estimating and so on. You listened for a while and then, in essence, told me to shut up, quit complaining and do my job.”
Now, I can promise you that I did not use the words, "Shut up,” as my mother taught us that that was as bad as swearing, but whatever I said likely had the same interpretation.
As the fabulous Kelly Mallozzi and I pointed out in a recent Short Attention Span Webinar series, “I Could Sell More If…,” salespeople are fond of blaming everything and everyone but the person in the mirror for their lack of success. Naturally, it is warranted. But as someone who sits on the receiving end of these comments, I believe these to be empty excuses more often than not.
My coaching call client concluded with the following:
“I stewed about that conversation for a few days, and then something hit me: You were right! I was placing blame and putting a lot of energy into those things that I could not control instead of focusing that attention on my sales activities.”
What is interesting on my end is that this admission explains his dramatic attitude change. Since that first call, I had noticed that he has been significantly more upbeat and positive. I chalked it up to that initial conversation being one where I caught him in a bad mood. But clearly, this rep went from wah-wah-wah, woe is me, it's not my fault, to one who accepts responsibility for his actions. As I said before, your clients can hear every emotion you're having. No doubt, what was once a whiny sales call has turned into a more powerful sales message.
He sent the whine back to the kitchen. As a result, success is coming his way.
Get on Bill’s calendar for a free sales consult. Reps, let’s talk about your sales challenges. Owners, let’s talk about your reps. Go to meet.so/BillFarquharson and book a 30 minute time slot. Bill can also be reached at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.