Credibility

The other day, I encountered one of the rudest and pushiest sales people I’ve ever come across. No, it wasn’t a used car salesman, and no, it wasn’t one of those ladies at the perfume counter who sprays before asking.

Surprisingly, it was someone from a very reputable technology company looking to sell us additional services.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “Hello, this is Maureen with AG Salesworks, how can I help you?”

Salesperson: Hi Maureen, I’m Salesperson from Reputable Technology Company. Could you transfer me to your marketing department?

Me: OK, may I ask what is the nature of your call?

Salesperson: I’m from Reputable Technology Company.

Me: Yes, I am aware of this, but why are you looking to speak to the marketing department?

Salesperson: You use our services. (This was not the case; a partner used their services.)

Me: OK, are you looking to sell us additional services, to network with us, or perhaps to look into our services?

And then she went into her pitch. She had no idea that she had called into our sales line or that our Marketing Director’s name was plastered all over our website. In fact, she didn’t even have the faintest idea about what we do as a company. On top of all that, she sounded miserable to have to call anyone.

Hesitantly, I still transferred her — but not without informing our Marketing Director first about her tone throughout the entire interaction.

As someone who has prospected for a number of years and just recently moved into an inside sales role at AG Salesworks, I was taken aback by this salesperson’s complete lack of respect for their prospects’ needs or time.

I don’t care what you do, or what “reputable” company you may hail from, until you’ve established credibility and stated the real reason you’re calling. Neither do the rest of your prospects, nor, in this case, the decision maker. Furthermore, if you did your pre-call research, you would know why your product or service matters to your specific prospects, and would stay away from that elevator pitch.

Without your research, you have no credibility, no matter what.

If this salesperson had done her pre-call research, she would have never called into our main line to begin with. She would have known who she wanted to talk to by looking at our Management page and would have been patched through seamlessly.

The moral of the story? Do your homework. Know your prospect’s needs. It could mean the difference between a helpful call that wins you a sale and an unhelpful call that wins you an angry blog post.