Undoing the good …. the over sell.

Pushy salesman

How about it?

Another phone call ..

Last week I attended a really good seminar that was hosted by a company from Dublin that we had never had dealings with before – I’m not really sure how I ended up on their invitation list but somehow I did.

They were obviously touting for business in the Cork area and looking for new leads.

The seminar was “free” for all attendees and I must admit that it was very useful and it was run in a very professional manner. It was well attended and judging by the level of interaction during the session the topic was of huge interest.

The two speakers on the day represented the company well and went a long way to convincing the attendees that they had considerable expertise on the subject matter – it turned out to be a really strong “showcase” for their talents and sitting there I reckoned they would definitely pick up business as a result.

I left the enjoyable session with some promotional literature and a really strong impression of the company who presented.

When people registered for the event we were asked for various contact details, which I guess is fair enough if they want to send out further literature or even add me to a newsletter. I was interested in the topic after all.

Since the event I have received a few emails and a few phone calls from the company. The calls have come directly to my mobile and also through to the office phone. After one of the calls I received an email and I politely responded thanking them for the useful session and explaining clearly that if we needed their services I would definitely consider them.

A few days later I am still getting calls and emails ….enough!

Do the seminar, showcase your talents, leave me with an information pack and maybe a polite follow up call/email a week later.

Instead you’ve turned me off and now all I want to do is avoid you!!

We all need to be careful not to undo the good by pushing too hard for the sale ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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28 Responses to “Undoing the good …. the over sell.”

  1. Paul McMenamy Says:

    Agree Greg! 100%. And can’t for the life of me understand why businesses do this. It is one of the first things we insist all of our Clients discontinue immediately, if they are doing it. There are other “obvious” ones too and it’s surprising who does it, but it gives the professional salesperson an undeservedly bad reputation. Well highlighted Greg.

  2. audreymcsweeney Says:

    Great topic Greg and one i am all too conscious off. At what point does one (the salesperson) become a stalker? I would like to think that if i was told ‘don’t call me, i’ll call you’ i would walk away but a lot of the time people don’t give you any feedback at all. I’ve gone to meet clients, pitched them campaigns and then … nothing. Won’t take my calls, won’t respond to e-mails, won’t answer the door while i’m banging on it with my face pressed up against the window screaming ‘i can see you!’ only joking….. But at what point do you walk away?

  3. Liam Garvey Says:

    I see this regularly – in the end you just decide never to do business with that company.

    I sell for a living myself and try to be as polite as possible when indicating that I am not interested. What really gets on my nerves is when the recipient of the polite refusal goes into “overcoming objections” mode.

    That, for me, kills off any future potential of doing business with the person.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Liam – you get caught between pushing to keep the “sale” alive and being a nuisance!! It helps if the prospect gives proper feedback, appreciates the efforts of the salesperson and it helps if the salesperson balances follow up and being too pushy.

  4. Chris Wigg (@chriswigg1) Says:

    Well done Greg – you’ve illustrated this point perfectly.

    It’s so common to see what I call “company representatatives” failing to recognise that what they do and say is so wrong.

    Will such people ever learn to qualify whomever they’re “representing” their business, before wasting everyone’s time? After 40+ years in marketing & sales, I doubt it. There’s an enormous difference between a “representatative” and a salesman, isn’t there. I suppose that “vive la differance” is apt!

    You and I must get together soon.

    Best wishes, Greg.

    Chris

  5. David O'Sullivan Says:

    I love the SPAM button in Gmail for this very reason!

  6. Siobhán Williamson Says:

    Great post Greg and definitely feel the “cringe factor” for the company calling and emailing you. It does seem very extreme to be calling so much. I wonder have they outsourced their follow up calls and they are on a hit rate.

    As other commentators and you mentioned it is extremely frustrating when you have had a very successful prospect meeting and then it goes quiet but I believe there is a fine line between follow up and becoming a “stalker”.

    Although we may not have “sales” in our title every business owner, employee and associate is selling their services or products to their relevant market, it would be ideal if we could find an easy way to gain leverage with our prospects and not be considered an annoying “salesperson”.

    Best wishes
    Siobhán

    • Greg Canty Says:

      great feedback Siobhan – I guess sometimes we won’t follow up enough and sometimes we follow up too much and often that totally depends on the type of person you are trying to sell to and how important what you are selling is to them. It’s tricky !!

  7. Emer Says:

    I completely agree Greg, it is about getting the balance right. Helpful & informative, without being pushy & overpowering. It is also about being confident enough to know that the sale will come if that’s what the clients needs.

  8. Michele O'Briain Says:

    No doubt there was a significant investment in the event and they wanted to get a return from their investment which is fair enough but unfortunately with their tactics they will get little return and I guess will annoy more people they call than provide a service or solution for. I’d be interested to know if it was either of the two speakers you met that were doing the sales calls or was it some junior person they had delegated this job to?

    • Greg Canty Says:

      You are right – neither of the speakers did the follow up. I think a nice follow up email requesting feedback from one of the speakers would have been the best course of action to take – what do you think?

  9. Eoin O'Brien Says:

    Hi Greg,

    An excellent article and one that is close to my heart. I have worked in sales for the last 11 years and find it very difficult to get the balance right in this area. I have overstepped the mark on a number of occasions which I regret but it was borne out of the pressure of meeting sales targets. Selling has changed a lot in my opinion and you have to position yourself as a problem solver, polite and professional. I think you have to know when to walk away from the process but this can be difficult sometimes.

    Out of curiosity would an informal email from the company have helped you as a potential client in the process along the lines of – “I don’t want to annoy you or hassle you but at the event you seemed interested in our product/service. Would you be interested in meeting with me to discuss this further. If it is something which is of no interest to you at this time just let me know and I can take you off my contact list and perhaps contact you again in 6 months time”.

    Thanks for insight it will help me in the future step back when I have taken it too far.

    Eoin

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Great post Eoin – it is such a tricky area.

      Often people who are interested can just get caught up with other things and forget about you – you want to be sure to catch these guys by sending them a gentle reminder without turning them off. Everyone is different which makes this task even trickier.

      If you figure out the best approach , the magic formula – let me know!!

    • Paul McMenamy Says:

      Very nicely put Eoin! And you’re right Greg “the golden rule is that there is no one golden rule” – except be professional and be committed to your client/prospective client at ALL times.

      • Greg Canty Says:

        well said Paul – We are in the middle of chasing a crew at the moment …we did some really cool design work, which they seemed to be really impressed by. If we don’t seal the deal all the effort will have been worthless – should we push even more?

      • Paul McMenamy Says:

        I guess that’s, where appropriate, you define the parameters for commitment at the very outset i.e. “if we meet all of your stated criteria, will you proceed and when?” Also, you can test the water by requesting a nominal fee at the outset which is refundable if they are unhappy with your work and which can offset the fee for the actual work to be completed etc. if they are happy with it Great way to see if they are sincere or just tyre-kickers.

      • Greg Canty Says:

        we must develop our process better so we can be more efficient – something I always struggle with

  10. smileykidz Says:

    I really thought the days of Hard sell were over! I would immediatley cross this company off my list of possible suppliers. You should advise them to retrain their sales people! They’re obviously lscking in emotional intelligence.

  11. The blog about blogging | Greg Canty Fuzion Blog Says:

    […] One of these posts was about the Jobbridge scheme and the other was about companies undoing the good by overselling. […]

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