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Visit from the World’s Worst Salesmen What not to do on a sales call By John Towler A terrible sales call and how you can ensure that your sales force doesn’t send this impression! We were lured to a high-tech trade show, and it led to the most amazing sales call. A large show featuring the latest in high-tech products and services was in town, and when one of the exhibitors mailed us a coupon for free admission – we decided to attend. As it happened, this was a bit of a scam since the admission was free, but we spent an enjoyable couple of hours viewing the displays, entering contests and talking to vendors. One that caught our eye was a Web site design firm offering a comprehensive Web site analysis. Our Web site has won a couple of awards, but we were interested in what they could do for us. The representatives encouraged us to consider an analysis and told us that even though they were professional developers, the analysis of their own site revealed several broken links and other errors. We thought that this was a strange recommendation for their services, but gave them our cards to be entered in the draw for an analysis. A week later, I answered the phone to hear, “Hi John! This is George. How’re doing? I want to drop by, but where are you guys located?” Now I know several Georges and this certainly wasn’t one of them. George went on to tell me that we had won the contest and that they had analyzed our Web site and he wanted to come over to present us with the results. We were intrigued, if not a little puzzled that if they had selected our business card and been to our Web site, why didn’t they know our address? Nevertheless, we agreed to meet. An hour later George appeared and started to talk, and I do mean talk. We ushered him in to our boardroom and tried to introduce our managers, but George barely paused for breath. With a great flourish he tossed a 30-page report on the table and told us that we really needed their services. There was only one copy of the report and several of us, so we asked him to summarize what it said. “I have no idea,” he replied. “I haven’t had time to read it.” As he rambled on, we skimmed the report and noted that we had been given low marks for spelling. “What spellsales and service excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 10.2014 Submit your Articles 29


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