Wednesday, April 20

False courtesy is no courtesy at all

Today was basically a continuation of Monday and Tuesday.  I put in another long day calling on active and lapsed business customers in a nearby community.  Another smallish sale, enough to make this a sort-of-somewhat-semi-decent week, but still not where I want it to be.  Three active customers to whom I spoke today all had a very similar reaction, a reaction I normally don’t hear more than once every other week ago: after I introduced myself, each customer said “I’m good!” with a bouncy tone (an imprecise term, but the best I can do) in his or her voice and a broad smile.  I did not like hearing this.  Not so much because each case represented a lost sales opportunity, but because the customers’ friendly or  courteous reaction was not so friendly or courteous at all.  It was very easy for me to sense what each one was thinking: Ugh. A salesman.  I hate salesmen.  I’d better get rid of him as quickly as possible.  If I just say “No” he’ll probably try to talk me out of it, and that could mean – horrors! – that I actually might buy something.

Acting faux-friendly therefore was the customer’s way of assuring my quick departure from the premises.  My reasoned guess is that each one figured that a friendly “No,” even though the friendliness was obviously fake, would be more conclusive than a businesslike rejection.  I’ll say one thing about being in sales, you get insights into the human mind well beyond what you’d get from working in most other fields.  And it should go without saying that most of the insights are not nice insights.

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Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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