A broken piece of the household forced us to entertain a visiting salesperson. It went avoidably badly.

While naming names would be unkind, I’ll leave it with a list of to-do and not-to-do’s for the consideration of future sales folks we encounter. Not that they’d read this ahead of time, but let’s
just imagine.

  1. If your company is currently too busy to take on new business, under no circumstances ignore a new client’s interest. Make contact, apologize, and perhaps next time it will work out.
  2. Do be sensitive to a prospective client not wanting to sit through a thirty-minute multimedia presentation on how great the company thinks it is.
  3. If offering an instant price quote, offer more than three days of thinking time to shop around.
  4. If offering a price quote, offer to print it so that there is a legal offer on the table, rather than on a fleeting computer screen.
  5. If refusing to print estimate dollars/terms, don’t “explain” that this is because the quote generation software is proprietary, and the “IT Department” does not let it leave the custody of the sales folks. As if that were requested.
  6. If a customer says that they will need a little while to gather extra information to evaluate a quote/project, do not harass them by repeatedly interrogating them about where exactly they intend to get that information.
  7. If there is a possibility of perception of conflict of interest, such as if presenting oneself as a fair sole reviewer of the entire market, acknowledge the conflict outright, do not pretend it does not exist.
  1. Do not say goodbyes with “I hope to hear from you soon. But I’m pretty sure I won’t.” That is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Just thinkin’. Duh.