Sorry for yelling but I just got off a very annoying call with a sales rep who was following up with me from a Sales 2.

Sorry for yelling but I just got off a very annoying call with a sales rep who was following up with me from a Sales 2.0 conference I went to recently and it reminded me how little prep/homework many of us do before we call our clients and prospects.  I won’t name names this guy was selling a service that automates/aggregates information on prospects (quotes, events, press releases, etc) and helps you do research on them before calling or e-mailing them.  I think you see where this is going but I’ll continue.  To add to this, for those of you who don’t know, we (Kensei) train sales professionals how to use compelling information when reaching out to executives that will get them to respond to our e-mails and calls.  So, you’d think the rep who called me would at least know what the hell we do right? WRONG!

As he dove right into his ‘pitch’ and started asking me all the basic questions I realized he had no idea what we did.  So, I let him go for a while and answered a few of his questions before I stopped him and asked “do you even know what my company does?”  He had no answer for me.  At that point I stopped the conversation and told him (in so many words ) that he is the type of sales rep that gives the rest of us a bad name.  Unfortunately I think there are more than a few of him out there.  If he had just turned on his own product for 1 minute while we were on the phone he would have seen what we do, our client list and realized there might have been a much larger opportunity than just the two measly licenses he was pushing on me.  Ironically he even called me at the perfect time.  We’re literally looking right now to partner with these type of companies to augment our training and potentially introduce their services to some of the F1000 clients we work with.  Instead, he did what too many of us do and blindly called me to give me his canned pitch and missed out on what could be an opportunity to close 2,000 licenses instead of 2.

Do yourself, your prospects, your clients and the entire sales profession a favor and spend 2 minutes on a prospect or client’s web page before you call them.  If you happen to get an executive on the phone and get caught without an answer to “do you know what we do?” you should apologize, hang up the phone and go think about whether or not you really care about what you’re doing and what your selling.  By not doing your homework you’re basically just going through the motions which tells me and everyone else you don’t really care about anything other than a commission check.  If that’s the case please get out of this profession and let the rest of us who do care about making a difference actually do so.

Sorry for the negative tone on this one but this kind of thing has to change if we want people to respect Sales as a profession and us as Sales Professionals.  “Strive for perfection, settle for excellence.”