12 More Things to Avoid on a Sales Call

Hi readers,

This is an addendum to my earlier blog ” 8 Things NOT To Do on a Sales Call” 

In that blog, I had touched upon 8 things that I consider an absolute NO NO if you want to make a positive impact on your sales call.

The subject of this blog says it all…12 more things to totally avoid and keep in mind when you plan your sales call.

  • #1: Discuss politics or religion.  Such subjects are almost always a trap into opinionated quicksand that’s hard or impossible to get out of.  Fix: keep the discussion on business or neutral ground.
  • #2: Dive into your product pitch.  Sure you’ve got something to sell, but if you pitch too soon, you’ll get pitched out the door. Fix: Ask questions to understand needs, before you pitch.
  • #3: Arrive late to the call.  If you don’t arrive on time it tell the customer clearly that you don’t give a damn about them or their time.  Fix: Always arrive 15 minutes ahead of time.  If you drive to calls, get a GPS.
  • #4: Appear flippant or sarcastic.  A good-natured laugh at a joke might be taken personally by someone watching out the window, without hearing the context.  Fix: Watch your demeanor at all times.
  • #5: Lack requisite product knowledge.  The prospect doesn’t want to hear “I need to get back to you about that”…over and over. Fix: make sure you’re trained on your current products and policies…before the call.
  • #6: Fail to plan the call.  Sounds simple, but trying to close when should be qualifying (for example) is a lost sale.  Fix: Never enter a door without first thinking about what you plan to accomplish.
  • #7: Be too business-like at first.  Remember you’re building bridges with another human being, not just a notch in your sales gun.  Fix: Smile and be friendly… but don’t get too gushy.
  • #8: Show up with a crowd.  If you bring too many people, it will draw customer’s comments about why your costs so high  Fix: Use webconferencing when you need to include additional resources.
  • #9: Fail to check your appearance.  Don’t show up with something amiss that a quick stop in the client’s bathroom could head off.  Fix: Make a quick pit stop – with a look-over – before the call.
  • #10: Forget the customers’ names.  What could be more embarrassing than actually forgetting whom you’re talking with?  Fix: Write down the names down of everyone in the room with a small table diagram.
  • #11: Be rude to the admin.  No flirting, of course, but if you act all arrogant and superior, you’ll just antagonize the help.  Fix: Be friendly and respectful of the staff – admin and otherwise.
  • #12: Ask personal questions.  You may think that the customer is your friend, but you can easily screw up if it gets too personal.  Fix:  Keep the conversation focused on business issues or neutral topics like sports.

About time the democracies woke up to the reality of “Indian democracy”

It was some vindication to read that the US and UK have issued advisories to their citizens to avoid coming to Delhi…in my view, their women are NOT SAFE across India…ideally it should have been a well communicated, blanket advisory, to their citizens to avoid India at all costs.

This is indeed shameful to me as a proud India, that I have to live to see this , when our politicians sit in our parliament, claiming to be protectors of our hallowed “democratic values”, claiming to have rights to govern our country, in the name of the ignorant , illiterate masses, who voted for them (without right to recall), with no accountability to to the nation on their responsibilities to deliver!!

I feel ashamed, while my leaders (actually de facto rulers) have the gall to sit pretty , pass sexist remarks on what needs to be done by women to protect their dignity, honor and respect in a country and culture that pretends to give the highest respect to the fair sex in its scriptures, in the constitution and law….such hypocrisy will shame any sane , thinking man of average intelligence. AND still, our politicians play with the intelligence of the common man , day in and day out, and get away with it!!

Amnesty international speaks of human rights violations being perpetrated in different parts of the country- such superficial analysis of what really constitutes human rights is passe; deeper analysis to a serious analyst will reveal that the biggest perpetrator of human rights in India has been the political class, which has through its corruption, its apathy, it habit of passing the buck ( and getting away with it for the past 65 years) and its pathetic nepotism has destroyed the inherent potential of this nation.

The systemic failures have started with the inability ( either deliberately or through sheer ineptitude) to spread education and literacy among the masses. A simple analysis of the ROI for every dollar spent towards education initiatives spent by India and China will reveal that China’s ROI (people considered as literate as % of population, according to UN defined parameters) is much higher and much better compared to India. What then would be India’s politicians argument against these figures- they could be the following

  • We dont have good civil servants to implement the policies ( Read- I am simply a signatory, I sign off on a piece of document that I dont have the intelligence to write or comprehend, which is probably penned by someone in the hallowed planning commission, or the CII, or FICCI, or by one of my brilliant IAS officers; I AM NOT ACCOUNTABLE FOR DELIVERY AND IMPLEMENTATION, Those under ME in the system are!!)
  • Those who are tasked with implementation in the system; even if they are lazy non performers, they are INDISPENSABLE and are IRREPLACEABLE – we dont have enough talent in India to replace these non performers, therefore we will have unlimited life long patience, and learn to live with it! ACCEPT OUR LOT IN LIFE…
  • We have too much corruption in the system ( Read- I am chastity defined- those under me are ALL CORRUPT and therefore nothing gets done; I have powers to give myself Z+ class VIP security, but I dont have the powers to fire those who are corrupt or ineffective) REALITY CHECK- China too is deemed to be a very corrupt nation, HOWEVER the fear of the long hands of the law getting to you is such, that corrupt politicians risk losing life and limb if discovered stealing from funds that are meant for uplifting the masses who have nothing going for them!!

With large swathes of our population deemed, illiterate, and uneducated, with no ability to read and write, with no ability to think critically , logically- their faculties that empower empathy, sympathy, discerning right from wrong, understanding respect for all, irrespective of sex, caste , color- these faculties are dead or at best non existent.

So how do you expect the men in our largely illiterate country to even have basic intelligence to respect women and to discern right from wrong?

Now , you need to understand that it is these very illiterates, who vote for their “popular” politician, who is easily able to sway them with free alcohol, a ramshackle toilet, maybe some (empty) promises of improvements in the village. This politician is admired because he travels in his constituency with goons and criminals in tow…and this criminality is seen as “real power” by the illiterates who voted for their “popular” local leader. NOW if this is the benchmark of leading my example, what do you expect your illiterate voter to comprehend?

Lack of basic education, leading to a sexist, misogynist way of warped thinking, coupled with an ideal leadership benchmark of a sleazy , criminal , rapist is a recipe meant to lead you to hell- AND THAT IS THE HELL that is India today!!

The obvious nexus of the politician, the bureaucrat and the police, all key elements that are expected to honor tenets of civil, democratic society of ours, has meant that courage of conviction has ceased to exist – it is certainly not expected of the inherently corrupt politicians, BUT is certainly expected of the bureaucracy and the police forces, AND it is non existent- a few good men , does not a nation make!!

So , all in all, the real human rights violators of India have been the shameless , corrupt politicians of the country, who have deliberately kept its masses, un educated, illiterate, which has created a sick mentality within this hypocritical , misogynist society, being perpetrated under the garb of rights to all ( especially to criminals and rapists).

Wake up Amnesty and tell the truth the way it really is!!