Never Hire a Salesperson Who Could (or Would) Sell Ice Cubes to Eskimos!

“You know Dave, he could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo!”

I used to think this was a compliment (and it may have been meant to be one). Maybe they thought, wow, this guy is so good at his job, he could get someone who clearly doesn’t need something to buy it.

But let’s analyze it for a minute:  Were they saying I was talented and persuasive enough to convince an Eskimo to buy ice cubes?  Or, were they saying I was sneaky (some say ‘shady’) enough to convince an Eskimo to buy ice cubes?  Or, were they suggesting that I was creative enough to find an Eskimo in a warm place where buying ice cubes made sense (which actually did happen to me once!)?

I really don’t think it’s much of a compliment. Selling unnecessary things to a customer is a BIG mistake! I don’t want a salesperson working for me, representing my business or product, who is willing to make a bad sale.  I want a salesperson who works hard to identify ideal prospects and then uses their sales skills to honestly, ethically and civilly close the deal. Now’s a good time to think about your comp program – make sure you’re not incentivizing these bad deals!

The best salespeople focus on building long-term relationships and staying connected to their customers long after the deal is done. Selling does not need to be sneaky, and it does not require dishonesty.  Sure, there are lots of skills (and talents) that go into good selling, but none of them should involve shame.

I remember an argument I got in with a VP of Finance years ago.  He was upset that salespeople were overcompensated for the work they did (instead of the revenue they produced).  His argument was that they were “taking the easy way out.”  Instead of convincing everyone to buy their products, they were simply finding prospects that really needed their product and then pricing it in a way that made it almost impossible to say no.  I asked, “are they producing a good margin?” His response was, “Yes, they’re ahead of plan… but if all you do is find people who need what you sell and price accordingly, why do I need salespeople?  Couldn’t anyone do that?”

My thought was (and still is) that it is a good thing he was in finance and not in sales!  That’s exactly what a good salesperson does. My customers remain customers (and friends) for life.

If you want to have an honest conversation about Business Management Software (click HERE if you don’t know what Business Management Software is), call us.  If you want scare tactics, tricks, techno-speak, games, and manipulation… call someone else.

by David Williams | | (813) 321-1300