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Modern Tradeshow Intelligence

Read Your Prospect

Posted by Lew Hoff on Jan 18, 2011 10:09:08 AM

My daughter, a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has decided that she wants a sales career. I was hoping that she would at least consider Bartizan, but “working for your father isn’t a real job”, she told me. As much as I would have enjoyed having her work at Bartizan, I admire her spunk.

I have told Orly about many of the things a successful salesperson should do. A few days ago I was reminded of how a salesperson can alienate a prospect by making a careless comment. When I explained to the salesman in question that I had been unable to return his call for several days because I was on jury duty, he expressed surprise that I let myself get “caught”. He went on to tell me, quite proudly it seemed, that he had never served jury duty, that he always found a way to avoid it.

My reaction? Maybe he thought that I deemed him to be a very clever man. I did not. To me, he had avoided a civic duty, nothing of which to be proud, and was subtly mocking me for doing what I have always thought to be a citizen's responsibility. Fairly or unfairly, I made a judgment call about doing business with him (I won’t be).

An outstanding salesperson must be able to read people. Clearly, this man failed to read me.