BusinessBrief.com » The biggest complaint about salespeople

The biggest complaint about salespeople

June 15, 2009 by Jim Giuliano
Posted in: In this week's e-newsletter, Sales & Marketing


What’s the leading complaint customers make about salespeople in today’s difficult economy? Ask your staff this question and you may get a range of answers, but probably not the correct one. Price, quality and service are all critical concerns but they’re not No. 1 in the minds of customers, according to an annual survey conducted by the Purchasing Management Association. What is at the top of the list? Salespeople who don’t listen enough and talk too much.

Even more interesting is that when the association conducted its first survey more than 40 years ago, the leading complaint was (you guessed it) salespeople who talked too much and didn’t listen enough.

Some salespeople confuse listening with hearing. Hearing is passive. It doesn’t require interaction other than an occasional nod. Hearing is a defense method we use when a bore starts talking. No prospect or customer is ever considered boring by a motivated salesperson.

Benefits of good listening
Here are three benefits of good listening:
1. Listening builds trust. The best salespeople are good listeners who seem concerned with customer needs and help them purchase the products or services in a cost-effective way.
2. Listening lowers resistance. It reduces tension and defensiveness on the part of customers who realize they aren’t going to be pushed into making a purchase through force of words.
3. Listening builds self-esteem for customers. It’s flattering for a customer to know that a salesperson is listening intently to what’s being said. Listening is active

Listening is an active activity in which salespeople pay genuine attention to what customers or prospects say. It’s a skill that requires constant development. When salespeople listen more, what they hear sounds less repetitious and more meaningful.

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  • http://www.totalcreep.com I. C. London

    I partially agree. It depends on what they are talking about. Some try to make a gum ball sound like it is a miracle drug no matter how much they let you talk. In some cases, if it turns out a sales person can’t help you, they try to make it appear they can.

  • gfaigen

    The most frustrating issue is not enough sales people on staff. One can walk around with their money in their hands and not have anyone to ring it up. Next big problem are staff that do not know where the merchandise is located but vaguely point to some spot where it is difficult to find and not always the right location.

    The worst business problem is using technology for answering phones that do not ask you the revelent question so one doesn’t know which button to press; you can’t get connected to a representative for too long a time and usually get disconnected while waiting.

    I do not shop anymore. I’m not rewarding poor business policies. I’m lucky that I don’t need anything even though I want new products – I don’t need them.


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