There’s just no need to be rude and it could actually end up costing you.
Do you ever find yourself copping an attitude when you get a sales call? How dare that salesperson annoy you with a phone call! People, they are just doing their job. Be courteous. Their intention is not to irritate you. More likely than not, they believe that you or your company will benefit from what they have to offer. They don’t pick up the phone thinking, “Hell ya, I can’t wait to bother Karen! I just love when I’m treated like scum!”
Sales is a necessary part of any business. And every company uses sales in some form or another: cold calling, cold emails, networking, upselling, drop-ins, product pushing, or any of the other hundreds of ways to sell. And the brave souls that do this job are not all slime balls (I’ll give it to you, some of them are, but most are not). They are just people who believe in their company and believe in their product and are looking for ways that their product or service may benefit you, and, yes, get them a sale.
Not interested in what they have to sell? That’s fine. But declining their offer in a kind, polite manner is just as easy as treating them like a cockroach. And your response says a lot about you and about your company. It is all part of brand experience.
Turns out that salespeople are regular people, too. (Who knew?)
Other than common courtesy, the main reason you should be nice to an unsolicited sales person is that they are people, too. They are consumers and decision makers, they have friends and families of their own. In fact, salespeople tend to have a very wide network. It’s not only customers that might evaluate their experience with your company and spread the word about that experience. Every interaction is an experience and every experience builds your brand.
Who got the business?
Let me give you an example. I was making cold calls to various printers in the area to offer my design services to them and as a resource for their clients. Several of them were incredibly rude to me on the phone and a few others were very kind. When I had a project come in that I needed to have printed, which printers do you think I contacted for a quote? Right, not the rude ones. And the seller became the customer.
Who didn’t get the business?
Taking it into a consumer role, I was making cold calls to local restaurants and breweries offering my services. There was a woman at one restaurant that sticks in my mind (I’m fighting with myself whether or not I should name it) that was so rude (I’d call it downright nasty) that I was seriously hoping that none of her customers were within earshot. Now, you may not have known this about me, but, I’m a big fan of food. And beer. And at the end of that call, I not only vowed to never go to this restaurant (ever!), I was so blown away by the aggressiveness of the conversation that I told at least 5 other people about my experience with them. It was a terrible brand experience.
Don’t be a jerk.
Your brand and reputation go far beyond your customers’ experience. Every interaction you have with every salesperson, vendor, job applicant, or wrong number is a reflection of you, your business and your standards – it is a cornerstone of your brand experience. Be sure the encounter leaves them with a glow, even if a sale wasn’t made. Be nice to sales people.