Attitude, Exhaustion, Death of a Salesman!?!

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Attitude-Right + Wrong











More Memory Lane “hints & tips”

Attitude, Exhaustion, Dead Sales People


Whether you are in a Start Up, Smaller Businesses or Large Enterprise, it’s likely you have, or you will, experience some “back of the mind” or “don’t know where that’s come from” thoughts/sayings/beliefs. In fact, a gut feel by the Woo Crew (based on their career experiences varying from manufacturing and programming, through to lecturing and sales) leads us to think that most organisations and people seem to have some in-built prejudices regarding the work-place sector they are in.

Prejudice generalisation can be the reason, or just add to the reason, for a negative attitude.

The current “hints & tips” have focused on face-to-face selling and this is continued with the “ill founded prejudices” theme of this blog.

The sales profession is no different from other professions and business sectors; sales people can tend to suffer from the same “prejudice generalisation” as anyone else; it’s this generalisation that can increase the negative affects on a selling mental attitude.

In the mid/late 1970s, my old company Gillette UK Ltd, identified some of the more popular “ill founded prejudices” that they realised were negatively affecting sales people’s performance. Below are just some….see how many you recognise in your business or in you!

Some days are no good for selling

Monday mornings + Friday afternoons produce no business

You cannot do anything about the customer who says “No”

There are customers who just can’t or won’t see what’s good for them

Chance has more to do with sales than careful planning

The market is saturated and people won’t buy

Customer are becoming more and more sales resistant

A canny company like Gillette realised very quickly was that these prejudices were a very real blockage to sales effectiveness. They further realised that theses generalisations needed to be eradicated to ensure that the company did not allow them to become part of its organisational culture.

Gillette also understood that sales people were not born with these prejudices, but that mainly they learnt them through either work experience reactions by customers or through others who had experienced such reactions….creating a type of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Gillette’s reaction was training and more training. Getting the sales force to recognise that most of the prejudices were based on customers’ real or perceived reactions to Gillette sales people’s attempt to sell them something; in other words the buyers’ reluctance to buy was based mostly on their “buying objections”. What the sales people needed to acknowledge was that it was their job to overcome the buyer’s objections and Gillette helped to train techniques that would certainly show great results over the months, years and decades to follow.

Gillette believed that removing prejudice generalisation would result in more effective face-to-face selling by their sales force. The Woo Crew think they were on to something!

Who knows, it could be that you and your organisation are suffering from prejudice generalisation the same way as Gillette were in the 70s – why not take a step back and examine any potential potential prejudices that may be negatively influencing your sales ambitions. There is a possibility that the first prejudice you identify is that you and your organisation believe you have no prejudices!

The next time down Memory Lane “hints & tips” I will dig out some of Gillette’s 1970s’  “overcoming objections training tips”

Exhaustion & the Death of a Sales Person

Before I sign off – a couple more reasons that Gillette’s investigation discovered that would negatively effect face-to-face sales performance…more sales people’s in-built prejudices :

Seeing too many customers a day wears you down

Too many sales calls in a day makes you stale

Selling is a matter of “inspiration” not “perspiration”

Working too hard negatively affects mental attitude

Gillette’s response?


 Here’s to the next time!

Attitude-Right + Wrong



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