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The Sales Archaeologist

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Do you know how to get rid of Sales People?

Posted by Frank Belzer on Fri, Aug 07, 2009 @ 06:17 AM
Frank Belzer is the Sales Archaeologist and Author of Sales Shift.

There are a variety of answers to that question and I would venture to say that depending on where they are coming from and who will make a big difference in your opinion. Let me flavor your response with a brief story that might affect that opinion.

I have recently been reaching out to one of the largest Banks in New england - inviting them to attend and have a share in one of our Executive Luncheons. This event would really be a win/win event for them and since two larger Banks had been involved before it seemed to make sense. That said to date - I have tried calling and emailing some of the higher executives in the area a few times with this request - no response. Next I decided to go to someone at the national level and ask "isn't it a little weird that nobody could even call me back, isn't that almost negligent? isn't that bad business? Isn't that even unprofessional?" - no response. So now what is next? Well I was able to find the names and emails of some of the owners in Europe and that is whom my next line of questioning will be directed at if I have still heard nothing back this week. Please keep in mind, like most sales professionals I am simply looking for a response and like most sales professionals I understand that response might be a no. But please don't ignore me or try to just blow me off!

What is the point? Am I just on a rant? Maybe....but there is a valuable lesson here for everyone. True sales people, strong sales people are going to see being ignored as a sign that they need to try harder because they don't MAKE EXCUSES. strong salespeople are going to have the COMMITTMENT and the DESIRE to overcome any obstacle regardless of how difficult it appears to be. Because they have a positive OUTLOOK they can keep up the chase and probably outlast the most sophisticated or slippery prospect. The point is that ignoring, not responding or hiding might scare away the weak but the strong, who relish the challenge are not going to go away.

This is a syndrome that I first noticed some years ago that I call the "no soliciting" syndrome. A business owner will slap this cheap sign on his door feeling confident that he has just stopped all sales people from bothering him. Meanwhile, although the weak might be scared off the strong see the sign and think either a) he's not going to tell me what to do or b) he must be scared he will say yes if we talk in person. Bottom line - it won't work. You may not understand why and that thinking might sound foreign or crazy to you - if it does you are just not a sales person.

So what is the right way to get rid of sales people that are stalking you? The opposite of your instincts - talk to them, communicate with them, engage them and be honest with them regarding your needs or concerns. There - is that so difficult?



Frank, I'd be willing to bet that every salesperson everywhere will read and your post and not only relate, but have a similar story. I think that I might have closed with the question, "OK, Mr. CEO, VP, or buyer, pretend I'm your salesperson selling your stuff for your company. What would you want me to do? Give up and let the competition get the business? or whatever it takes so that our company gets to stay in business?"

posted @ Friday, August 07, 2009 8:35 AM by Rick Roberge

Great post re: professional sales people.  
However, on the subject of banks and selling, waste of time. If the CEO of one of the major banks ever decided to get serious about building a superior sales culture over time, that bank would blow its competitors out of the water in no time.  
I believe most bankers see sales people as hucksters... car sales folk types, but they'd never admit it. And until they do admit it and are willing to change, they're a waste of quality selling time. 
All of the above in my humble opinion.

posted @ Sunday, August 09, 2009 11:07 AM by Mike Eagan

1. Addressing the last paragraph (and the title) first . . . I learned the right way to get rid of sales people from a guy named Chris. He allowed me to recognize that I should not get angry and slam the phone. Instead, when I have no interest, I state that fact, and I wish the sales person good luck on future calls. Most appreciate this, end the call politely, and (I assume) make their next call. Sometimes, one will keep trying to sell. I repeat the point that they are wasting time that would be better spent on other prospects. If they keep trying to sell after that, I hang up. That person isn't a good sales person. He/she persisted after a clear "no." 
2. As for the bank example: I applaud your tenacity, but I am curious. At what point does tenacity turn into inappropriate follow-up? Is it possible that the bank simply isn't going to do business with you at all? Maybe all the people that could make that intelligent decision are too timid to make the commitment? Maybe all the people who might be willing to make the decision believe that the decision should be made at a lower level of the organization, so they simply won't talk to you? How do you know that you aren't wasting your time? 

posted @ Monday, August 10, 2009 5:08 PM by Rob Jewett

you make a good point - it probably is a waste of time. That said my post was not offering a lesson in time manegement. I was merely saying that good sales people will be tenacious and will not give up easily. Admittedly sometimes this results in wasted time - but I would take that spirit over the alternative anytime!

posted @ Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:40 AM by Frank Belzer

good post, and accurate. The best way to drop a salesperson is to state in no uncertain terms that you aren't interested. BTW The cheesy 'no soliciting' sign only works if its in close proximity to the 'Beware: Vicious Dog' sign.

posted @ Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:35 PM by Marty Anderson

If you take the time to put a sign or SIGNS on the door of your business why can't the stupid door to door idiots understand, we are not interested! Wouldn't you rather save time and move on to a more prospective person/business? As far as 'not telling you what to do' you can get a life. It's a free country if you don't want idiots just dropping in interrupting your person who is on the phone with your customers.

posted @ Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:23 PM by Linda Bakalis

Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. Although I appreciate you different view I have to respectfully disagree. When a business opens it doors it opens both outbound and inbound. The great businesses that I see – the ones that grow and innovate are as open to salespeople as they are customers. In fact Steve Jobbs and Richard Branson attribute some of their best decisions in business to the direction they received from sales people. If you really don’t want to grow and be bothered just work from home or don’t work at all – then nobody will try to help you. 
Additionally the fact that you would take the time or effort to put up a sign in no way means that it is a good business decision. There are many bad decisions that take time and effort are there not? 

posted @ Wednesday, August 25, 2010 9:26 PM by Frank Belzer

Sales people are just regurgitating what someone else came up with in the first place... generally they do this poorly and are paid way more than the effort they put in. 
Any teenage can spend hours on a phone. 
Most sales people can barely use a computer. 
I'd love to get paid to chat up my friends all day too!! 
Websites are more effective sales tools than sales people... this is why they are a dying bread! 
Just my opinion.

posted @ Monday, May 09, 2011 10:47 PM by TruthfulHonestDoucheBag

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