In honor of April Fools’ Day this year, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the ridiculous business tips we’ve heard. You know they’re out there, those “words of wisdom” that some business people and sales folks alike swear by but that we’ve come to realize just don’t work.
Here’s what some of our BDU team members said is the most foolish piece of sales advice they’ve ever been given or heard:
MICHELLE PARISI, SALES COACH AND CONSULTANT
Follow the “ABC” of sales, meaning you should “Always Be Closing.” Instead of always focusing on the close and making a sale, you should be listening to their needs, trying to find a solution to their problems if possible and making sure your product or service is actually a good fit.
BETH ROSENFELD, VICE PRESIDENT SALES STRATEGY
Excessively use someone’s name when speaking with them. Though it is nice to add a personal touch and address people by name, this thoughtful gesture can quickly become off-putting and insincere if you do it repeatedly in one interaction.
LISA PESKIN, CEO AND FOUNDER
“Never eat alone” and always be networking. This is the thought that you should meet with anybody and everybody simply because you never know what might come out of your time together. However, your time is your most valuable resource and you should absolutely be picky about who you choose to meet with. If someone doesn’t fit certain criteria that you’ve established, it’s probably not worth your time.
CHRISTINE MILLER, SALES TRAINER AND COACH, NEW ENGLAND REGION
Don’t leave your business card with a client after you’ve stopped in and made an appointment because it gives them the opportunity to cancel. This is simply ridiculous; you should absolutely make sure that they have your contact information and are able to reach you regardless of whether they will cancel or not!
JANET NANKIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SOUTHEAST REGION
Don’t waste time on “howdy” calls. I once had a manager tell me he doesn’t do “howdy” calls, where you work on building the relationship a bit and learning about the person you’re speaking with in order to determine how you can possibly help them. He’d say, “Don’t waste my time – just tell them we’re the best!” We all know that is not how sales or, more importantly, helping people in business happens. I absolutely make “howdy” calls and they are my favorite part of the connection!
JEANNE BEHR, SALES COACH AND CONSULTANT
Leave the office early and “drive until you see cows.” I had a manager that would kick us all out of the office right at 9 AM. He’d tell us to just keep driving and take down as many names as possible. However, it’s really important that you have a plan, are purposeful in everything you do, and try to cloverleaf your appointments so you can strategically go after new business opportunities in the same area with a plan in place.
TOM GILL, SALES COACH AND TRAINER
Do anything you can to get the sale, even if it means lying. A manager once told me to blatantly lie to a customer about implementing a certain solution, which I knew we could not deliver. As a person with high morals and ethics I couldn’t do it. The lesson? There are times when you might need to “embellish” a little and that’s acceptable, but to outright lie is wrong. Always sell with integrity.
Now it’s your turn – we want to hear from you! What is the most foolish piece of sales or business advice you’ve ever received? Comment below with some of the ridiculous tips you’ve heard and why you’d never implement them!