When Your Lead Salesman Leads People Away From Your Business

This isn’t an Inhumane Resources story but it has a few jewels of wisdom that can be adapted for everyday life (and business too). It just happened to have involved “yours truly”. I was reminded of a salesman’s failure to earn my trust. (Lately, I had been reading parts of Todd Duncan’s High Trust Selling). It just happened to be during an interview.

I was excited to get a phone call to schedule an interview. I was getting “beat” working in logistics. The hours were becoming less guaranteed and the “holiday” buzz was wearing off. I was looking forward to getting back into sales. I had every reason that this opportunity could open doors and help me learn more about my community.

My first interview was lukewarm at best. My interviewer seemed to prod at me about why I left my last job, (I was honest with him). He didn’t bring up my sales experience. He seemed more interested in my previous work as a mechanic. I was puzzled but I ran with the punches. We ended the interview with my feeling that this job was a wash. I wasn’t offended. It happens and life goes on.

I was more puzzled than anything to get a call back. My interviewer wanted to schedule an in-person interview. I juggled a little while, contemplating calling him back and telling him no thank you. I called him back and set up a time. This is where it got weird.

Of course; it was a nice sunny day. It didn’t take long for my interviewer to escort me back towards his office. It was an open cubicle farm in the back. It was empty, minus us two. I noticed the sales board listing people and their closure/income stats. My interviewer started with his spiel about the job and requirements.

He had mentioned that his top earner went on a cruise and his lowest earner usually got a counseling session. He wasn’t ugly about that. But a few of the things he had mentioned bothered me. He had mentioned that one of his sales staff was a former technician with the company. This within itself wasn’t bad but my interviewer mentioned that this salesman “wasn’t very smart or educated”. I have to paraphrase his other comments comparative to saying that the guy was only a technician. This rubbed me the wrong way.

After listening to my interviewer talking about his career as an independent sales company owner and high achiever; I was troubled. He found it necessary to demean people underneath him. He also puffed his chest out when talking about his big city past. I was largely turned off by the job by having him as a boss. The weirdest part of this interview was towards the end, when he mentioned that he was doing me a favor by offering me this job due to my losing my previous position and lack of experience. (Never mind the fact that I had sales experience, work with the public, and communications skills through various high intensity positions).

We wrapped up the interview. He offered me the job. I told him that I would have to get back with him. I dragged my feet calling back. I don’t like talking to someone when it feels like pulling teeth and insulting at the same time. We finally got back in touch a few days later. He asked me why I was turning down the position. I was honest. I mentioned that it didn’t seem like a good fit. I also mentioned that I didn’t like being talked down to and the only reason I was being considered that someone was doing me a favor. I reiterated my background and education supporting the opposite of someone needing a favor. He seemed to really think of himself as a genuine person. He even insulted me nearly the same way again.

We closed out the phone call with polite well-wishes. I even wrote the guy a thank you card. I’m still a decent person after all. I just think that there is a point where people need to say no. Pick yourself up a little and hold your head high. I could see how his junior salespeople would be discouraged from doing a great job. These same people would subconsciously “dirty” the product that the company was selling. I warn every company that the face of their company isn’t always the junior personnel but often the managers behind them.



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1 Response to When Your Lead Salesman Leads People Away From Your Business

  1. Pingback: My End of The Sales Job: Follow Up to Previous Post | Free Matt Podcasts

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