Most buyers "buy" the sales representative who calls on them as much as they buy the product or service offered. If the sales rep creates a poor impression, it could affect the buyer's entire attitude toward the sales rep and the product.
Maybe I'm old fashion but I believe that the person selling the product represents not only the product but his company, too. This belief means a lot of credibility for me rests in the appearance of things.
I've dealt with plenty of sales reps in my day and many of them have made a poor impression on me without even realizing it. Most of them knew their business and their product, but they still turned me off. Somehow, their image always seemed to be tarnished by seemingly insignificant things that they would overlook.
One guy's clothes looked sloppy. It told he was careless about his appearance and I couldn't help but wonder if that careless carried over into the appearance of his product and service.
Another pulled a shopworn sample and a dog-eared flyer out of his case. Was the sales rep was just oblivious to second rate things? Did he just not care one way or the other?
Sometimes the item that kept me from forming a positive attitude was as small as an appointment book. The salesman's book bulged with little pieces of paper sticking out every which way, about this or that. Would my very important order be written up on one of those little pieces of paper that fell from his notebook and followed him like breadcrumbs?
One of the worst - and I've run into this one most often - is the guy who took me to lunch but had to spend 15 minutes cleaning his kid's litter off of the passenger seat and at least a hundred memos and mania folders off of the floorboard. Seemed inconsiderate to me and if he wanted to make a favorable impression, wouldn't he have cleaned that off before taking a client to lunch? It made me believe he lacks pride in himself (maybe in his product and company also?).
Some poor impressions were made before I met the sales professional. My administrative assistant handed me a grimy business card with the tips of her two fingers. Did I expect much from this one?
Guess what my impression was of the sales rep who "over-nighted" his company's literature to me - using one of my direct competitors?
Or, how about the letter that arrived two days late and loaded with errors? I wondered about this guy's commitment to on-time delivery and 100% quality.
In life, just as I found in sales reps, everything about you adds to the total impression that you create. Even little things can enhance . . . or detract . . . from your overall image.
If you represent a fine company - take the pains to look and act the part.
Keeping in touch with my E-mail Newsletter
This is another issue of my email newsletter and I hope you'll find it helpful - after all, I AM an award winning educator, author, Emmy-winner, Oscar-nominee - let's see, what else? - oh, a highly sought after speaker and seminar leader! ;-)
"Messages from Mike" may be forwarded via e-mail, printed for circulation, and quoted FREE of charge. No permission is required, but please mention where you got it. It's also perfectly acceptable to post on your company's intranet.
If you've received this newsletter from someone and would like to get your own copy, point your browser to my Web site and subscribe:
If you're already on the subscription list and think someone else would be interested in receiving my articles, forward this E-letter to them with your comments.