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3 Reasons Why Everyone Hates Sales People

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3 Reasons why everyone hates salespeople
…and how you can be liked.
By Douglas Vermeeren, Learn to Sell or die!

Increase your sales by 65%

Why do people hate Salesmen?

According to Douglas Vermeeren Sales people have a bad reputation. It seems that no matter where you go sales people are interrupting your life to offer you things that you don’t want, need or have an interest in. Their timing is terrible as they show up at your office, on your doorstep or on the phone. Sales people are often seen as scripted robots on a mission to separate your from your cash and often their tactics leaving people feeling cheated or swindled.

If you find yourself nodding along to the sentiments above it might be time to slow down. The truth of the matter is that all people are sales people. You included.

Sales is an essential part of human existence. Sales is often perceived as transactional encounters where people are exchanging money for goods or services. While this is an essential part of sales, (you couldn’t eat without these kind of exchanges) sales is much broader than this limited view.

Sales includes all forms of influence and sharing of ideas. Sales includes even the way we talk to ourselves. (More on that another time.)

So why do we hate sales people so much. Recently I conducted a survey online in the hopes of understanding why we all have such contempt for sales people and for those of us who are dedicated to becoming likeable and trusted sales people what we can do to become more likeable. The following are the top three reasons why salespeople are hated:

  1. We hate being sold. You’ll notice in the title of this article that I did not say everyone hates all sales people. Doug Vermeeren‘s experience and research shows that the ones that we hate are the ones who make us feel as though we are being sold. This is painfully obvious with sales people that have not taken the time to develop a relationship with us before selling us their gizmos. These obnoxious salesmen go directly for a sale and are pushy and overbearing. Your relationship with the customer should be the priority. Recently I had a sales person come to home to share a presentation. I am constantly inviting these people into my home to observe and learn from their techniques. Needless to say that this young fellow dove right into his verbatim presentation complete with images on his iPad without even first asking my name. He continued even asking his canned questions where they were inserted in his script and nodded as I answered and then continued onwards. At the conclusion of his rehearsed monologue he asked for the sale. I declined. He then tried two or three prepared objection responses and then gave up. As he packed up his things he stopped and started talking to me like a real person. As he looked around my home for the first time he noticed what was on my walls and we began to talk about our common interest in a certain artist. He then saw the picture of my family and asked about that. For the first time in the presentation I actually started liking this guy. I could feel him becoming less of a salesperson and more of an interested friend. If only he had begun this way things might have been different.


Cure: Slow things down and take a real interest in those you are selling to. Take the time to discover the problem your customer is trying to solve. Don’t put the money first or you won’t get the money.

Douglas Vermeeren – Create Wealth Today


2) We hate being lied to by sales people. Sales people must be very strong. They are in a culture of exaggerations and pressure to perform. It is very easy for them to fall into the same traps. Their bosses and supervisors need numbers so they tell them what they are offering is the best, they give them contests, bonuses and prizes for performances, they live in a culture of competition with other associates from their office and so on. As I started my sales career just out of high school I took a job for a few short months selling vacuum cleaners door to door. What drew me into that position was a lie. I responded to a newspaper ad that promised $1750 per month guaranteed. Back when I started that was a lot of money. Only after I worked hard for several weeks was I told about the fine print to qualify for that guarantee. It really gave me a bad taste for sales. Thankful I learned there is a better way. Some sales people do exaggerate and stretch the truth. Ethical sales can only come from ethical people. I have often thought that the sales profession will magnify the kind of person you are at your core. When there are good days your best self will come out, but when there are bad days your worst self will appear. sales is not an easy job. For those who try to take short cuts through embellishments and stretching the truth they may prosper temporarily in the short term but they will never make it long term.

Cure: Begin by finding a product or service you truly believe in. Stay honest, upfront and manage expectations and you will thrive in the sales career. Those who put the customer first and manage expectations will eventually have more customers to manage.

3) We hate being not he receiving end of tactics. There are a lot of great resources for training sales people to be more effective. Many of these tools and tactics when used properly will help those who are genuinely there to help and serve. However for sales people who are unwilling to practice and integrate these sales tools seamlessly into their presentations these tools are painful to participate in. No one likes to be on the receiving end of multiple obvious tie-down questions, trial closes or objection counters. The minute that sales loses the feeling of a natural conversation our defences go up.

The best sales people don’t come across as sales people at all. They make everything look natural and conversational. They are interested in us as people and they are there to support us on our journey to solve problems. Perhaps this is why some salespeople fail. They assume that since it looks so natural that it must spontaneous. Recently I spoke with a new salesperson who expressed that this was her reason for winging it. “If I prepare too much,” she said, “then it won’t feel natural.” The opposite has demonstrated itself to be true. When we don’t prepare and practice it becomes obvious when we use a tool designed to move the sale along. When we practice it becomes natural.

Cure: One of my hobbies is to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in fighting with others on the mat it’s that when we think we hesitate. When your sales skills aren’t practiced you have to think about it. When you think about it the tactics become obvious. Practice does make perfect.

My challenge to you is to focus on the cures I have presented in this article. As all of us are involved in sales in some capacity we owe it to ourselves to become good at it. We don’t get what we want in life we get what we earn through selling.


Douglas-Vermeeren-600Are you ready to level up? You’ve come to the right place. Douglas Vermeeren is considered one of the top leaders in sales, personal development and achievement psychology. He is considered by many to be the modern day Napoleon Hill for his extensive research into the lives and psychology of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. Douglas Vermeeren is the creator of “Learn to Sell or You’ll die” program which helps you sell more.

Vermeeren is the author of 3 books in the Guerrilla marketing. He is also the creator of the personal development films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map. Enterprise magazine calls him Canada’s Tony Robbins! He is the regular featured achievement expert on FOX, FOX Business, CNN, ABC, NBC, CTV, CBC and others.

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