skip to Main Content

How to be a Bad Salesperson

Here’s a story. I love sharing stories to illustrate a point.

I received a call from someone who consults for Facebook. Since I didn’t recognize the number, I let it go to voicemail. She wasn’t specific about what she wanted, but it had to do with my husband’s startup. Did Facebook want to buy them? Integrate with them? The possibilities were interesting.

She said she’d email me too, so I went to my email to see what the deal was. She didn’t reveal a lot more in the email, but her signature screamed salesperson. Not interested.

So I emailed her back and told her politely that we weren’t in a position to advertise at this point.

Within the next week, she left three more messages.

Hi Susan! This is X from Facebook, just checking back with you! Blah blah blah.

Clearly, if I was interested, I would have responded by now, right? Plus I had emailed her.

By the third call, I was livid. I wrote her another email, this time with the subject: Please stop calling me. (How’s that for an attention-getter?)

You’ve left me three voicemails after I emailed you back telling you I wasn’t interested in advertising. This is beyond persistent. Please take me off your list. Thank you.


Yes, it was a little jerky, but damn, if you’re going to represent a huge brand like Facebook, step up your sales skills.

She wrote back quickly, apologizing. She hadn’t put together who she was calling with my email. Dumb.

But this illustrates some good points.

1. Don’t over-follow-up. A phone call and email is good. Maybe a followup email a week later. But if someone’s interested, they will respond. To call more is just desperate.

2. Know who you’re calling. My signature didn’t have the company she was calling about, so she overlooked it. But the instant I replied no thanks, she should have gone to her spreadsheet or database or whatever, searched for my name, and removed me.

3. Read a few blog posts about sales. Buy a book or two. Believe me, the investment is worth not having people like me spew about you as a bad salesperson on my blog!

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top