The 5 Biggest Sales “Tools”

In the context of this post “tool” means loser.  We’ve all seen them.  They are the dregs of the sales world. They give sales a bad name.  These clowns are driven by their own selfish motives. They take advantage of buyers and think nothing of it. These tools live by P.T. Barnum’s phrase; ” There’s a sucker is born every minute.” They tear down sales teams and can destroy a productive and fun sales environment.

Rico Suave: 

These tools use physical appearance, dress and finely crafted vocabulary to gain credibility. They are smooth, with a keen sense of what their prey is thinking. They leverage a strong, appealing personality to put their victims at ease.  They are not pushy as they know being pushy can scare their prey. Instead they engage their target with platitudes, information and compliments. Rico knows his or her products and the competition. They have massive amounts of information stored in their head and they use what they need to steer their prey in their direction. They don’t outright lie, but they will be quick to stretch the truth. Rico makes sales, has a huge network, and “knows” everybody. Rico is popular with the new people or on a superficial level. But upon deeper inspection you’ll find a trail of cheated, angry people behind him. Rico Suave is smooth, he or she looks for a crack in the buyer and moves in for the kill.  After the sale is gone, he is gone, before you realize you bought something you didn’t need.

The Bully

The bully is relentless. The won’t take no for an answer. He or she will beat you to a pulp until you buy. The bully is oblivious to the subtleties of sales. Bully’s don’t care about buying signals or body language. They are always on full speed ahead. Bully’s aren’t afraid to make you feel dumb for your decisions. They won’t hesitate to come right out and tell you if they think you are making a mistake. Bully’s talk loud. They are crass, to the point and don’t like small talk.  The bully measures him or herself on the number of closes. They don’t have time to be nice, or let the sale drag on. In their mind you are buying or you are in their way. The bully will go over your head and tell your boss you are incompetent if it will get the sale. Like Rico Suave, the bully is gone after the sale. The don’t have time to hold hands or see how your doing.  They have someone else they need to bully.

The Mooch:

The mooch is the loser who hoards as many companies in the CRM as possible, until a another rep uncovers an opportunity they then claim the account. The mooch works hard at doing nothing and tries to take credit for everything. They always try to look busy. They are always talking to the sales manager or trying to get on the V.P.’s calendar to talk about this “hot” prospect they are working. The Mooch talks more than he or she delivers. They are always at lunch “with clients” or on the golf course, but rarely if ever exceed quota. The mooch is never the number one producer. They are always that big deal away from blowing it up. The mooch is always walking around the office spreading gossip, stealing ideas and being a general pain in the ass. The mooch talks a good game, but is basically useless.

The Randy Moss, Manny Ramirez, or Terrell Owens. 

This sales peson is a pretty good sales person. They are often a top producer, consistently exceeding quota. They have excellent customer relationships. They know the product inside and out. The Randy Moss sales person is a selling machine. They will be the first in the office and the last out. The Randy Moss, Manny Ramirez or Terrell Owens are damn good sales people, they are just a jerks. The don’t have time for anyone but themselves. They don’t spend time with the rest of the team. They can’t be relied on to knowledge share. They don’t follow the rules and think it’s OK, because of their numbers. They rarely update the CRM. The Randy Moss, Manny Ramirez or Terrell Owens are difficult to fire. Their numbers are always the best and they are brilliant at establishing internal relationships at the highest levels. The CEO, COO, EVP’s embrace their success and highlight them as the poster child of sales success, while the sales manager and sales team vomit in their mouth at the thought of having to work with them. The Randy Moss, Manny Ramirez or Terrell Owens make their numbers but they are a cancer to the sales team.

The Debbie Downer

The Debbie Downer is always complaining. He or she finds fault or a problem with everything. They are loaded to the gills with reasons and excuses why they can’t sell. The price is too high. The product doesn’t have the features the customer wants. The market is changing. The commission plan is wrong. The company doesn’t support sales. There isn’t enough selling time. Marketing doesn’t provide enough quality leads. Sales management doesn’t understand the selling environment. Debbie Downer has a problem with everything. He or she builds trust with customers by sharing the companies dirty laundry. Debbie Downer will give customers a killer deal so the customer will like and trust him or her. Debbie downer is rarely at quota. He or she bounces from sales job to sales job starting off strong then settling into an environment where he or she stops producing and starts blaming everything around them.  Debbie downers bring entire teams down by making little things big and infecting the team with a negative outlook.

Dealing with these sales “tools” is another post. So for now just don’t be a “tool,” and for sure don’t hire a “tool.”

Are there any “tools” I missed?