This is not selling, this is stupid – now stop it!

Beware: Your actions speak louder than your words.
You may have read recently in the press about TSA Telco Group, an outsourced sales call centre representing Telstra on a winback program, which has been accused of calling people on the Do Not Call register and making false promises of lower prices, faster speeds and plans that did not exist, all to ensure they secured the sale.


Well gee thanks TSA Telco Group. As a sales professional I spend my life demystifying what “good selling” is. If the stories about you are indeed true and the feedback by disenfranchised customers and prospects makes for an overwhelming case, then you have the potential of sending us back to the dark ages of selling.


Thank goodness today’s customers have access to more information than ever before and do know what good selling is.


They can piece together the real offers made by ethical, well intentioned sales people and companies from the false claims made by a few.


Most customers know what they are after even if they don’t know how to articulate it sometimes. Today, customers expect to deal with a real professional who knows their own business and how they can best serve their customers’ needs with creative solutions and fresh ideas.


Customers don’t expect to be coerced, bullied, tricked or intimidated into buying. They don’t expect to be treated like an idiot by sales people who just talk AT them, flash brochures or make gimmicky offers.This type of stupid behaviour has to stop.


What you are seeing by this example is people power in action.


Your reputation and your brand are only as good as the actions of your people. If you want to disguise harassing and trickery as selling, then you will be found out, and soon. It’s a small world and news travels fast.


Any business wanting to be around for the long term needs professional salespeople and practices that strive to attain viable, lasting relationships with our customers. To initiate, develop and enhance our relationships with our customers, we must demonstrate our trustworthiness. The basis of trust begins from the moment of our first contact with our prospect – even if it is a phone message.


Trust is defined as being where….


“The buyer believes they can rely on what the salesperson says or promises to do in a situation where the buyer is dependent upon the salesperson’s honesty and reliability.” (Swan, J, Nolan, J. (1985), “Gaining customer trust: a conceptual guide for the salesperson”, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Vol. 5 No.2, pp.39-48).


In this day and age, all our actions are on display. We are all on show and transparent; there is no place to hide.



Sue Barrett is founder and managing director of BARRETT, a boutique consultancy firm. Sue is an experienced consultant, public speaker, coach and facilitator. Sue and her team are best known for their work in creating high performing people and teams. Key to their success is working with the whole person and integrating emotional intelligence, skill, knowledge, behaviour, process and strategy via effective training and coaching programs. Click here to find out more

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