📅 26th November 2017 | Selling
Picture the scene.
I had returned to a customers office the day after getting paperwork signed for a new piece of expensive office equipment. The purpose of my follow up call was to get an additional order for an ancilliary item. I was ushered into the office manager’s room only to find a salesman from the competitor who had lost out on the main order. This was the first time I had been confronted with such a situation.
Stand Your Ground
Quite why the office manager thought it appopriate to allow what could have turned into a bun fight has always remained a mystery – perhaps he was a closet boxing fan! But instead of rising to the bait in the face of unjust criticism of my company spouting from the mouth of the other salesman (his name was Cliff) I stood my ground and said virtually nothing. After a few minutes (it seemed like a lifetime I can assure you!) of this unwarranted verbal attack, the office manager asked the other guy to leave.
Never Knock The Competition
Had Cliff asked questions of the office manager in a quiet confident manner, he may have got the customer to question his buying decision – but he didn’t. Instead his rant showed him up for what he was, frustrated at losing an order and very unprofessional. He castigated my company on our customer service and claimed to have other clients who would back up what he said. Of course, he had no written proof.
I returned back to base and explained what had happened with my regional sales trainer, line manager and his boss. They congratulated me on my stoicism and ability to hold my nerve under difficult circumstances. Apart from the obvious point about not knocking the competition, this was yet another lesson in attentive listening. All down to good sales training