Sales can help make your business great. Or ruin your brand.

Recently I received a call from an 800-number. I won’t mention the company’s name out of professional courtesy. Here’s what happened, which motivated me to write this post…

After the woman on the phone confirmed I was “Mr. Brawley,” she launched into a 90-second pitch that went from me receiving a book for free to me then receiving a book every month for only $6 to me being able to cancel any time I want to her thanking me for my business and telling me she was going to send the first book. I had not spoken a word, but I had gone from being prepared to simply ask to be placed on the do-not-call list to being annoyed to being pissed off.

However, I politely told her not to send the book, and to please put us on their do-not-call list. I barely finished getting those words out of my mouth before having to endure a second assault with her inferring that I would be risking my kids’ future by not buying their books. I paused to avoid erupting, and politely I reiterated that I did not want a book and asked her to never call me again. She immediately turned sour and sounded as if I had wasted HER time, and hung up. Sadly, she was just doing her job. She was following a script, and working hard to meet the (most likely unrealistic, overly aggressive) goals that have been placed on her.

And that’s what is so disappointing. It’s unfortunate that so many organizations focus on training their sales people to sell to anybody they can using pressure, tricks, discounts, smoke and mirrors and whatever other tactics they need. It’s all about making the sale. It reminds me very much of this great scene from “Boiler Room” (**FYI, this sucker has a good amount of foul language**):

I’ll spare you a summary of all of the jobs I’ve had in sales, but let’s just say that I’ve been a part of both kinds of sales organizations. Those that do it the right way, that focus on selling useful products and solutions to people that need them and then taking great care of those customers after the sale … well, they help make those businesses great. Those that don’t care about whether the customer needs the product or not, that only focus on the numbers … well, those sales organizations ruin their brands.

Ironically, my daughter needs math tutoring this summer. But you can bet that when my wife and I look for a solution, there is a zero percent chance that we will buy anything from the company that called me.


P.s. We don’t sell at Schedulefly. Rather, we have chosen to focus on this strategy to grow our business.