Sales & Business Pet Peeves

We thought it was time for a little venting and levity. Sales is a tough profession and occasionally folks make it a lot harder than it needs to be. Here is a list of “pet peeves” that we have encountered recently. Several have been provided to us from colleagues we know and respect. Please add to the list with your comments. Maybe these will resonate with enough people that we might actually change some behaviors?

  1. Getting a LinkedIn request from someone that doesn’t have a profile or a photo. Why?
  2. Getting LinkedIn profile views from someone that views you “privately”. Why?
  3. Helping a colleague find a job by providing a reference, reviewing a resume and arranging introductions to key members of your network. After they have gotten a new position you ask them for a small favor and they tell you they don’t have time.
  4. Getting pitched for a product or service after you connect with someone on LinkedIn.
  5. People who sit in the second exit row on a plane or in first class and then recline their seat because they need more room.
  6. People who won’t turn off their cell phones when requested by the flight attendant.
  7. People who don’t honor their commitment after they have said “consider it done today” or “I’ll do it today”.
  8. Installing a CRM system without telling the field sales force how it will benefit them and then wondering why no one uses it.
  9. Sales leaders that don’t have time to coach their sales team because they are too busy with paperwork or meetings.
  10. Sales leaders that accept a win rate of forecasted deals of 45.8% and think everything is going well.
  11. Sales leaders or sellers that believe their field sales force can do call planning in their head.
  12. Sales leaders that don’t know the percentage of deals that end with the status quo.
  13. The end of the quarter or year-end fire drill of what can you close?
  14. Sales leaders who refuse to budge on price throughout the first ten weeks of the quarter then ask “what do we need to do to close this business by the end of the quarter?”
  15. Conducting sales training without training the managers first. Also, failing to train managers in how to mentor and coach a sales methodology and then wondering why the training didn’t stick.
  16. Conducting sales training without a plan to ensure tracking of usage according to the guidelines set, adoption, proficiency and results; then wondering why the training didn’t stick.
  17. Sales representatives who read their PowerPoint slides.
  18. Sales leaders who start a deal review by asking “when is it going to close”?
  19. Sales leaders who ignore potential vendors e-mails or telephone calls and then complain when someone does that to them or their sales force.
  20. Sales representatives who drop a “hot” lead because the prospect failed to respond to a voice message.
  21. A company policy that doesn’t allow a manager to approve expenditures over $500 but allows him/her to call an hour-long meeting of 6-10 people where the cost is in the thousands.
  22. Sales meetings that are not designed and approved by sales leadership.
  23. Webinars that don’t start on time because a presenter doesn’t know how to use the platform.
  24. Organizations that tell you they don’t have the money for a project and then send a zillion people from management, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, service etc. to an annual trade show.
  25. Marketing personnel that tell you how to sell to the customer when they haven’t seen one in years.
  26. Organizations that don’t have a sales on-boarding program and then wonder why their sales revenue doesn’t ramp-up faster.
  27. People that don’t answer the question posed in an e-mail making it necessary to send a second message.
  28. People that send you an e-mail or text that says “call me” but fail to include a mobile number.
  29. People that call you because you downloaded an article from their website. It usually starts with “I noticed that you downloaded article X from our web site. Can I answer any questions?
  30. People that ignore your e-mails until they lose their job then suddenly become your best friend because they need your LinkedIn network and any contacts you may have to find a job.
  31. Receiving an e-mail with a flag that implies a prompt response is requested, it’s urgent, the ball is in your court etc. only to find out the individual just wanted to catch-up with you.

Parting Thoughts

As one “Pet Peeve” gets eliminated another one often replaces it. If each of us looked in the mirror and eliminated at least one “Pet Peeve” we inadvertently perform the world would be a better place for sales professionals.

As always we welcome your thoughts and input. Let’s start a discussion and elevate the sales profession with a thoughtful, civil and informative discourse.