Sales Reps – why are we meeting? Just go execute!

As the founder and president of a thriving, fast-paced company, my time is precious and fiercely protected.  That’s why I don’t understand the fascination some sales reps have with meetings that have no purpose.

Recently, a sales person was trying to get me interested in a product I did not want or need. Despite my rejection, complete with explanation as to why I wasn’t interested, the guy persisted. He sent multiple emails and left numerous voice mail messages requesting a meeting. He even tried to convince the company’s receptionist to put him through because I was expecting his call.

This is a classic example of a sales rep who is simply ANNOYING. He failed to respect my decision or my time. As a result, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever get my business, even if I do develop a need for what he was selling.

It’s not just the sales reps who are abusing my time by pushing for unnecessary meetings. It’s also happening with some of my account reps.

Here’s the thing: it’s a great product. I love it. I know how to find you and promise I’ll be in touch when I need more. So no, we do not need to have coffee or lunch when you’re in the area.

I run a transactional business and when I need something, I research or have my team conduct due diligence, then we purchase. If my business is running smoothly with what I have, the relationship with the account rep can go on auto pilot. I don’t need to meet just so you can say you met with a client.

This practice isn’t just annoying. It also means that our vendor, whom we rely on for some aspect of our own business, is losing money. Instead of executing sales and generating revenues, their sales reps and account managers are wasting time on pointless meetings.

So put a stop to the meeting madness. Get to know your customers and agree on some key touch points that determine whether or not all is well. Then leave them alone! Go drum up new business and prospects, or focus on up-selling other accounts that need the attention.

Just please stop asking me to meet. I’ve got a business to run.

2 thoughts on “Sales Reps – why are we meeting? Just go execute!”

  1. Kathleen,

    I don’t know what the salesperson was selling, but clients and potential clients often (usually, nearly always??) make assumptions about products and benefits that are inaccurate, incomplete or just plain wrong. Not every call is about sales, sometimes its about education for the client. A salesperson that is into slamming their head into a brick wall will soon be career adjusted. Maybe they know something about their product that you don’t. And maybe that is a good reason to give them 5 – 10 minutes. Maybe not, but you’ll never know if you don’t check it out. And if its not right for you, you might have a friend or business associate looking for exactly that offering.

    Your existing account reps often need real market info to create new products or benefits for their clients, including you. Without contact, they will not have the kind of input they need to compete and improve in a competitive marketplace.

    Good luck,

  2. Kathleen,

    Most sales associates and managers understand the value of time on both sides of the equation. It is amazing how many clients and potential clients really don’t understand the differentiating aspects to a competitors products. It’s these details though that can help a business. Competition is great. If you don’t know what the competition has to offer, you might be missing an improved solution to help run a business better.

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