4 Reasons Why You Should Just Ignore the Sales Rep

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Today I had a fantastic experience with a sales representative.
It was so good that I wrote a blog about it.
Then on reflection, I decided there are 4 reasons why you should just ignore the sales rep in most stores.
Their advice is worthless, or wrong.
Sales reps aren't impartial.
I used to sell PCs for a short time.
There were two brands that we sold and in they had almost identical printers.
They had the same engine, same specs, and similar prices.
They looked different and obviously had a different logo on the outside.
Oh, and one of the suppliers offered reps very generous bonuses.
So when a customer walked in asking for the best laser printer, which model do you think they offered? As soon as there is any form of kick-back, impartiality goes.
If there is a commission based on profit margins, impartiality goes.
Then there are the more understandable causes of partiality.
Familiarity with one product over another, past experiences, better marketing, and personal preferences are all part of the mix.
Sales reps aren't knowledgeable
Why do they need to be when they are making the decision based on kick-backs? They just need to know enough phrases to make it sound like they know the facts.
A customer walks into a store and asks "Which printer is better?" The rep immediately says "Brand X.
" The buyer wants to feel confident in the decision and asks "Why?" Now it's crunch time for the sales rep and they come out with "Because it has a superior printing engine and is more reliable.
" It sounds educated, plausible, and lets the buyer feel good about the decision to buy the more expensive printer.
The truth is that the rep has to sell everything from toasters to washing machines to laptops and printers.
They have more chance of knowing the part number than the specifications.
Sales reps don't have experience
Let's be reasonable at this stage.
They don't spend their life using what they are selling.
They don't change models every 2 days to compare unless they work in a mobile phone store and then they are phone junkies.
It is unreasonable to expect the rep to have practical advice on everything.
I was once told the "I use this one myself" line is normally a blatant lie.
It is designed to help the buyer trust the rep and the brand.
The trick is to ask a question that can only be answered by a true user.
But even if it is true, it means they have experience with a model that was probably heavily discounted for them.
They don't have experience with the other models that are on offer.
Sales reps don't really care
OK, they do care about their budget, but they don't care about the customer and giving them what they actually need.
The customer is a means to an end.
Exceptional sales reps Of course I generalise and there are exceptions.
People do have mixed motivations and it's not all bad.
But we are all aware of the exceptional sales rep who we would gladly recommend, gladly go back to, and gladly trust.
So how do you become an exceptional sales rep? Care for your customer and know your stuff.
But that's an article for another day.
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