Qualities of a Bad Salesman: Why You’re Not Making the Cut

If you're not making the cut as a salesman, there are certain qualities that will give you away. Here's how to spot the qualities of a bad salesman.

If you’re in sales, then you know that the job can be tough. You’ve got to be able to handle rejection and keep pushing forward no matter what. But sometimes, it’s just not enough. If you find yourself constantly struggling to make sales, it might be time to take a step back and assess your skills. Here are some of the qualities of a bad salesman.

Are you always trying to hard-sell people? People can smell desperation from a mile away. If you’re coming on too strong and pushy with your sales pitch, potential customers will quickly lose interest. Instead of trying to force someone into buying something they don’t want or need, focus on building relationships and trust first.

Giving up too easily is one of the qualities of a bad salesman. It takes thick skin to succeed in sales – there will be plenty of times when people say no or brush you off entirely. But if you give up at the first sign of resistance, then this isn’t the career for you.

Remember that every “no” brings you closer to a “yes.”

10 Qualities of a Bad Salesman

A bad salesman is someone who is not good at their job. They may be unprofessional, have a bad attitude, or be pushy.

When I was just starting, I worked with a few who were very annoying. It wasn’t until much later that I learned to identify and avoid these salesmen.

1. Always Late Bad Salesman

Being late for meetings and customer phone calls is a definite no-go in the sales industry. A first impression is a lasting impression, so being on time is essential.

2. Poor Presentation Bad Salesman

Your presentation is the first thing that a customer sees. Make sure your shirt is tucked in, your top button is done up and your tie is in the right place. Your tie should be long enough to hit the belt line and adjust your belt line to the middle.

Also, make sure your pants are long enough to reach your shoes. If you forget your belts, your trousers may fall too far down, which can affect how you present yourself.

Keep your files in an organized folder or notebook. Only take them out when you need them.

3. Bad Temper Bad Salesman

Good sales reps know how to keep their cool under pressure. Bad sales reps, on the other hand, let their emotions get the best of them.

Sales environments can be intense, with a lot of pressure to hit quotas coming from management. However, this pressure can help people stay focused and motivated.

A good sales representative can take the pressure and turn it into a positive by encouraging and supporting their staff. This allows the team to work together towards meeting quotas and goals, rather than feeling like they are constantly under pressure.

4. Obsessed With Making a Sale

Sales representatives who only focus on their products or services and neglect the wants and needs of their clients aren’t doing a very good job.

Every customer is different, so each proposal you present should be tailored to their specific needs.

5. Poor Organization Bad Salesman

Salespeople who lack organizational skills will inevitably fail. They will be unable to inspire or motivate others, and as a result, won’t be able to create sustainable value for their team. The best way to stay organized is by using an On-Premise CRM tool.

6. Self-Centered Bad Salesman

If sales representatives do not prioritize their customer’s needs above their own, they will not build the trust, confidence, and loyalty needed for a successful relationship. A sales rep’s success is contingent on their customer’s willingness to purchase the products or services being offered.

7. View Experience as Tangible

Experience is important, but only when it leads to tangible results like improved skills, performance, and achievement. Otherwise, it’s just a waste.

Claiming to have “more experience” in sales is akin to saying that you don’t need to explain your actions or justify your decisions.

8. Failure to Admit Mistakes Bad Salesman

Sales reps should never make excuses for why a deal fell through. Instead, they should own up to their mistakes and learn from them.

We’re all human and we make mistakes. Sometimes our mistakes can impact others.

There is nothing wrong with admitting your mistakes and moving on from them.

9. Confusion

One of the most important skills in sales is knowing when to close a sale. Not only is confusion a common mistake, but it can also be fatal to your success.

10. Too Lazy to Follow Up

Not following up on a customer who has shown interest in your product is a bad sales habit. It is courteous to follow up with your customers to see if they are still interested in the product, if they want to renew, or if they are satisfied with it.

Are You a Bad Salesman?

If you meet the criteria for a bad salesperson, then congratulations! You can:

  • Continue down the path of becoming a terrible salesman
  • Change your behavior
  • Consider a different career path

If you’re not naturally good at sales, that’s okay. There are ways to improve your skills and confidence levels so that you can be successful in this career field.

Practicing your pitch and modifying your behavior are two key ways to do this. Additionally, sales training and coaching can help give you the tools and perspective you need to succeed.

No one can be great at every aspect of their job. But don’t let that stop you from improving what you do.

How to Avoid Hiring a Bad Salesman

Ideally, companies should implement a system to weed out unqualified candidates. This will save the company money, as well as prevent low performers from dragging down your top employees.

These warning signs should let you know of some common signs of an unwanted candidate.

Here are some more quick tips to help you out:

  1. Don’t settle. Don’t settle for candidates that could cause headaches later on just because you’re desperate to hire someone now.
  2. Create an ideal candidate profile. Each member of your sales team should have an ideal candidate profile for each role.
  3. Do your homework. Do a background check and look into what candidates have stated in their resumes.
  4. Conduct preliminary phone interviews. Avoid the misery of interviewing poor-quality or rude applicants in person.
  5. Work with a headhunter. Partnering with reputable recruitment agencies in your field is a great way to find candidates.

Conclusion: Bad Salesman

If any of these qualities of a bad salesman sound familiar, it might be time to reassess your career as a salesman. Remember that it takes thick skin and confidence to succeed in sales, so don’t give up at the first sign of resistance. Keep pushing forward and you’ll eventually find success.


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