Salespeople are expected to always conduct business in a most professional manner. So what happens when you are faced with a client who acts unprofessionally and say, starts to flirt with you?
Whether you are a man or a woman, if you are in sales, surely this exact scenario has happened to you at least once if not several times in your career. So what do you do?
Although it is quite well established that “sex sells”, the last thing any salesperson should ever do in a sales call is use “sex” to sell, even if your client is flirting with you. You might be thinking “Why? That is so easy?” Well, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t:
- Your client will not respect you. You are “pulling the wool over their eyes” and they will see through this.
- You will not likely get repeat orders. Sure, using your sex appeal may help you close that deal. Who cares about your product anyway right? But after they receive their order, they will have second thoughts. Just like a one night stand; you think it’s all great and fun at the time and then you wake up to what you thought was a super-hot person next to you and now that the beer goggles are off, they look more like a dishevelled dog, who’s name you don’t even know. Don’t be surprised if they return your order.
- Forget about that product/service reference. So you flirted your way to close a big deal with an important client who wasn’t buying from you. Time to celebrate right? Wrong. If another client asks them why they purchased your product, they certainly aren’t going to tell them how wonderful your product is. Why did they buy? Do you really want your clients discussing this amongst one another? I most certainly would not.
- It shows you suck at selling. But you closed that deal right? So you must be good at sales? You obviously weren’t able to effectively communicate the value of the product or service you are selling, so you had to resort to other means. It is one thing to sell yourself as a resource to your client, but another entirely to just flirt your way through sale. What should you do then? Take a sales course. Improve those sales skills and don’t stoop to that level. If that doesn’t work, perhaps it’s time to consider another career.
Fortunately, I have not been faced with this scenario very often. In the past 10 years that I have been on the road, there have only been a handful of clients who have been overly flirtatious with me.
If you ever find yourself in this type of situation, just keep in mind exactly what it is you want to accomplish. We all want to make that sale, but if you want repeat orders, your clients will likely only do so if you have more to bring to the table. So, whether it is your amazing product or service or your resourcefulness, make sure to sell yourself and the company you are representing the right way, a way that earns you respect so you can keep those orders coming in.