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30 Ways To Not Come Across Like A Salesperson


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One of my clients has fallen under the spell of a cult.

Specifically, it is a sales training cult that has taught him to repudiate everything he thought he knew about selling, including some of the ideas I gave him.

“Customers hate salespeople!" his new gurus assert, so no matter what he should never, ever come across like one.

If that is his goal, here’s my advice, 30 ways to not seem like a salesperson:

Don’t establish value. Don’t assert your competitive advantage. Don’t get referrals. Don’t act as if their business is important to you. Don’t get testimonials. Don’t cross-sell or up-sell. Don’t prospect by phone or on foot. Don’t set appointments. Don’t try to get through secretaries, other screeners, and voice mail. Don’t polish your presentation skills. Don’t listen. Don’t qualify the prospect for financial ability. Don’t probe for needs. Don’t answer objections. Don’t close. Don’t negotiate, trying to maintain your margins. Don’t work hard. Don’t get any outside, non-cult sponsored training. Don’t persist. Don’t maintain a positive mental attitude. Don’t be likable or charming. Don’t tell jokes or stories. Park your drive and your need to achieve under the pillow. Don’t believe in your product. Don’t be a self-starter. Don’t be methodical, follow a proven routine, or script. Don’t bounce back from rejection. Don’t continuously improve or seek new ideas and techniques. Don’t discuss features and benefits. Don’t like yourself.

What’s that last one on the list?

Don’t like yourself?

Of course, this is essential to the success of any cult’s message. They have to make you feel inadequate the way you are, to mercilessly murder the pre-cult you, and all of your prior references.

Only through self-obliteration can you be reborn as a PURE NON-SALESPERSON.

Well, he’s on his way.

I hope my little list helps him to reach his destination.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is the best-selling author of 12 books and more than a thousand articles. His seminars and training programs are sponsored internationally and he is a top-rated faculty member at more than 40 universities, including UCLA Extension, where he has taught since 1999. Dynamic, experienced, and lots of fun, Gary brings more than two decades of solid management and consulting experience to the table, along with the best academic preparation and credentials in the speaking and training industry. Holder of five degrees, including a Ph. D. from the Annenberg School For Communication at USC, an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, and a law degree from Loyola, his clients include several Fortune 1000 companies along with successful family owned and operated firms across America. Much more than a “talking head, " Gary is a top mind that youʼll enjoy working with and putting to use. He can be reached at:


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