What To Do If You’re Not a Good Salesperson (2 Ways to Improve)

Sales podcast ep 2 Not A Good Salesperson - Slow Pitch
Sales Podcast, The Slow Pitch
The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast
What To Do If You're Not a Good Salesperson (2 Ways to Improve)


Are YOU Not A Good Salesperson? You Can Be!

What if you think you’re not a good salesperson? Can you really sell? Yes. In this episode, we talk about why some think they’re good salesperson, but are not; and we talk about how some of us don’t think of ourselves as salespeople, but really are. In fact, those that think they are not good at sales are simply missing a few things.
Learn why Lane thinks he’s not a salesperson and why he can be a great one if he’s given some tools.

Here’s a quick rundown on our discussion in this episode:

0:12    We discuss the topic of the show
0:30    Lane’s Homework from last episode: His 30-second sales pitch
3:40    Lane’s not a salesperson. Who told you that?
5:15    What makes a poor salesperson
7:30    What makes a great salesperson
9:15    Sales in they eyes of the buyer. How does that connect to making a sale?
13:00  Example of a good sales experience
15:40  Lane’s takeaway
16:30  What to do when someone wants to negotiate price
18:00  Show Wrap-Up

We also talked about a book in this episode:
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
This book is powerful if you’re ever in negotiation, sales, dealing with your family, all kinds of reasons!


Related Episodes for People Who Are Not a Good Salesperson: 

Sales Problems: When Should I Stop Calling A Sales Prospect?

What Makes A Great Salesperson? And What Makes a Good Salesperson? (How are they different?)

This is an affiliate link. We can receive a commission at no cost to you for suggesting this book (even though we think it’s an awesome book and would recommend it anyway). 🙂 

The Episode

Rob 0:05
Welcome back, we are starting up our second episode of the Slow Pitch podcast. And this week, we are going to answer Lane’s question about hey, I’m not a salesperson. What am I supposed to do with this? Now that I get somebody coming to talk to me? How am I supposed to start the sale? How am I supposed to do something with that? Right? But before we get too far into that, last time, lane, we had an a, a, an assignment for…

Lane 0:32
Yeah, I’m dreading this.

Rob 0:35
I am sure you are. Because you were so hesitant last time, you just refused to give us a good 30 second commercial. So but now we’re back. We’ve been waiting anxiously for however long it took.

Lane 0:47
Too long, I had to sleep on it.

Rob 0:48
Yes, Yes, you did. So let’s see what you are here. What you had to come up with for your 32nd commercial. So give us a background real quick. What’s your, what do you sell in real quick? What are we doing?

Lane 1:01
Alright, so we’re doing websites, you know, all the PHP, JavaScript, HTML stuff, all that kind of good. Good stuff. SEO.

Rob 1:09
You name it what it is. Yeah. Okay.

Lane 1:11
Alphabet soup.

Rob 1:12
Alphabet soup. So, you just called me and we’re talking for a minute. Okay. Listen, give me give me a quick, what do you do?

Lane 1:21
All right, Rob. Well, broadly, we work on websites. You know, many of our customers come to me frustrated because their website is broken, or just not converting as well as they expect. Sometimes they’re worried because their site is very slow or angry because they feel they’ve been ripped off by a previous service provider. You know, honestly, sometimes others are confused, because they just don’t know what they need. I don’t know if that resonates with you.

Rob 1:45
Yeah, you know what? I got ripped off. Last time I did my website they took they took $10,000 and never got anything out of it.

Lane 1:52
Oh, man. That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear that.

Rob 1:55
Yeah. So how would you go from there? That’s a great question. Right?

Lane 1:58
That’s a good question. Because I think you’re dealing with a trust issue at that point. And so if if I feel like if I immediately jumped into trying to convince them that I’m not going to rip them off, I don’t know if I’m really building any trust there.

Rob 2:11
Can I make one suggestion?

Lane 2:13
Sure…remember, I’m not a good salesperson.

Rob 2:14
Never convince anyone that you’re the best. Let them tell you. Let them convince you that they’re ready to talk. If they’re not, they’ll say no, I don’t need to. And it’ll feel comfortable telling you that because you’re not pushing them. But if you stay, if you will, in a position where they are going to tell you no, no, no, I need to talk about it now, then you now have the ability to say, tell me a little bit more.

Why do you think that? And you start to ask these questions, and it becomes a conversation. And it’s all the questions that you need to be asking that are all related to whatever their issue is. And the key thing to remember, too, when you’re talking about these, the issues that they’re having, and you found one thing, don’t believe that that’s the only problem or the biggest problem. I hate to say that, but a lot of times somebody will give you the problem.

And you think that’s their problem. But there’s actually two or three other problems, and one of them is really big. And that’s the real problem they’re trying to solve or fix. And until you ask some more questions. And in that conversation, you might say something, and they might say, you know what, that’s, that’s another thing we’re having a problem with. And you might go, Well tell me more about that. And you start to find out or so there’s a whole series of questions.

So that’s kind of how I would do it after your commercial. If they start opening up. That’s your opportunity to start to dig for some more question with some more questions. But that’s not why we’re here now. Right? We’re here to…

Lane 3:41
No, that’s not.

Rob 3:43
…figure out why you’re not a salesperson.

Unknown Speaker 3:45
That’s it. I’m not a good salesperson.

Rob 3:47
Who told you you’re not a good salesperson?

Lane 3:49
I’ve told myself that. I tell myself that I’m not a good salesperson all the time.

Rob 3:51
Okay, well, we talked about that last night, right? The number one reason that somebody can’t make a sale is usually their own their own problem. and nine times out of 10, actually, probably 9.9 times out of 10. It’s the salespersons fault, my opinion, anytime, anytime I blown a deal. It’s because I blown the deal. And I did something wrong. And I didn’t ask the right question. I did something wrong. So but if you think you’re not a good salesperson, you’ll never get the sale. So he must have just quit now, right?

Lane 4:18
Well, but but that’s why we’re here. So you can you can. So you can convince me that I really am a salesperson or I can be a salesperson.

Rob 4:26
So there’s another question that I should ask, Is this a technical issue or a mental issue? Or is it both?

Lane 4:32
No, I think it’s totally mental.

Rob 4:33
Yeah, I would I would agree. There’s probably some technical things in there that you could probably improve maybe that you don’t know. But I would say almost all of its mental and having the ability to think, alright, this is not me that’s causing this problem in terms of what this issue is. Sometimes it’s a conversation that you’ve had, that didn’t go right and it’s not because of anything you did.

It’s just because that potential, the prospect took you down a road that didn’t make any sense and they just play games with And you didn’t realize it until it was too late. And you finally decided that’s enough. So there’s one option. And the other option could be, you know, you said the wrong thing and never got any further than that. So. So what stops you then from being not a good salesperson, do you think?

Lane 5:16
A big part of it is? I don’t, I guess I don’t feel that I know how to sell. So I guess maybe that that really comes back to your technical question. So you know, I don’t have the technical knowledge or the know how to make the sale. And 2, you know, I’ve always been word I’ve always worked in a technical industry. You got the you got the geeks, and you got the sales. Salespeople, and they’re different.

They’re different bunch. You know, earlier you mentioned, maybe it was last episode, you kind of mentioned the, the type of salesperson and you got, you got the kind of slimy Leisure Suit Larry kind of guy. And, and, honestly, that’s a lot of the sales, salesmen that have that work in tech are like that.

Rob 6:02
So here’s a question for you that you brought that up, and maybe I’m wrong. But when when somebody says, when you when you say I’m not a salesperson? Is that really what you’re saying? Is? I’m not that kind of person? Because I don’t want to be that kind of person.

Lane 6:16
I think that’s part of it. Absolutely. I don’t want to be that, so I’m not a good salesperson.

Rob 6:18
When you when you hear people say, what’s the salesperson? Do you think like they used car sales guy, you know?

Lane 6:23
Oh, yeah, totally. Totally.

Rob 6:24
Alright, so that’s a part of it, too. Right?

Lane 6:27
And that’s totally how I view you too.

Rob 6:29
Oh, good. Oh, well at least you’re not wrong there. You know, it’s funny, I, I don’t really consider myself a salesperson, either. Because of the same reason. I find myself asking more questions than probably a lot of people. But it’s because I don’t, number one I’m curious about what’s going on and what the issue is. And if I can help, I want to help. But I also don’t want to be not a good salesperson, like the used car salesperson like right….that’s someone who’s not a good salesperson

Lane 6:52
Yeah, yeah.

Rob 6:52
That’s horrible. And, and some people just like that, and they that they think that’s the way it is supposed to be. So if you’re saying, Hey, I’m not a good salesperson, is that also feeding into maybe that’s part of the reason why you feel like you don’t want to be known as a salesperson and that you don’t want to be in sales?

Lane 7:09
Yes. Yeah, I think it’s it’s that that mental perception of that’s what a good salesperson is and what is not a good salesperson. I’m not a good salesperson either if that’s the case…I don’t want to be like that. And but to, you know, the technical aspect of it of I just don’t know, you know, what to do to make that sale?

Rob 7:25
Yeah. So let’s talk about what are good characteristics of a very good salesperson, what do you feel like is somebody that’s really good at sales? What are some, like, who is a good salesperson? Do you have a description of what you would describe is really good?

Lane 7:39
I think for me, that’s a little bit of a difficult question, because of just the nature of how my personality how I go about buying. It’s a little different than, than a lot of people’s. But, you know, I like to go read and educate myself about something and understand what it is. And I guess, I think that’s how I convinced myself that this is what I want to buy. Yep. And I actually get irritated when someone comes in and tries to, you know, play that that sales role. I’m like, No, I know, leave me alone. Just let me let me do my thing here.

Rob 8:09
Yeah. And that’s part of the reason why salespeople are annoying, right? Like, you’re not gonna let you do what you’re supposed to do to get the sale. And that is annoying. So so what are good characteristics of a good salesperson that for you?

Lane 8:23
So for me, it’s kind of stay out of my way. But at the same time, if I have a question be available that I can ask that question, and I can get a straight answer without all the fluff and nonsense.

Rob 8:34
So if somebody stayed out of your way, and answered your questions, when you had questions that were needing clarification, what does that lead you to? What does that make you do? If you’re the buyer?

Lane 8:44
For me, it allows me to be comfortable with the the product or solution. And, you know, I know, I guess there’s there’s some confidence there that I’m going to get the support I need when I need it. It’s at the comfort of having to know I don’t even know how to describe it. Really. It’s just…

Rob 9:01
It’s a trust issue. Right?

Lane 9:02
Yes, it’s a trust issue.

Rob 9:04
Yeah. So and then other people don’t don’t buy that way. Right. What do you see other people do? How do you see them buying? Like, somebody that’s different than you? What How do they buy?

Lane 9:15
Ah, gosh…

Rob 9:17
Think of other people that are significant to you, how you watch them make buy and make a purchase? What is their criteria to make a purchase? What do they need to do?

Lane 9:28
Well, I think a lot of times, they’re, huh, that’s interesting. It kind of got my wheels spinning here a little bit to, uh.

Rob 9:36
Are they faster making decisions or just as you know, are slower? Are they the same?

Lane 9:41
I? Well, I think sometimes some people are faster and some people are slower. You’re making you’re making some of these little these little, little connections here because now I’m starting to see things that I didn’t really see before where I can see where other people really need that. That emotional connection to go. Oh, yes, I let’s see. You’ve given me what I’ve, what I’ve, what I’m looking for the validation or, or you’ve made me comfortable with the product or this or that. And when I’m talking to people, I, I tend to approach it from how, how I would want to be handled, but not necessarily seeing how that other person may or may not have the same needs that I do.

Rob 10:20
Yep, that is a huge breakthrough. Most people don’t even get that. Because they think that what they’re doing is using the sales tools that are available to them, their techniques, whatever they’ve learned, and they sell. And in reality, really good salespeople figure out what tool that person needs to make their decision. And by that person, I mean, the buyer, what that buyer needs to use from a tool standpoint to make their decisions.

And so if I’m selling to somebody like you, or if I’m selling to somebody who’s opposite of you, there’s a different way to sell. I personally like one particular style, but I can work with either, right? Right, guys, somebody that’s fast and making decisions, I have to slow them down something that’s slow that making decisions, I have to wait them out. So thinking about being you know, being a good salesperson, or not, isn’t so much about being this person that is has these characteristics of being a salesperson, it’s about fitting into what it is that the buyer needs.

And it sounds almost like being a chameleon, but it’s not, it’s giving them the tools, letting them make their decisions, based on the conversations you guys are having and making it so that they’re comfortable making their decision at some point. And that’s the hard part. People don’t understand that if you start to push people to make a sale, if I push you, somebody like you, not necessarily you, but if I push somebody like you, who wants to be analytical, to make a sale to make a decision, and you’re not ready, there’s no way in the world you’re gonna let me get you to buy, right, you’re gonna tell me get lost, and you’ll have a spike go somewhere else, or go the next day back to the same place, look at the same salesperson and go, Hey, I’m back, I want to talk to this person over here because I don’t want to talk to you. And I’m gonna buy it from them just out of spite. Because you know what, you wasted my time I’m wasting yours.

Lane 12:03
You know me well…Am I right, I’m not a good salesperson?

Rob 12:05
So, you know, those are, those are the characteristics to me is whether or not somebody’s good at sales. It’s literally taking your brain and thinking of yourself as somebody else besides who I am, I have to think not in terms of what I need, its I need to think in terms of what the person is buying needs. And so when you think about what a good salesperson is, if you really, really, really, really think about what is a good salesperson, who comes to mind?

Or when did you make a purchase that when you bought you walked away thinking I didn’t that person, that woman that guy didn’t sell me? I they helped me make make that I buy because I was very comfortable making the buy? I didn’t even think about it. Did you ever have you ever had that?

Lane 12:46
Not that comes to mind? Honestly.

Rob 12:48
Okay, so it doesn’t happen very often. I’ve had it once where not too long ago anyway, where I went to buy something I think we were buying our car is where we were and and there’s two kinds of situations. So let me back up here, what comes to mind is two things. One, I went to buy the car that we own now, one of the cars we own out and it was inexperienced. Unlike no other they they sat and they listened. They asked a lot of questions. They want to make sure we got what we needed.

What’s the purpose of buying this car? Why are we doing this? Is this what you want to do? You know, those types of questions. And they were really good about answering questions and being patient. And we went through the process. We walked away going, we got a pretty good deal. We’re happy, we may or may not have gotten a new deal. I have no idea. You know, you don’t know, but we felt like we did.

Recently we went back to the dealership, because they had this special going on, where like the interest for the payment was going to be less than half than what we got before based because of the times of you know, COVID and everything else, right? So while they’re going through this to bring them all the interest rates come down. So we go, does this make sense for us to basically buy another car and essentially get another car refinance, essentially, right?

By getting a new car, right? Probably crazy. But can we make the numbers work? We walked in with the attitude of I don’t think we can make the numbers work. But we might be able to make the numbers work. We sat down, salesperson comes over starts talking to us, suddenly the managers over here. And he’s asking all these questions that are irrelevant, or telling us things about this vehicle?

Well, I can get you in this one. And this one has these features. And here’s the reason why you should buy this one because and all these things and I’m like it means nothing. I just want to if I can get a better interest rate, and if I need to make my numbers work, show me the numbers work. And I was pretty clear. Show me that the numbers work. Didn’t listen, he was just one back on to but this one has a safety package. And this one has like a safety package.

I already know it’s safe. I already own one of these things. I just want to get another one that’s all and he wouldn’t listen and we walked out and we say no, we’re not doing this. So that’s the difference to me same dealership, different people. One was a good at listening, they walked through the process, obviously a different manager on shift because, right I mean literally that guy was like the woman who was selling us did a good job of getting all the data and information from us and making sure that we could answer those questions. And she worked us through a few things. But then when the manager came out, he did the same thing and solidify your decision.

So you have to think in terms of how do I make sure that I’m listening to that potential customer and what they need. And by the way, you have to do the same thing when they’re a customer too, right? You can’t just tell them everything and talk to it’s like they’re already a customer. So don’t treat them like they’re not a customer yet. So what sticks out of that anything you stick out to any of that stuff that you know, my story because stories sometimes, you know, boring as soon as they’re good. But if if if you think about all the stuff we just talked through, what sticks out is something that you can hang on to and use later.

Lane 15:54
It’s definitely paying attention to the, I guess, the communication style preference of the other person, which I think we’ll need to talk about that as well, at some point of how how do you recognize that.

Rob 16:06
that is on the list? You got it? All right. All right. And then the other thing that I also should mention is, is that sometimes when you’re in this process, it’s difficult to say certain things. And it’s difficult to ask a question, sometimes it’s hard. I mean, I had to ask a question one time where somebody said, hey, I, I can’t do this price, but I can do it at this price. And it was like $1,000, less than what I was selling it for.

And I’m like, I knew in my brain, I couldn’t do that. In all it all it takes is like five seconds for somebody to read, for me to read that person and hear what they’re asking me for real. And ask a question back. And that is it again, five seconds of just saying, let’s pretend I can do that. What happens? Nine times out of 10? The person goes, I’m just curious. And they don’t even need the $5,000 off, right? And then every once when there’s something there, well, then I can’t buy and I say well, okay, what should we do? Because at that point, I can’t do anything, and I’m not gonna change my price.

Lane 17:04
Yeah. And I guess that’s throwing it back in their court either say, Well, I guess we’re done talking or alright, I can come up or exactly, or something.

Rob 17:11
Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what happens. They have to make the decision as to whether or not we’re done or not, because if I cut it off, they’re gonna be mad at me. What are you doing walking away from me? Although I am subtly doing that, right. I don’t know what to do for that. There’s a good book, by the way, called, Never Split The Difference. If you’ve never heard of that book, that’s a great book to buy.

That’s, it’s about other things, but it actually applies in sales a lot. And it applies in that case, where somebody has to have some guts to stand up and say, No, I’m not gonna lower my price. And we’ll talk about that another time. But so does this help you become a better salesperson? That’s the other question. Just a good starting step.

Lane 17:48
I think that’s a it’s definitely a good good starting step, because it helps me understand kind of where where I am and, and how I’ve approached things in the past and how I should probably change to approach things in the future.

Rob 18:01
Okay. All right. Cool. And I think next episode, we’re going to talk about creating this sales funnel, if you will. And I don’t mean necessarily the website funnel, I mean, like a funnel of different ways businesses can come in, business can come in and how you’re going to get your customers how that what does that look like? How do you do it? And what are the steps that you need to take to get that funnel set up? So hopefully, you’ve learned something this week or this time? And, and then next time we’ll talk about that. Do we need to give you a homework assignment lane this time? Or do we keep you up too late last time?

Lane 18:35
I last couple of nights of sleep last time.

Rob 18:38
I figured you would have I figured you what I know that’s the kind of person you are, because you want to make sure you don’t look bad in front of everybody, which I appreciate because I don’t want to either, right. So all right. All right.

Lane 18:47
Some of us have to work harder than others, but…

Rob 18:49
I know Yeah, that’s no, trust me. I work really hard. So Alright, so until next time, we appreciate you guys listening and if you have any questions that you want to send in, please do so on the website and we will see you next time. Happy selling!

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