Sales is both art and science, and probably a few other things, too. People work for years and decades to become good at it. And as our 2016 Big Survey suggests, there are plenty of ways to be bad at it.

We asked you, our readers, to help us come up with a list of the “10 Commandments of Sales,” and we received 398 responses.

What’s clear from your answers is that you have, at least from time to time, seen people get things really wrong.

There are some solid, fundamental guidelines, like Commandment No. 1: “Thou shall not pre-judge the customer.” That’s a good one to keep in mind, as even experienced salespeople can fall into this trap.

But look at No. 8, which focuses on not being on your cellphone or chewing gum on the sales floor. It’s sad that this one even has to be a commandment — you’d think it would be a given for any serious salesperson.

Unfortunately, even No. 8 seems pretty mild once you read through our additional list of “lesser-known, but no less important, commandments.”

It’s shocking that anyone would break commandments such as “Thou shall not roll your eyes at a customer” and “Thou shall not have sex in the office with employees at the store.” But apparently these transgressions are not unheard of.

Here’s hoping that your sales staff members are following all of the commandments — both the big 10 and the lesser-known ones!

 

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF SALES
ACCORDING TO OUR READERS:

I
Thou shall not pre-judge the customer. (28%)

II
Thou shall not lie to the client. (19%)

III
Thou shall listen to the client and not talk too much. (14%)

IV
Thou shall not ask “Can I help you?” (10%)

V
Thou shall not discuss politics or religion at work. (7%)

VI
Thou shall not ignore a client in your showroom. (7%)

VII
Thou shall smile when talking to a client in person or on the phone. (6%)

VIII
Thou shall not be on your cellphone nor chew gum on the sales floor. (5%)

IX
Thou shall not discount the product. (4%)

X
Thou shall not bash the competition. (4%)


... AND 10 LESSER-KNOWN, BUT NO LESS IMPORTANT, COMMANDMENTS:

  1. Thou shall not eat donuts on the sales floor.
  2. Thou shall not roll your eyes at a customer.
  3. Thou shall not have sex in the office with employees in the store.
  4. Thou shall not forget to check tops before leaving home to make sure what shows when you’re bending over.
  5. Thou shall not be disrespectful, even if the customer is goofy as hell.
  6. Thou shall not listen to your wife’s comments about customers.
  7. Thou shall not bother me while I’m polishing turds at the bench.
  8. Thou shall leave thy personal “stuff” at home.
  9. Thou shall not try to convert customers to veganism.
  10. Thou shall not cry and grab onto the customer’s leg.

This article is an online extra for INSTORE Online.

 

 
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