Hard Sell Tactics DON’T WORK

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 in Marketing | 3 comments

Sales FunnelI think most people can agree that hard sales tactics are intimidating and uncomfortable, so I never encourage anyone to go for that sell from the onset. Any good sales person probably already knows this.  Equally, once you’ve entered into a project or partnership with someone, I think it’s still important not to be pushy and to give equal respect to your vendors or clients.

Recently we contracted a vendor to help with a project and let them know that our resources are a bit limited so we wanted to get things going but we didn’t know what pace we’d be able to work at. I thought that was pretty clear when we started the project. We started to get emails about the project and asking us repeatedly for time lines and action to be taken, so I responded that our resources are very limited and we’re working on it. That seemed to do the trick.

Apparently not. I received a pretty pushy email today explaining that they need dates and they have other projects too so they can’t just leave this one hanging and they have internal deadlines and such that we need to cooperate with. I didn’t initiate this project, so I’m leaving it to the person who did initiate it to respond.

So, here’s my gripe…we already said we couldn’t jump right to it, so why are you? Why don’t you just give more attention to your other projects and set this one on a back burner like we have? We’ve already entered the contract with you, and we don’t have any intention of bailing on it. We just need a bit of space and some time to get the other departments here as excited as we are about this.

What to do?  I thought I was clear before, but I guess not so… how do you handle this kind of pushy vendor?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. TeasasTips

    Looks like you have a vendor that is being persuaded to squeeze you by his/her boss. I’ve had bosses like that. These bosses, want their sales people to appear to be in control of the situation, when all they are doing is chasing a potential deal away. I’ve lost deals that way because of quotas, and unrealistic goals set by the sales department. Basically, tell your vendor, that if he/she doesn’t give you some breathing room, you may have to seek out their competition because at least the competition is willing to work under our terms.

  2. JoyntHeir

    I agree TeasasTips. This salesperson and/or their boss needs to be told to step back. But, I would leave it to the person who initiated it. If the vendor continued to hassle me personally, I might become very sharp with them. Definitely, if they don’t back off, don’t use them again.

  3. Nate Moller

    I can see both sides I guess – if I have lots of projects I’m working on and there are a few that are just dragging their feet, I may want to move things or move on. Deadlines are how small to medium sized businesses get bigger: they set and achieve goals consistently.

    However, if you were clear up front that things were going to be slow but also signed a contract, what’s this guys deal? Sounds like a car salesman who’s trying to hit a vendor goal so he can get a bigger spiff at the end of the month. Let me know how it works out.


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