10 Out-of-Syllabus Lessons To become a Better Salesman

I had been hunting for a laptop for over 6 months; that brought me in close contact with some cool and some not-so-cool salesmen. We are all salesmen in one or the other way.

  • When you are at an interview, you are trying to sell yourself to your employer.
  • Marketing your blog is like selling your ideas for indirect returns.
  • Media Advertisements are the virtual salesmen; they try to make us believe that their product is something without which we can’t live without.

Maybe it’s the expose to the global audience and the power of twitter, or maybe some money power, I found that I have grown myself into more demanding customer who didn’t want to compromise on anything. Whatever it is, I found some salesmen better than the others, here is what I learnt on my way.

Common Sense is something which they don’t teach for MBA

Being a Better Salesman - What they do not teach at college

You are not the only guy who can spell “checkoslovaskia”

The first shop I went was the same place where I bought my desktop PC. I had known that guy for some 5 years now, so naturally, I trusted him. But he took me for granted which was ok with me at first, but I got pissed of in the end. I think he thought I wouldn’t think of another dealer, but he was wrong, I didn’t buy my laptop from him.

Lesson: Never take anyone for granted.

Don’t be the Smart ASS

I know that we all do business for profit; I didn’t go to any shop with the hope that he would give me a laptop for free. But some guys tried to make me feel as if they were doing a service to me, tried to make me believe that they are not taking any profits. What did they think?

Lesson: People are not dumb; never act smart.

People always like to see the Green Room

One of the salesmen I met, he told me how the system worked. Am not sure of the figures, but he was humble and told me some behind-the-scene stuffs. I talked with him for just about 25 minutes, and I started trusting him already. Well, Trust is good for business I guess. But of course, it depends on what you are selling. Telling others everything is not always a good idea, but it works at times. 😉

Lesson: Transparency helps in building trust.

Be a Walkie-Talkie – Not a Radio

The golden rule of great conversations is to be a good listener (Dale Carnegie). I liked those people who would listen to my needs; I guess everyone would love that. I spent more time with salesmen who listened to me, and more importantly, with those who took interest in me.

Lesson: Be an active listener.

You need to Customer as much as he needs you

One salesman never agreed with whatever I said, he said I was always wrong, that the machine I was looking for was not available in my country yet. How ignorant was he? I had got the quote from at least 5 other of his competitors and he says it’s not available? He lost a customer instantly. He should have at least made and attempt to tell me that there is a better model available.

Lesson: Never contradict anyone on his face even when he is totally wrong, be diplomatic; use your head.

One wrong Nail on the Deck – And down goes the Boat

I went to a dealer from where I had previously bought some hardware and modems. But then it was the shop owner who used to deal with me. When I went there this time, the owner was out of station, so an employee took me over. He knew nothing about selling a product, he scared me off, and they lost the order.

Lesson: The strength of the chain is in its weakest link. Hire the right employee and make sure he can do the job.

Let my wife do the Kissing

Most people would love to keep their personal life private. In the hope to build a better relation, some guys tried to ask me a lot about my life. Why should they care about what food I eat every morning? I would have loved if they told me how a quad-core processor would have been a better choice.

Lesson: Do not try to get too personal, because if you fail to do that, you actually fail at your job.

Raw Fish Tastes Good

I wanted a freaky laptop; I decided to get a Red colored one. One guy started telling me why a Red color would be a bad idea. I appreciate his views; Red wouldn’t look cool at a professional meeting. But hey, I am not going to Google with this laptop to discuss why they should give me PR10. Suggestions are good, but why should he bother to argue with me?

Lesson: Suggestions are OK, but boss is always right!

Don’t try to be the Big ‘D’

I don’t look like a grown-up myself, I don’t dress like one, and I don’t want to be one anytime soon. But hey, that doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve the best. Some guys failed to see that I was a potential customer and treated me as if I came there to ask for help. I helped myself out of the shop asap.

Lesson: Never under-estimate anyone. These days’ kids use iPhone to do math.

Money Speaks the Loudest

Money is not everything, but it is something. When you are selling the same products, a competitor with a lower price would definitely sell more. So when you price your products, learn the prices in town. Your customers are not dumb, give them the best deal and they will love you for that.

Lesson: Price your product well, more people would choose a cheaper product, if all other metrics are the same.

So that was the buying experience. Finally I ordered a Dell Studio 15 Laptop direct from Dell. Am waiting for the delivery, which might take over a week. Fingers crossed!

Hello, I am Arun Basil Lal. Thank you for reading!

I am a WordPress product developer and creator of Image Attributes Pro. I am passionate about solving problems and travelling the world.

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  1. TheAnand says:

    Most of the points you suggest actually make a bad sales man 🙂

  2. Amal Roy says:

    At last you managed to get a laptop. I was too looking for one since 3 years. I even started the website with the hope of making some money to get this. All i could do was to wait and wait. But now the doors started opening gradually. and i crossed my first 100 $ in adsense. and going good with the hope. We should never depend on others as self help is the best help. Learn about the product deeply, know its value, then shop that will give us some satisfaction after buying the product.

  3. Sriraj says:

    What a coincidence, I just got my Red Studio 15 laptop delivered on this monday, and Am typing this comment from it.
    Red color looks cool. I ordered it on 17th and got it on 22nd, so its exactly 5 days from the date of booking.
    I never went to any showroom but ordered it as soon as I saw a ‘Yours is a star performer Ad’ in a news paper.
    Will contact you on more about this through Gmail.

  4. Quakeboy says:

    Dale Carnegie huh ?? Welcome to H.T.W.F.A.I.P.F.C. 😀

  5. Man,
    At the age of 20 (I presume) you are already talking about some of the soft skills and professional requirements on what it takes to become a pro in what you do. At your age, all that I knew was little bit of coding and absolutely no soft skills till my employer trained me in some of those.

    Great post!


  6. Chat Business says:

    Good post! I suggest Anand is doing a follow up post on this one with the points he thinks makes a good sales man!

    Than he links back to you and me for the idea :mrgreen:

  7. Nihar says:

    Man great post…

    I agree with ajith. during our 20’s we just now how to code and some languages no soft skills.

  8. @ Amal:

    Congrats man, you are really picking up fast! So when is the treat? lol
    Laptop was a great dream indeed, its coming true!
    You said it right, self help is the best help and in times of need that would be the only help available, sad but true.. 🙂

    @ Sriraj

    At last we have something in common. Remember the days we used to fight over every post? Man, those were great days I should say!
    Its already been more than 5 days here, am not gonna get it till next week. Terrible waiting.


    Lol, Thanks for the membership, but hey! I was a fan since my school days, awesome blue-print, that’s what his books are 🙂


    Thanks mate, I got some soft-skill training at College. There was a programme called Campus connect at college, its a Infosys initiative, you must have heard of it. That course really helped me in handling people. I never used to talk to people before that one. You guessed it right, am 20. But at this age, I don’t know much coding 😉

    @Chat Business

    Lol, Anand is pretty pre-occupied I guess, else he would have clarified them in the comments itself. Well, he is more experienced, but these are what I felt. Maybe he will do it sometime 🙂


    Thanks bro! Something which I really notice about your comments is that, they are few in words, but when you do it, I feel it inside 🙂

    @ Nihar

    Hey, I dont know the coding part, a bit of C and CPP, that’s it. Thanks for the support, am trying to learn some coding anyway. It helps a lot in blogging. Hope you have realized it already!

  9. Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

    Don’t be the Smart ASS reminds me of some pharmaceteutical representatives who come to the hospital where I work to pitch their drugs. Some just keep talking and making useless claims as though their listeners spent 6 years in med school goofing around. One that keeps bugging me doesn’t relent in pitching cod liver oil as a good supplement for hypertensive patients. “Give Winofit to your patient and I promise you, his blood pressure would be down in a week!”. What the f**k!

    The other ones are “computer techies” that claim your pc is infected by a virus and that you need to install an antivirus. Next thing you know, you’re paying them $15 to $30 only for them to turn around and install a pirated antivirus or worst yet, a FREE antivirus like Avast. Aaaargh! I can bet your bottom dollar that I know a lot about computers than most i**ots here in Nigeria. Thanks to Google 😉

    Money Speaks the Loudest also reminds me of when I was doing my last shopping at the end of summer hols 2007 in London. I made up a list of things I needed to buy then researched all the major shops like Tesco’s, Wilkinson, Superdrug, Boots Asda for the cheapest offers. That research saved me about 50 pounds.

    P.S: Forgive my language. I just a lil bit emotional.The computer-antivitus bit happened to a friend not me.;)

    • It happens a lot. Some people think of us as dummies, when they should be thinking the opposite. Blogging taught me to think of others as 10 times better than me. It helps.
      P.S – I love when someone speaks like that. lol

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