Salespeople cannot hold a grudge against prospects (potential buyers). Those that do, frustrate themselves and therefore their job. Here are three reasons why.

Prospects see all salespeople as one

“You people lied to me. Yes! You denied me a loan after promising me heaven! You are all liars!”

This barrage is unceremoniously levelled at the salesperson who has just stated, “My name is Kageche and I’m from THIS Bank.” Now, when that salvo is blasted, the inexperienced reaction is to cringe, (‘How can he speak to me like that!?’). Or, to become defensive, (“I wasn’t the one that made that promise.”). Neither of these is productive. They both lead to what a seller cannot afford to. Salespeople cannot hold a grudge

Also, they both shrink you as a seller and neither gets you the sale. Worse still, others within hearing shot are now ‘poisoned’ against you. You see, the prospect doesn’t care. He harbours a grudge (which, unlike you, he can) and you (and all other sellers coming his way) represent the object of his frustrations. It doesn’t matter too that the ‘injustice’ was meted out by another bank. “You are all liars”. (Read more on such ‘historical injustices’, and how to resolve them, here.)

It’s not you; it’s the service you represent. As salesperson quit holding a grudge

This holding of a grudge is more prevalent with a service than product. In service industry the seller represents the ‘product’ she is selling. It’s what she says that holds sway. With a product the attention tends to shift to the product capabilities much more than the seller. Those selling a service must be conscious of this.

salespeople cannot hold a grudge

But even then, when push comes to shove, holding a grudge denies you the ability to discern. Many times it’s the service not you.  For instance, “That, Kageche, we can talk about”, the seller says. The other product you were selling, no. In fact, come over.” Unbelievably, that statement is made by a prospect that, before, avoided you like the plague.

Why? Because you were selling life insurance and now you are selling travel services (car hire, hotel bookings, safaris etc.). Now, if the seller had held a grudge against the prospect because he was avoiding her while selling insurance, she would have missed an opportunity to sell here.

You earn respect when you don’t hold a grudge as a salesperson

“Juma is a true salesman. Imagine I told him off but he still says hi. He does not hold any grudges. Much as I didn’t buy from him, I continue to refer prospects to him.” This is a statement of respect, not pity.

Any experienced seller has come across such a prospect. In fact, some even know of prospects who, having vented, and seeing how you handle issues, realise they were in the wrong. Now they look for ways to show remorse, and possibly buy from you. Why? Because their circumstances have changed, and they have discovered you are not a liar.

It is important that the seller give them a dignified exit point. But to be respected you cannot be a doormat. It means holding your own, not holding a grudge.

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