What Was Your Worst Sales Call?


I wanted to yell!

I felt my blood pressure rising and my veins preparing to pop! I began to struggle with balancing my desire to give him a piece of my mind… with my equally strong desire to stay employed.

Before going further, I suppose I should catch you up a bit.  🙂

Imagine this:

A 26 year-old, wet behind the ears salesman meets a 170 year old, crusty – mad at the world type of automotive repair shop owner…

Okay, maybe he wasn’t actually 170 years old… I am sure he wasn’t a day over 125.

As I walked in the door of his business, I had a smile on my face that screamed, “SALESMAN”. This was perfectly fine for him – because he loved to chew salesmen up and spit them out like a bad wad of tobacco. A pit bull would have been intimidated by this man. So, in my first few months in sales – I was no match for him.

The first phrase out of his mouth was, “What do YOU want, Sales Boy?”

Sales Boy?“, I thought.

Now when I think, “Sales Boy”,  I think of having a mighty “S” across my chest, wearing a cape and leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

However, I am reasonably convinced that my new friend did not mean it as a compliment.

I began, “Well, I wanted to see about setting up an appointment with you to…”

NO!” he shouted. “I don’t have time to listen to you about whatever the hell it is you’re selling!”

I replied, “But I handle a service that you already…”

“I DON’T CARE!” was his professionally articulated reply.

(Actually, I cleaned that up for you. He actually stated the fact that he didn’t give any freshly found horse manure.)

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Then he proceeded to help me with time management.

He asked me, ever so very kindly, to leave his place of business, since my time there would not be fruitful. He also wanted to make sure that I didn’t waste any of my valuable time by ever coming back to his repair shop either.


How thoughtful.


Okay… no, he didn’t exactly phrase it the way I just did. Professionalism prohibits me from getting more specific. I’m sure you get the idea.

I stood outside in his parking lot and considered several possibilities.

First, I could pick up “the brick of knowledge” and toss it through his window – giving him some “much needed and valuable information” about being that rude to any other human being.

The result of that decision would have been unemployment.

Second, I could have packed my sales bag, taken it back to my company and tossed it through their front window while yelling, “I QUIT!”

The result of that decision would have been a life lived “less abundantly”.

However, I didn’t take either course of action. I left and made my next sales call.


I will tell you on my next post.  Don’t miss it…

QUESTION: What would it take to make you quit sales, sales leadership or to close your business?