Good at Talking Does Not Means Good at Sales


Originally Posted On 2007 at "Media Singapore" (

Good at Talking Does Not Means Good at Sales

In the past, long long time ago, it is believed that people good at talking are born-salesman.

Through my last few years’ experience in managing sales staff, I beg to differ the old saying.

I used to have a sales staff by the name of KL. He is very eloquent and well-learned. Armed with a few degrees, he came to me and wanted to join me to do sales. Seeing his sincerity and very keen to learn, I took him in. I trained him up, gave him the knowledge of the magazine he will be selling, and even share with him the tricks to selling ad space in publications. After the first 2 weeks of mentorinig him, he is on his own.

He is like any other sales person, goes for appointments, send proposals, calling and following up with customers…etc. But guess what, affter 2 months, no sales. Whenever I ask him about a particular client, he would have good answers, that makes me hard to trace the problem on why he is not bringing any sales in. Then 1 day, I decided to follow him out, secretly. From the office, he took a cab, i followed in my car. The cab does not stop in some industrial park or town area, but in offtown Sengkang. KL is going home?????? Itell myself, probably he forgotten something and needs to retrieve it urgently, but after 1 hour, he is still at home. I called him on his mobile, he picks up and say he is in a meeting and promised to call me back. I obliged. Interesting and I wonder what is he up to.

5 minutets later, he called and he says he is in a meeting with client "x". Then I ask him how is it? He replied calmly and convincingly that the clients will not be advertising due to budget constraints. I almost fainted, what a liar. Lying through his nose, super-duper professional liar! I kept my cool and returned back to office. At the end of the day (same day), he called me and mentioned that he’s got a late appointment with a client (Y) in town and will not return to office after that. Bingo! I know that client as the person is a JC friend of mine. I text my friend and asked him how is the meeting with KL, as expected, my friend apparently did not agree to meet KL on that day.

Too much. I terminated KL the next day.

Why this story came back to me is purely because of a recent sales staff that is giving me headaches. The management views him as a person who is good at sales and a responsible person. Since I started working with this guy, I felt otherwise. First, he does not have the bearings of someone who can lead a team, he does not answers your questions when asked, instead, he speaks of 101 things that are not related to the question, he has no respect for me, he went to approach people above me when he knows I am to disagree on the things that he needs, he does not follow rules and policies that i have set, he acts selfishly on many occassion, he believes flattery works, he talk alot and loud, pretend to look busy when he is not, tells me he is somewhere when he is actually elsewhere…etc. The list goes on.

The best part, staff under him disrespected him. For he has done nothing to earn their repect. Eventually, I asked him to go…..

Good at talking does not means good at sales.

Right now. I have a sales staff who is so-call good at talking too. Sighz. BS is a typical everyday-type of salesman. He has joined the company before me. He is a senior executive with a working title of an assistant manager. Sighz, being the senior as he is, he thinks people like myself and the new sales team that came after him is not as good as he is. The thing is, he may not be aware that people picks up things and learn at various speeds. In fact, given time, the 2 junior will surpass him in a few months given my experience in judging.

And he speaks well, sort of. If U ever ask him a question, chances you get multiple answers that is not relevant to your quesion at all. Being the long winded person he already is, he will keep talking and stray off the topic all the time, and You feel like just walking away. Yes, tat is exactly how I felt whenever he called me on my mobile. The management used to think highly of him, but recently so much has happened and BS being the source, gets all the bad publicity. He is now heavily discounted by his juniors, his boss (dats me), and the rest of the management. Somehow, the whole company is affected by his nonsense. Sighz. He is good at talking, very well, but a fool in playing politics. I have "played" politics and was "trained" in some of the worst media environment, I would have easily beat him hands down if politics is the way to go around.

He does not respect me as his superior, he do not respect his juniors as individuals, he speaks bad things about the management, he complains all day about the systems, he ignored my sales training, he never returns to office in the evenings, he is always at his "client" premises, he do things his way (different from the rest of us), he is just weird.

Still he is good at talking.

Good at talking does not means good at sales.

Maybe he should be a door-to-door salesman selling tupperware to housewives.


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