I read this post on Bnet and got a chuckle out of a couple of the points and thought I would share this article by Geoffrey James with you.  I especially laughed when I read don’t flirt with the admin…who does that?!  Anyway, here are the 8 things not to do:

  1. Flirt with the admin.  It may seem tempting, but unless you’ve got soap-opera-quality looks, chances are you’re only going to annoy (or even alarm) the admin, who will tell the boss.  Fix: Stay polite, friendly and respectful.
  2. Talk more than you listen.  Initial sales calls are all about relationship building and gathering information, which you can’t do if your mouth is moving. Fix: Get curious about the customer and ask questions.
  3. Comment on the memento. The last 372 people who came into that office remarked about the signed baseball on the desk.  Ho-hum…  Fix: Research the prospect and ask about the prospect’s job.
  4. Pretend to drop by.  Who are you kidding?  Do you think that it’s going to cushion the rejection if you pretend that it’s not a sales call?  Fix: Have something important to say or sell that justifies your presence.
  5. Answer your cell phone.  Ouch! Ouch!  What were you thinking?  How could any telephone call be more important than a real live prospect?  Fix: Turn it off and leave it in your briefcase.
  6. Overstay your welcome. Your prospect has hundreds of other things that he or she could be doing, rather than spending time with you.  Fix: Set a time limit for the call.
  7. Let the meeting meander.  This isn’t the time for a wandering conversation that slowly gets to the point or a long series of complicated questions.  Fix: Provide brief agenda of how you expect the call to proceed.
  8. Argue with the customer.  If the customer doesn’t agree with an important point, arguing is only going to set that opinion in stone.  Fix: ask the customer why he holds that opinion; then listen.

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