10 Pet Peeves of Every Salesperson


Sales. Great money if you’re good, a bad time if you’re not. Although every industry has a salesforce, the annoying things salespeople have to deal with on a regular basis are fairly consistent. Here are the top 10 pet peeves of every (or most) salespeople!

1) Automatic distrust – While there is a segment of the sales world that conducts business in a deceitful fashion, the vast majority of salespeople are hard-working professionals. Unfortunately, the bad apples spoil the perception of the profession by the general public, and are an annoying thing to overcome.

2) Useless leads – “The leads are weak!? You’re weak!” Sometimes that’s not true, and sometimes the leads really are weak. If you’ve ever spent weeks dialing disconnected numbers and recycled call sheets then you know that not all leads are created equal. Some sales reps blame the leads as a crutch for their own shortcomings, but the reality is that some leads are just plain awful.

3) Dishonest customers – Many customers think that stretching the truth or flat-out lying will get them a better deal, and salespeople frequently have to deal with the consequences. Dishonest customers make the salesperson’s job more complicated, and are just another obstacle that they need to overcome to succeed.

4) Bad sales support – Once a salesperson closes a deal, their job is far from over. If you work in an industry that has a sales-support staff that keeps dropping the ball (which is not at all uncommon), you’ll find that you’re spending more time trying to reassure the customer, or making sure that they don’t cancel the deal than you are prospecting for new business.

5) Changing compensation plans – The comp. plan always changes, but it’s not always for the better. While shaking things up is good from time to time, many changes to the way salespeople get paid can complicate things, weigh some aspects more favorably than others, and oftentimes simply cut the salespeople’s pay. The annoying part is that every change is always presented as a way “to help you make more money.” Sure..

6) Management that gets in the way – Bad management isn’t unique to sales, but since it’s an industry where your pay is determined by your performance, any impediments from poor management have direct repercussions for how you are going to pay your bills. Good management leads and offers support, bad management criticizes, complains, and orders you around. Choose wisely.

7) Overcoming marketing exaggeration/incompetence – Many salespeople don’t realize just how much of a roadblock poor marketing can be. Whether it’s wasting budgets without bringing any qualified prospects through the door, or making false promises that the salespeople then have to try to explain, marketing that isn’t in sync with what sales is doing can be at best a distraction, and at worst another unnecessary objection to overcome.

8) Time wasters – There is not a single salesperson out there who enjoys wasting hours, weeks, or months talking to someone who has zero intention of buying but goes through the motions anyway. While it’s all part of the job, time-wasters can be infuriating as they literally cost you money by siphoning your precious time away from actually productive work.

9) Negative reinforcement – While most salespeople would think that negative reinforcement isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since the fear of failure can be a powerful motivator, they would also agree that they don’t need to hear about what is going to happen if they don’t succeed a million times from upper management. We don’t need to be constantly reminded of how we will not get a check this month, lose our job, or any other number of awful things that happen when you’re not successful, because we are already thinking about it constantly ourselves.

10) Be-backs – The be-backs left on the be-back bus and they’re never coming back. Customers who promise to come back, call back and everything else usually don’t. It’s a natural phenomenon for people to promise that they’ll come back in order to make the salesperson feel better, or to be left alone. But it’s something a seasoned salesperson has heard thousands of times, and it’s certainly a pet peeve!


The Sales Side is a website for salespeople. Please subscribe to our e-mail list and follow us on Facebook!