Heckling Sales People

Do you love to make sales people look stupid? :)

Go on....

A sales consultant recently raised this concern and offered a suggestion on how to handle it:

"How do you handle the really smart guy in the back of the room that loves to make sales people look stupid? The best technique I’ve seen is to warmly encourage his questions. Since you likely can’t answer all of them, write down the questions and tell him that you’ll get with him after the presentation to either discuss in more detail or get back to him with the answers."

In my experience on both sides of the table, typically the goal is not simply making the sales person 'look stupid'. (this is not heckling the ump at a baseball game).

I hate to say this, because I know you will find this shocking, but sometimes sales guys don't what the hell they are saying or are simply lying.

Hello Arecont Friend,

That said, I actually think the tactic of saying "I'll get back to you with answers" is a decent one if the sales person does not know how to handle it, but a knowledgeable technical person can fatally wound a sales person who cannot properly handle criticism, especially in a first meeting.

Thoughts?

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The Most Interesting Trainer In the World

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*** **** ** *** ****. *** *** ****. ** *** probably **** ***** ******* **** **** ********** ********** *** ***** to *** ** **** **** *****.

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(********* *** *** ******* ** *** ***** ********** ******* *******/******* being *******)

****** ** ***** ** **** ***** ****** *** **** **** Seymour. * **** *** **** ******* ** ****** *** **** you **** ***, ** ****** ***** ** "*** ****."

**'* **** ** *********. **'* ******* ****, *** **** ** the **** ** *** ****. ** ********* ***** ** **** back **** *** **** *******, ************ "********" *** *** **** message. **'* ********* *****, ****** **********, *** ****** ** ** the ******** ****** ** *** ****. *** **'* ******** *****. Not ******, *** ** ******* *** ****** ** ** ********** power. *** **** ***** ** ****** *** **** ****** *** he's ******, ****** **** ** **. *** *********, ***** *********** correct, *** ***** *** ********* ** *** **********. **'* ****** to **** ***** ** *** ******** ** ******* **** ***** cruel ** *** *** *****.

*** **** *** ** ******* *** ******* ** **** *** should ** ***** ******, ***** ** ** ** ********. **** your ***** **** *** *****, ****** *** ***. *****, *****, study **** ********, *******, ***********, *** ********. *** ****** ***** training. ***'* "**** **" **** **** ***** -- ***** ***'* work **** *******. *** *** ** ******** ** *** **** there **. *** **** ** **** **** *****.

(* **** ****: *** ***** ****** *** ****** **** *** good ** "*******" * ************ **** ****** ** ******* ****'** never **** ***** ** ***** ******** *******)

******** *** *** ********, **** *** **** **** ** **** with *******:

- ****** *** ***** ******** *** *******. As his name suggests, this will be an endless effort. No matter how much you give him, Seymour will always want to SEE MORE. So don't try to answer all his questions -- there isn't enough time in the entire day. And you will never get anywhere by "getting back" to him later. He's usually not the decision maker anyway. There is no benefit to him recommending your product, and he's worried about taking blame if he does and then your stuff doesn't work, slick.

- **** *** ** *** **** ** ******* *** *********. This requires the knowledge base to counter Seymour's arguments. This likely won't work because 1) You aren't as smart as he is; and 2) You will only create an enemy who will work as hard as he can to defeat you after you leave. He can't say "yes" to your product but he sure as heck can get other people to say "no" after you leave.

- ********* ***. After one of his more damaging questions/comments, announce that you feel like you are on a game show. Address him as Alex Trebek for the rest of the presentation. If the rest of the audience doesn't like him, they will laugh at his expense and shut him up, but you will have created a really smart enemy. Not cool. Worse, they could rally to his assistance as one of their own and turn on you en masse. Also not cool. Yet another way was mentioned earlier in this thread. After you leave, complain to his superiors about how "toxic" his presence was and earn a really smart enemy for the rest of your career.

- ******* ***. Join forces with him. Give him what he wants, which is recognition. Acknowledge, sincerely, his expertise and get him on your side. This is easier than it sounds -- it's where he wants to go anyway. Grab one of his comments that suits you and respond with something like:

"****'* ******* *****, **. *******, ***(**** ******** **** *******)."

"*'* ** **** *** ******* **** **, **. *******, ******* most ****** ** **** ******** ***'* ********** **** *** **** said. *** *** ****** ****, ******* * ***** *** ********* it **** ****."*** *** ****. ******* ** *** ****** ***, ******* *******, segue **** **** **** ************.

"**'* ** ******* ** **** ******* **** **. *******'* ***** of ********** ** *** **** *** *** **** ** ******* a ******* ***** ****..."(***** *********** **** **** *****).

*** ***'* ** **** ** ** ** **** **** **** or *****, *** ** ******* ****** *** * ***** **** you ***'* ******, ***,"**. *******, **** ** *** **** ****** ********** **** ********** that **** **** **** *** ***** ***. ******** ******, *** I'm ****** ********** ** ***** ***** **** ***** ** **********."*** *** ****, ********** *** ** *** ******, *** ***** back **** **** ************. ******* *** ***** ** ** ***** some **** ** *** ******* **** *** *** ***** **** and **** ** ******* ****** * ******** ** ****** (***** is *** *** *** **** *** **** **** ** *****). He ***'* **** ** ** *** ** **** *** ***** which ** **** ** *** ****** ** ** ******.

**** *** *** ******, ****** *** ***** ** *******, *** you ****, *** ********* ****,"**** ***** ***** ** * ****** *** ******** *** **** part ** *** ************ / **** ******** / *** ********* we **** *****. ***'* **** *** ** *** ***** *** break."** *** *****, ****** *** ** *** **** ** **** your ****** *** **** *** *** ****** ** **** **'* stumped *** ****. **** **** *** ********* *** ***** *** for *** ********. ******* **** ******, *** ******* ******* *** argument, *** *** *** ***** ** ******* *** ******* **** certain ******** ******* **** *** *** ** **** **** ** your ************.

***** **** ***** ***** **, ** **** ** ****** ** paying ********* ** ***. ** **** ** *********** ** *** head **** **** **** ****** ** * **** **** ************ for ***. *** **'* *******for *** instead of against ***. Delay the topic up until right before a break or the end of the presentation. Or otherwise limit his floor time by saying something like, "*** ****** *** *********** ** ***** ** ******* ** *** three ******* ** **** ****, ** *'* ***** ** **** Mr. ******* **** ** ***."***** *** *** ** ******,"**** ****"***** ** **** **.

**** *** *********** **** ** ** *** ******** *** ** the ****, **'** **** ****** ** **** *** **** ******. Chances *** ** **** ** ******** ******* *** **** **** presentation ** **** *****. ** ***, *** ******* ** ***** making *** **** ********, **'* ****** *** ** *** *******:

- **'* *** ******** ***; *** ****** *** ********.
- ******* ** * *********.

****** *** ******. ** ***** *** ******* *** *** **** Seymour. *** ***'* *** **** ***.

*********** ************, ****'* * ********* ******* *** ***** ********! ****** for *******.

***, *** **** ****** **** *** *** *****...

********** *********, ***** ******** ** ** ********* ******* ** ** the *.*. ** ****** ****** ** * ******* ***********, ** is ** ***** ******** **** ** ** ** **** *** what ** ***...

*** *** *** ******** **** **** *** ******* ** *** heckled?

*** ** *** ***** *** ******* ****'** *****?

** *** *** *** ******* **** ********! *** **** **** been ************ ** *** '******** *** ** *** ****'

*** **** ****'* *** ** *** *** ** **** ******* listen ** *** **** ** *** ****** ***************.

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*** ********* ********** **** **'* ********** **** ** ******** *** self-deprecation...

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*** ** ******, ** ** ** *****...

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******

*

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*********** (#*******) ************

** **** **** ****! * **** ******** ** *** ******** and *** *** ******** **** ************ ** *** ****.

*********** ************:

*** ****** ** **** "*******". **** ***** ********* ** ******** in * ***** ************ ** ***** *** ***'* ** ********** heckling, *** **** ******* *** ** * *******.

*** ***** ** **********: **** ** *******'* **-******* ** *** audience ***'* ***** *** *** ******, ** ** ******** ***'* influence ** ****** ***. ****** *** *********, *** ***'* *** Seymour **** *** *** *****. ** **** ******, *** *********** manufacturer's ******.

*** **** ***** ***'* ******** ***********. ** ** ******* ********(*) in * ****** **** **** ***** *** *********** ** ********* trip ***/******* ** ***** *** ********** ******* ** ** ******* innocent ** ******.

** **** ** **** ****** *** *** ****** ****** ** the ******* '**** **** - *** ****', ******* *** ****** of *** **** ******* ********** ** *** ********'* **** ** using ********** **** ******** *** ********, *** ** ******* *** well ***** "*-**!".

*** ** ***** **** ** ****** *** ******** *** **** him **** ******* *** *** *****-****** *******.

** ***** *** *** ******, *** **** **** **** ******** to ********* *** ********, *** ************* ***** ** * ***. to ***** *** ******** *** ******* ** ****** *** *** fan ****** ****.

***** **** **** *** *** ******* *** ** ***** ******* to ** *** '******' ****.

* ****** ****** *** *** ******* **** ****, ****** *** baiting *** **** *** ****** **** *** ******* ***** ***'* be ********, ** ******** ****** **** '*** * ******* * said **** ****** **** ****** ***** **** **** ****?"

**** **.

*

*'** *********** **** **** **** *****. *'** **** ******* ** "Seymours" *** **** ** *** **** **** ** ****** ** being **** ** ***** ******* *****. *'** **** ******* **** salespeople *** ********* ***'* **** ******** ** *** ***** ***** product. ****** **** ******* ******, *'* **** **** ******** ** heckle ***** ***********. *'* **** ****** ** ******, ** ** the **** ***** **** ** ** ****** *** ***** *** presentation ** **** ** ** ** ****. ** **'* * minor ***** *** * ***** **** *** *********** *** *** other ********* **** ** ********* *** ** **** *** ****, I'll *** ** ********* * **********, *** ** **'* ***** to ***** *** **** ** *** *******, * ***'* ******, becasue **** ** *** *****.

* ** **** **** * *******, ******. * **** ********* presentations *** ******* ********* **** ***, ******* ** ****** ***** forever **** *** ****** ** **** * *****, *********** ***** and ******* ** *** ******* ** *** ******* ** ***** the ******** ****** **** ***** *** **** *** ** ****** a *** ************ ** * **** ** *********.

** *** ** ******** ******** ****, "*'** *** **** ** you" ***** *****, *** **** ******** *** **** ********. ** the ************ ** ************, * **** ***, **** ****** *** firmly, "*'* *****, *** * ***'* **** *** ****** ** that ********". **** *'** ** **** *** **** **** ** kids, ******* ** *** *** ** *** ***, **'* *** end ** *** ***. *** **** **** ****** ** **** crazy ****** *****.

*'** ****** * *** ** ******* *** ********* * **** for * ********* ***** ***** *** ************ ** **** (**** is, ** *** ********* ** ******** ****** *** ***********). ****, I **** *** *** **** * **** *** *** ********* to ****** ** ********* ******* ******* **-***-**** *** ******* ** emotional. **** ***, * ***'* *** ** ******* ********'* ****, and ** ***** ****** **/*** * ***** **** ** * presentation, ***** ******/*******'* **** ***** ** *** ******.

*** **********, **** ********: "** *** *** ** **** ******** happy, *** *** ** ****** **-*** *****".

*'** ******* ***** ****. ** * *********, *'* ****** **** people ********* ** *** *** ******* ********* ***** ********* ** still ****.

*********, **** **** ***** *** * ******** ***** ********* ********* 20 ******* ***, * ***** "**** ****** ****'* ******** ** a **** *'** **** *** *** **** ** ******* ***** waiting ** *** **** ********."

* **** ** ******* ******* ******* * **** ****** ** a ***** ***, *** * ******* **** ******** *******.

**** ***** *****. * ********* ******* **** ***** ******** ** engaged *** ********* ** *********, *** ***** **** *** ****** lay ******* ******, ******* ********* *** *****, ******** ********?

******** *** ***********, ***'** **** ** **** *** *** **.

******** **** *** ***, "*'* *** ** *****," ******** **** life *********** *** *** ***** *******. ******** *** ******** * course ** ****** ***** ******** **************** ** *********, **'* * sales *****. ** *** **** *** ********* ** ****** ** all ****** **** ************, *** *** ***** ******* ** *****.

******** ************ ******* ***** *******, ** *** ** ********** ** brave *** ********, *** ***.

******* ***** ***, * *** **** ** * **** **** was ******* ** * *******. ****** *** ***** ******* ***********, this ****** ******** *** **** ******** ****** *********, *** **** of *** ******** ********* **** (* ** ** *********** ******** felt) ****** ** ** **** **** **** ******** ***** *** departure, **** ***** *** ******* *****.

** ****** **** ** ** *** ****, *** ** *** exhilarating ** ********* *** *********** ******* *** ****** ** ********** and ** ******* *******. *****, ********** ***** ***** * ***** compliment ***** * ******* *********** ****** *** ** ** *********. After *** ****-***** ******, * **** **** ****** ****** **** outside *** ************, *** **** * ****** ******** ** *** success, **** ** ** ********* *** **** , "***** ******** you're ***** ** **** ****, ***!" ** ******* *** ***** where * *** ********* ****** ***** ** *** ******, ******* the ***** *** **** *** ******* ******* *** * *** equal ** *** *********.

*** **** *******, ********* *** ******** ******* *** ***********, *** perhaps ** ******** **** *** ******** ************ **** ** *** tough, *******, *** **********. **'* ******** **** ** *** *****, although ***** *** ***** ***** * ********, *** ******** ******* of *** ******* ******* ******** **** ******* **** **** *** less ****** *** **** **** **** *******. * ********** **** a ****** ** **** ********** ********** **** * *** *********** had **** ****** ******* ***** ** *********, **** **** **** entered ******* ******* **** *** **** ***** ** **** ***** of (*** **** ** ***** ** *******) *** ***** *******. Risk ********** *** ********** ****** ***** ******* *********, *** ** a *********** *****, *** **** ** ******** ** ******* *** defend ***** *********, ** **** *** *********. * **** ***** that ******** * *** ********, *****, *** ****** * ********** program, ** ********* *** *** **** *** ***** ** **** it ****** ******* ******* ******. **** ***** ** * ****** of ******** ***** *** ** *** *** **** *****.

*****, ** ** **********, *** ****** **** ** **** ****** that ** **** **** ******* **** *** ***. *******, ** every *********** ** * *******, ***** * ****** ** ******** to ****** ************ *** **** *** ***** ** ******* ** even **** ** ***** ********? **** *** ******* "****" **** often, ******** ** ***** **** ** *** ************.

****** ****, * ***** **** * ****** *** ** ******** toward ********** ****** **** **** ************* ** *** *********** **** a ****** ** ************ *** ****** ** ***** *********** ************ with *** **** ** ********** ************ ****** **** ********** *** fixing ****. **** *** ***** **** ** ************ ******* ** manage, ***** ** ***** **** ** *** ****.

* ***** ********** *** ******** *****, *** ** *******, ** colleagues ***** ******** ********* **** *********. ***** ** ** ********* accurate, ******* ************ ********* ** ***'* ********** *** ***** ***'* opportunities ** ******* **** ** ******** ***'* ********* *** ************ as * **** ******. ***** **** **** ******* ** ******* the ******.

* **** *********, * **** **** **** * ***'* **** until *'* ***** * ********.

* ** **** ******* **** ************ ***** *** * ******* that **** ********* **** * ******** **** *** ***'* **** that ** ** ** **** **** ******** ** ***** ** down *** ********** ******** ** ******. **** **** *** **** be *****. ** ** **** ** ***** ** *** *** questions **** ******* ** **** ***** ** **** ** *** edge **** ******. * **** ****** **** ***** **** ******** when * *** ** *** *****. *** ******* ** *** only *** ** *****. ;)

** * ********* ********* ******, ** **** ** ***** ** to ***** *** ** *** ********* *********** **** * ***** person. ************* ************* *************.

*****, *********** *****. *** ***** * ******* ** **** * lot ** **** *** ********* *********** **********. ***** ** ***** I *** ** ** ***** ***** *** *** ***** ******* from ****. * ** *********** ***** *** *******, *********** ****** they ****. *********, ****'* *** ** *** *** (* **** some ****** ***** *** **** **** ******** ****) *** *** average *** ******* ** ** ** ****** ***** **** * technical / ******* **********.