You know that feeling you get when fingernails scrape a chalkboard? Salespeople can do things that prospects find just as annoying.

Here are 10 things salespeople do that prospects and buyers really hate. Make sure that none of these behaviors are part of your approach.

  1. Claiming that no competition exists.
    Rarely does a product or service have zero competition. In fact, it’s quite likely your competitor is showing the same product made by the same company that you are presenting.
  2. Claiming that their product is the next big thing.
    It’s great to be enthusiastic. However, buyers react best to realistic claims they can believe.  Expect them to be skeptical when you tell them that your new Internet of Things motion detector will make the cows in the barn produce more milk.
  3. Talking about the high demand for their product or service.
    Buyers simply don’t care about the demand for your product or service until they decide they need it. Even then, the demand for the product or service doesn’t carry much weight and will rarely influence the buyer’s decision regarding which company they’ll do business with.
  4. Pushing products or services that simply aren’t right for the prospect.
    Salespeople that push products or services that aren’t needed waste time. It’s not wise to push snow blowers on people that live in Phoenix, for example.
  5. Neglecting to fix spelling and grammatical errors in your correspondence.
    There is no way to look smart to others when you write like an idiot. Use spellcheck. Use proper grammar. Avoid slang terms. And don’t address any correspondence to “owner” or “occupant.” Use personalization with messages tailored to the recipient and watch results soar.
  6. Calling constantly, being demanding and not letting up.
    It makes no sense to put undue pressure on prospects. You can be reasonable, patient and understanding without being a pushover or wasting your time. The prospect understands that the deal is important to you; you need to understand the prospect’s schedule and act accordingly.
  7. Trying to be funny and cute, instead of direct and straightforward.
    With pets, cuteness can be adorable. And who doesn’t love a good comedian? For salespeople, though, cuteness and humor rarely work; in fact, it usually becomes irritating. Buyers don’t have time for that crap and, if you were any good at it, you’d most likely be on stage instead of selling. Buyers want to know how you can help them solve their needs and/or problems and they want to know why you are the perfect person and company to work with. And here’s the crucial part: buyers are busy and want you to get to the point, correctly and quickly.
  8. Being deceptive when trying to gain an appointment or information.
    Attract interest in your services in an honest fashion. Don’t be deceptive when trying to gain an appointment. A pet peeve of most buyers is salespeople that feign interest in their services only to attempt to switch gears and pitch theirs.
  9. Displaying a superior or bad attitude.
    Believing that you are entitled to a sale is a turnoff and the wrong approach to take. Telling your prospect about the fight you had with your spouse or your kid’s latest scrape on the playground isn’t something a prospective buyer really cares to hear. Be polite, show proper respect and focus on the customer’s issues, not your own.
  10. Talking like a salesperson.

Buyers aren’t impressed with your fancy jargon that you assume they understand. They don’t care about your company mission statements, the “skill sets” of your team, your “balanced scorecard” or your Six Sigma initiatives. Buyers want to know how you can help them in plain and simple English (and increasingly in Spanish). Try acting like one person trying to help and understand another. You’ll be amazed at the positives that come from such an approach.

I’m quite confident that there are more than just 10 things salespeople do that buyers dislike. We invite you to share your favorites to be added to our list.