I Don’t Do Business With People Who Talk to Me Like That

by Carl Ingalls

I’m sure you’ve had a salesperson try to push you into a sale by asking something like, “You do want to make money, don’t you?”  How does that make you feel?

A few weeks ago I got a call from a salesman representing a major telephone service provider that wanted my business back.  He was eager to send me a quote so he could prove to me that he could save me money.

The next time he called, I thanked him for the quote.  I told him I had decided to stay with my current provider, which was a small local telephone service reseller.  He asked me who that was, and I told him.

And then, in a slightly derogatory tone, he asked, “Why would you want to stay with them?”

That stopped me cold.  It felt so disrespectful.  I thought about it a bit.  Then I remembered a very important principle.

I said, “I don’t do business with people who talk to me like that.  Goodbye.”

Only do business when there is mutual trust and respect.

I Don’t Do Business With People Who Talk to Me Like That

5 thoughts on “I Don’t Do Business With People Who Talk to Me Like That

  1. Carl:

    I enjoyed your article in High Probability Selling, which I found from your recent tweet.

    I have a question or two.

    What if the salesperson reads “I Don’t Do Business With People Who Talk To Me Like That” and realizes that “mutual respect and honesty” (or the semblance thereof) will allow her or him to make more sales?

    I wonder how often pleasantness, respect, honesty, etc, in salespersons is put on for effect, like an auctioneers voice or a carny’s pitch?

    Can one tell the difference between professional, assumed respect and honesty and the natural kind?

    Does it matter, if the sale is made?



    1. Hello Claire,

      Thank you for your excellent questions. You are welcome here at any time.

      I know that you came here directly from Twitter and may not be familiar with the purpose of this blog. Our posts are written mainly for salespeople and their managers.

      We very much hope that a salesperson reads “I Don’t Do Business With People Who Talk To Me Like That” and realizes that mutual trust and respect will allow her or him to make more sales. That is part of the reason I wrote the article.

      We know that a lot of the friendliness in a salesperson’s demeanor is put on merely for effect. When a stranger calls you on the phone, and the first thing they ask is “How are you”, you know it is not sincere. But they feel it is important to set that tone.

      You don’t need to worry that these actors will learn how to fake respect and honesty. Their deepest beliefs are so contrary to ours that they reject our teachings immediately.

      We don’t teach people how to fake it. We teach them understanding. Once they really understand trust and respect, they don’t need to fake it. It becomes real.

      Carl Ingalls (@Carl_Ingalls on Twitter)


  2. The question was addressed to Carl, but I wanted to throw my opinion out there. I believe most people can discern the difference between fake rapport building and sincere trust and respect. At least I feel I can and I make decisions based off a gut feeling.

    In answer to your question if it matters if the sales is made I think it definitely does, and here’s why.

    First, you may make a sale or two using insincere methods but you are most likely not gaining a client for life. Second, if I am going to do business with people, I would like to do it in a manner that brought long-lasting sincere relationships with it. There is much more here than just making a commission, some of the most enjoyable people I interact with first started as business contacts.

    I’m interested to hear what Carl thinks.


    1. Chubby Davis,

      Thanks for your comment. However, “showing him” wasn’t my purpose at all. What I said was not just for effect. I wasn’t trying to teach him a lesson or anything like that. It wouldn’t have benefited either one of us. I merely said out loud something I really wanted to make sure that I never forget. I really don’t do business with people who talk to me like that. Even though the salesperson was on the phone, I was talking to myself more than to him.

      Carl Ingalls


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