The best customers aren’t always new customers.  Everyone knows tapping into your existing client base is one of the most cost effective and successful ways to generate revenue. However, there’s a fine line between keeping your professional relationships warm and being a sleazy salesman.

Savvy salespeople recognize that the key to turning a one-time client into a repeat customer comes down to two important things: 1. Providing quality service that offers solutions to your client’s needs, and 2. Maintaining a relationship that keeps your name on their radar to ensure you are the first person they call when they need support or new products/services.

Of course, some of you are not interested in being a creator of legacy clients. Perhaps ‘sleazy salesman’ is the persona you’re looking for. If that’s the case, here are 5 things you can do to reach your goal…

How to be a Sleazy Salesman in 5 Easy Steps

Behave as if your sales pitch is more valuable than the client’s time.

If the client gives you 5 minutes to talk, ramp up the “sleaze” by taking as much time as you want. Their hard stop is probably more of a “ballpark figure” anyway and you’ve got important stuff to share, right?  Better still, show up unprepared or with a long, drawn-out introduction. Don’t forget to skip your research so you can ask questions you could’ve answered with a 5-minute internet search and offer products/services they don’t need.

Continue your pitch after the client has made it clear she is not interested at this time.

Demonstrating your inability to listen and desire to hear your own voice is an excellent way to undermine the relationship you worked hard to establish in the first place. Exceptional sleazy salesmen (and women) badger perspective clients until they give in and buy what you’re offering. Think of a 10-year old child asking for candy over and over. No matter how many times you hear the words “no, thank you”, there’s always room for one more ask. Obviously, the customer just isn’t “getting it.”

Continue your pitch after the client has made it clear she is interested in your offer in the near future.

A good sleazy salesman not only ignores the word ‘no’, she also steamrolls over the word ‘yes’. I’ve been lucky enough to encounter this type of sleazy salesman. I received a call from the loan company rep who handled our refi. She was eager to share several incentives for returning customers. I informed her we were extremely happy with their services and “absolutely going to come to them for my next refi.” In spite of my commitment to work with them again when we’re in a position to do so, she continued to “sell” the benefits of the company- excellent customer service, quick turnaround, guaranteed rates. Like a true sleazy salesman, she did a bang-up job wasting the 5 minutes I had and souring the previous positive experience I had with the company.

The old bait and switch.

After detailing all the reasons I should work with the company I already committed to working with, the aforementioned loan officer suddenly shifted gears on me. A classic sleazy salesman tactic. “I also want to talk to you about our offer to set up your home with a wireless security system.” Wait, I thought she was offering great loan rates and stellar customer service? Now she’s selling wireless security systems? While I trust this company in the finance realm, I have no idea whether or not they are qualified to sell an entirely different product. Just because my dentist has proven to be an expert in root canals, does not mean I trust him to paint my house. But a good sleazy salesman is going to push any and all products and services in her arsenal, hoping you’ll say ‘yes’ simply because you’re high on a positive past experience.

Throw a tantrum when your client isn’t interested in your offer.

There are plenty of logical reasons why a sale doesn’t close, but sleazy salesmen don’t care about logic. Their focus is on making the sale – come hell or high water. Eventually the loan-rep-turned-sleazy-saleswoman stopped talking long enough to realize today was not the day I’d be installing a wireless security system. Remember, I clearly stated I would be working with them on my next refi. She was not impressed. “Seems odd to me since we are paying for it, but that’s your choice. Goodbye.” No ‘have a nice day’ or ‘we look forward to working with you in the future’. Not even a measly ‘thank you for your business.’ To reach epic sleazy salesmen level, you have to take your ball and go home if you aren’t winning. (Don’t forget to drive the final nail in this relationship’s coffin with a snide comment on your way out.) I was willing to overlook her sleazy salesman behavior until the over-selling turned to rudeness and poor customer service. She destroyed a previous positive experience and this one-time client had serious reservations about becoming a repeat customer.

All joking aside… Everyone feels pressure to sell and hit quotas. However, your push to sell should not push your customers away. Also, you may not be a sleazy salesperson yourself, but don’t forget to ensure the same can be said about your sales team and anyone else who will interact with your target clients.

Sales Professionals