Sales Fails: I told my prospect that I loved hunting. BIG mistake.

Each week, we bring you the most cringe-worthy sales moments from across the web. To submit your sales fail story for consideration, click here. (Don't worry, you'll remain completely anonymous).

“I sell B2B marketing software. A few months ago, I was working on a good-sized deal with a company I’d been after for a while. I finally got the head of marketing on a zoom, and things were going well. We had some good rapport and he started talking about how he’s a runner, and then he asked me what I do for fun. I’m from Pennsylvania, and I’ve been hunting since I was a kid, it’s just a part of growing up where I’m from. So I mention that I like to get out and hunt with a crossbow whenever I get the chance. All of a sudden, this guy’s demeanor completely changes and he gets all weird for the rest of the meeting. He lets me get through my pitch and then ends the call. I thought the way he acted was super weird, so I Googled his name and did some research. It turns out that he’s on the board of a wildlife defense foundation. I should’ve just kept my mouth shut -- no deal.” 

Anonymous, 37       Concord, NH


“I had just finished training for a giant telecom company (one you definitely know) and was finally on the phone answering inbound calls from people interested in business phone and internet services. During one of our first team sales meetings, the sales manager had made it perfectly clear that we were not to sell the entry level, basic internet-only package under any circumstances. He literally said, ‘Pretend it doesn’t exist.’ 

A week later, I was working the late shift when I got a call from a gun shop owner (seriously) who was interested in a basic internet-only entry-level package so that he could set up a new alarm system in his store. As instructed by my manager, I told that we didn’t have the basic plan he was interested in, but that there were plenty of other options available. The guy got absolutely enraged, and launched into a tirade about how I was “preventing him from being able to protect his family,” and that I was “Personally putting them in danger.” I tried to diffuse the situation but it was too late to try to explain that I actually did have the package available, so finally, I just hung up on him mid-yell. 

Unfortunately, since it was the late shift and we handled the northeast region, when he called back (twice) he got wired directly to my line. Upon hearing his voice, I instantly transferred him to customer service. Finally my shift ended and I actually never heard another word about it again.” 

Anonymous, 37  Manchester, NH


“About four years ago I was selling high-volume medical equipment for a large company on the east coast. It was a hybrid inside/outside role, but most of my time was spent in the office. One Friday, I was anxious to get out of the office on time because my wife had gotten us tickets to go see the comedian Sebastian Maniscalco and we were both looking forward to it. But I had a 4pm appointment to go over a purchase order with one of my bigger clients. So 4pm rolls around and the client didn’t call, so I sent him an email and followed it up with a text message. About twenty minutes later he finally calls me, apologizes, and we start going over the contract. As we’re reviewing it, it’s almost 5 o’clock, so I send a text to my wife, and say: “Looks like I’m gonna be late. Will leave as soon as I’m done with this dipshit.” Unfortunately, instead of sending the text to my wife, I sent it to the client, who opened it up during our call. His demeanor changed right away and he ended the call, and that night, on the way to the theater, I got a call from my sales manager who was very upset with me. I ended up getting written up and left the industry later that year. Let this be a lesson to never badmouth your customers and to always double check who you’re texting.”  

Anonymous, 40   Boston, MA 

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