A client once asked, “Jeff, what are the worst things you’ve ever seen a sales or businessperson do?”

Yikes! Just remembering these tales of terror, sends shivers down my spine.

Okay, the following may be weird, frightening and painful, yet they’re all true!

Believe it or not, and I ain’t kidding…

From the simple faux pas to the unforgivable…

Here are some of the acts I’ve seen or heard business buffoons and sales slobs commit:

• tell dirty jokes

• ignore ringing telephones

• stare at customers, yet not greet them

• leave French fries, half-eaten burgers and open mustard containers in the sales or display area

• be sloppily attired

• b.s. with other employees, while ignoring customers

• clean their nails

• complain about; their work, company and leaders

• lie

• read a book, play a game, watch television or stay glued to their computers or smartphones, while eager customers wait to be served

• argue with customers

• talk with food or a pen in their mouth

• frequently glance at their watch while with customers

• open their mail

• smoke and flick ashes on their office carpet

• refuse to help a customer, because they were on break or headed to lunch

And here’s the funniest thing a salesman did, while his cell phone was ringing:

Me: “Would you like to get that?”

Him: “No! I never answer my cell phone, when I’m with a customer!”

Me: “That’s okay.”

Him: “Nope. You have my total attention. I’m here just for you. Although, let me check caller-id to see if it’s my wife! Oops. It is. I’ll be right back!”

Plus, here’s the funniest thing a saleswoman said to my wife:

My wife: “Hi, could you please help me?”

Her: “Oh, sorry for the wait. It’s so slow and I didn’t expect to see anybody today. The mall is dead!”

My wife: “Well, I’m alive!”

Her: “Hmmm. Yes, yes you are!”

Do you recognize yourself or one of your teammates in any of the preceding examples?

Hope not!


You and your fellow sales pros, and for that matter, everybody in your organization…are walking, talking billboards for your company.

Customers often make hasty generalizations, like, “Whoaa, if that guy is such a jerk, bet everybody in this place is a jerk!” Hey, who said this is fair! It’s tough to create a “wow” when you’re perceived as weak or whiny.

What are some of the bizarre behaviors you’ve seen?

Please send them to [email protected] and we’ll add them to the next tally of terror. And give you credit for sharing them.


Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s Amazon bestselling books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, the 5th edition of Peak Your Profits and the recently published, (December, 2022), BULLSEYE! Hitting Your Targets at Home and at Work, which became a best seller within four days of its release. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults

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