January 25, 2021

8 Common UNPROFESSIONAL Behaviors In Sales

If there was a wayback machine for my hairstyles over the years, you would probably find half a dozen of my hairDOs that the business world might think are actually hairDONTs.

Look, I get it. There’s a stereotype of what businesspeople should look like…and it’s a good look.

But here’s the deal, there are SOOOOOO many unprofessional things people do that matter SO MUCH MORE UNPROFESSIONAL than the length of someone’s hair.

Many of these items were the driver behind us starting ClozeLoop.

So here we go...

Sales Reps: Giving Generic Demos

Prospects buy products that can solve THEIR PROBLEM with a minimal amount of risk that the solution fails. Sales reps who force their standard demo on a prospect’s specific use case will come across as non-genuine and will have a significant risk of losing the deal.

Sales Development Reps (SDRs): Passing Unqualified Leads

If a prospect doesn’t fit your qualification criteria, disqualify them. DUH…but it’s not that simple. SDRs are typically pressured to pass a certain number of leads per quarter, so they pass prospects who aren’t qualified.

Everyone: Not Knowing Your Buyers

All teams…product, marketing, sales, customer success, and beyond must know their buyers inside and out. If you don’t know what your buyers do, their pain points, and how your company wins with them, you're in trouble. And I mean KNOW these things, not just a couple of talking points.

Managers: Rescheduling Performance Reviews & Other Subordinate Meetings

When employees have big meetings with their boss or other execs, they look forward to them for days or weeks. Rescheduling these meetings is a serious sign of disrespect and will quickly alienate your team.

Sales Reps & Execs: Misrepresenting Traction

If you are selling to a prospect and say “our customers use our product for ____", but they don’t, you’re misrepresenting traction. You might feel like you need to make up social proof to close a deal, but it’s unethical and will come back to haunt you. Execs sometimes do the same thing when trying to attract employees. If you have to lie to your employees about your revenue or user engagement traction, you are building a house of cards that could collapse at anytime.

Sales Reps & SDRs: Missing Meetings

I’ve recently had 5 SDRs no-show for scheduled meetings. These are people who REACHED OUT TO ME to talk about their product, put time on my calendar, then failed to show up. UNREAL. They all had an excuse…the prior meeting ran over, they were out for an emergency, etc….but I don’t care. It’s called teamwork…if you’re not available, others should be able to cover for you.

Sales Reps & SDRs: Showing Up Late

It’s not as bad as missing a meeting, but if you schedule me for 2:30 and show up at 2:33, that’s super annoying. I understand that things come up…that happens to me all the time. However, I’ll always send an email or text saying I’ll be late. You must control your calendar!

Sales Managers: Not Coaching Your Team

Sales reps and SDRs need coaching. I am such a fan of coaching that I hired a professional sales coach for my first 3 years in a sales role. Sales managers aren’t always born coaches, but they can learn. It takes focus and effort. If your sales managers are taking over late-stage deals to close them for their reps, or if they rely on support staff to coach their teams, something is wrong.


Look, it’s easy to tell me that I shouldn’t have long hair in the business world. It's easy to say people should not use "bad words."

You know what's hard? Being a true professional and performing at the top of your game.

The items covered in this post are much more important than being able to see the top of my ears :).

Follow Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey on LinkedIn.

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