AP Business Writer
SNAKE OIL SALESMEN: The stereotype of the arrogant,
won't-take-no-for-an-answer salesperson may still persist.
A recent survey by the human resources company Development
Dimensions International found that 41 percent of consumers rate
the quality of the sales profession below mediocre, describing
salespeople as "leeches" and "rashes." Still, they are a key
resource when making shopping decisions.
The level of contempt towards salespeople may become heightened
during the holiday shopping season, as many store employees will
likely be overworked, undertrained and frazzled by a high volume of
questions and complaints, according to Bradford Thomas, the
company's sales practice team manager.
"A few bad apples always spoil the bunch," Thomas said. "We
see it in popular culture all of the time - the aggressive,
deceptive used car salesperson with high-pressure techniques. But
most are dedicated and hardworking."
Not only did respondents say they find sales reps pushy, but 46
percent said they would be ashamed to call themselves a
salesperson. One in five buyers said they believe salespeople's
expertise is getting worse.
But despite their animosity, those surveyed ranked salespeople
their second choice for information to make buying decisions, above
friends and family and losing only to the Internet.
"In a given week, people make dozens or hundreds of purchase
decisions but see the process as a necessary evil," said Thomas.
"It's something people have to do, but they're not always that
jazzed about it. They're dealing with salespeople way more than
they want to."
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AP Business Writer
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