My Sales Call From Hell With a Narcissist

I am not a novice when it comes to making a sales call, but the one I had the other day took the cake. By the time the sales call was over I needed a shower, it was that vile.

First a little background. As CEO of Del Williams Media, we have lots of media assets and properties, one being a channel with over 2 million viewer minutes. I decided I wanted to add to the roster so reached out to someone who had video and has a story to tell.

I won't mention his name since that is not the purpose of this post and I don't want to give him traffic from my nice audience. Anyway, it went like this. I called a number, which was out of order, then I sent an email telling him exactly what I wanted. He returned the call but I did not answer because my phone was being a tad whacky and I didn't hear it ring (need new phone). Anyway, so I called him back, he let it go to voicemail, and then called me back within 2 minutes.

That should have been red flag number one, but let's move into the call. He acted like he was strung out trying to figure out who I was, to the point I had to remind him of the email. Red flag number two. Anyway, before I can get into my nice sales pitch, he starts off with: "I hate people." "I don't care about people." He went on spreading his venom while I sat with my jaw to the floor.

The bitterness and hate that was coming from this man, not directed at me, was so vile I think Leona Helmsley would have felt sorry for me. I never presented my pitch because I wouldn't let this man near my audience.

Here is what I learned from this experience:
1. I did nothing wrong, but clearly he had some issues which only a therapist should deal with.
2. Don't take people on as a client if you don't like them. That call killed any chance of my offering him a position on my channel.
3. Know your values and what is/is not acceptable. His behavior was not of a professional, but someone deeply troubled.
4. Be able to spot a pity party quickly and end your involvement in it. I did not hesitate to end the call when it was clear this was not a match and I have too much respect for myself to keep listening to someone spread hate.

I should note in this call that he was very critical of his competitors and thought he was the bees knees and could do a better job than them. Let's just say this call was one for the record book.