Ask sales managers what they look for in a salesperson and inevitably one of the top three responses is some variation of enthusiasm, passion, or energy. But can enthusiasm be a liability?

In a coaching session with a junior sales rep this morning, I was role-playing the client and the rep was playing herself on a sales call to a major account. After “Hello,” I, as the “client,” thought a tornado had suddenly entered the room. She-was-SO-happy-to-see-me-and-had-SO-MANY-WONDERFUL-ideas-for-me-and-what-she-wanted-to-do-was-to-share-these-FABULOUS-ideas-to-help-my-business-and-ask-me-JUST-a-few-questions-so-that-we-could-see-how-we-could-PARTNER-together-and-was-that-okay-and-let-me-give-you-an-overview-of-what-we-do… Whoa!

Slow Down. You Move Too Fast. (Thank you, Simon & Garfunkel)

The first challenge in a client meeting is make the client feel comfortable and interested in talking to you. Assaulting him/her immediately with unbridled enthusiasm, often accompanied by a too-fast pace and a lot of self-serving comments, is rarely a good strategy. You will be far more successful speaking initially in an upbeat, but calm, businesslike manner as you go through:

  1. Greetings
  2. Stating the reason for your call based on homework you have done
  3. Laying out a suggested agenda for the conversation that includes appropriate next steps and
  4. Getting agreement to that agenda

 Lights! Camera! Enthusiasm!

After agreement to the above and a brief discussion about their situation, when it is time to explain how you can help them, then, by all means, let the passion rip! Enthusiasm means “to catch fire” and that is exactly what you want your client to do during your presentations: get excited about what you are offering. Just remember, timing is everything.


Deb Calvert If your success depends on selling, presenting, or public speaking, reach out to Anne Miller, Sales & Presentation Pro to achieve the results you want.  Junior rep or CEO, Anne has worked with them all from Dubai to Denver. Check out her remote coaching service for help when and wherever you need it. Get sales cult  book “The Tall Lady with the Iceberg: how to use the power of metaphor to sell, persuade or explain anything to anyone.”