Have you been Bitten by a Snake Oil Salesman?

Have you Been Bitten by a Snake Oil Salesman?

According to history, between 1849 and 1882, around 180,000 Chinese immigrants moved to United States. They were offered to sign a 5-year contract with very low wages. When the Chinese workers moved in, they brought different medicines – including “snake oil”. This snake oil was made from the oil of the Chinese water snake. It helps reduce inflammation because it is rich in omega-3.

Chinese workers use this oil as a liniment to rub on their joints after a long day at work. It is known to be effective in treating arthritis and bursitis. It is said that Americans were amazed of the effect since the Chinese workers began sharing the oil with them.

Because of its popularity, Clark Stanley, also known as the “Rattlesnake King” decided to make their own version for Americans to use. However, he used rattlesnakes because there were no Chinese water snakes in America. However, it is less effective than the original Chinese snake oil and did not contain a drop of actual snake oil.

Snake oil salesman and traveling doctors (also known as quack doctors) are the ones selling Clark Stanley’s snake oil liniment. Eventually, Americans banned this product as it is not effective in treating different conditions. It was around then that the snake oil becomes a symbol of fraud in the US.

Until now, Americans would still refer a “Snake Oil Salesman” as someone who sells an product that claims their product actually works. They are considered as someone who misleads their customers just to gain profit from them. In order to push their products, a “snake oil salesman” would usually deceive their prospects that their products are effective and customers can benefit from it in order to get money from them.

So how will you know if you’re dealing with a ‘Snake Oil Salesman’? Here are some signs that you’re dealing and have been bitten by a Snake Oil Salesman.

#1: They keep on pushing their product despite too many objections.

This type of salesmen doesn’t care whether you need the product or service. Their only goal is to get your money and for you to buy to them.

Related: 27 Sales Experts Reveal the Single Best Piece of Sales Collateral For Closing Deals

#2: They practice poor customer service.


A salesperson who failed to acknowledge their customers means they don’t value who you are. Also, when you hear a salesperson complain or say something bad about their competitors, it’s considered a sign. This way of pursuing a customer is not healthy.

Related: 10 Best Marketing tools to Increase Productivity… and Leads and Sales

#3: They’re the ones who are doing all the talking.

They don’t practice asking questions to gauge if their prospect has a need on what they’re offering. They wouldn’t even let you ask questions or worst, they disregard your question. Instead, they just keep on pitching their product and how you can benefit on it.

A good salesman use CHAMP lead qualification methodology to qualify their prospects and to know their needs and challenges. Listen more than you talk and be able deliver the best solution.

#4: They focus more on sales to meet their deadline.

We all know that every salesperson has a quota or a deadline to meet. Their goals when speaking with you is to get a sale, not to find out if this is something you might be interested because your company needs it.

A good salesman knows when the lead is ripe or when it is still unqualified and  needs further nurturing

Part of this lead nurturing process is sending digital downloadables that could convince them even more. Here are the digital freebies in sales that could be use.

#5: They’re claiming their product is the best.

They pitch in their product by being defensive. They claim that their product don’t have any failed experiments prior to launching it. And that everyone can benefit on their product in all possible ways.

Take note of these signs when dealing with any salesperson. In sales, all sales reps must gain the trust of their customers in order for them to patronize and consider using the product over and over again. Providing customers with good quality product or service is important because that’s one way of building trust and relationships with your current and future customers.

“A good salesman must consider your need for the product and service.”

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