Here’s a good example of how not to sell.

I happened to share an elevator with two sales guys leaving a sales call. (I think they sold disaster recovery software.) On the long descent, these two proceeded to discuss their disappointing sales presentation, going so far as to badmouth a particular engineering manager at that company. With that manager’s associate, from the same department, in the elevator. It’s not hard to imagine that getting back to the wrong person.

Similarly, it’s common to overhear salespeople talking about a deal or a client or some organizational change in the cafeteria, hallway or lobby. It never fails to amaze me what you might inadvertently learn in public settings.

Obviously, be selective about what you say when you’re on customer premises. Elevators and bathrooms seem to invite confidential disclosures that are better kept to yourself until you’re out of the building. Ultimately, knowing how not to sell is knowing what not to do...

There’s a tremendous urge to do a detailed post-mortem with your peers the very minute you leave the conference room or get wrapped up in a congratulatory celebration complete with high fives and fist bumps as you make your way to the elevator. Hold off.

Complaining, call summaries, impolitic observations, off-color jokes and strategy discussion should wait until you are in the parking lot. Or your car. Or your office.

Definitely not in their elevator.