5 Sales Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Everyone has bad habits and sales people are no exception. Bad sales habits are easy to pick up and can spread like fungus gnats from one sales person to the next.

Here are five sales mistakes that you want to eliminate to ensure better results.

1. lack of research

Before you compose that first email or pick up the phone to make that first call to a sales prospect, it is important to conduct some research. Visit the company’s website. Look at their mission statement. Try to understand their culture. Do they have an employee wellness program in place? A company’s website houses a great deal of information about what is important to them. Use this information to customize a sales pitch that is aligned with their beliefs and goals. Another great place to do a little research is Linkedin. There are more than 350 million Linkedin users. And that number grows by 2 every second. A company’s Linkedin page not only gives you information on the company itself but also its employees. If you are unsure of the appropriate person to contact within the company, this is your biggest resource. Not only will Linkedin allow you to see employees of a particular company, it will also show you the positions they hold within. You will even be able to tell if you have a common connection with the decision maker. And perhaps your connection would be willing to initiate an introduction.

2. Selling a SERVICE and not a solution

A good sales person listens and asks questions before jumping into a sales pitch. If you don’t fully understand your prospects needs, how do can you expect to prove value in what you are offering? It’s great that indoor plants can decrease employee sickness by up to 30%. But what if the company doesn’t have an issue with absenteeism due to illness? That statistic is of little value to them. Don’t rush the sale. The research you’ve done prior to the first meeting should help you ask the right questions so you can create value in what it is you have to offer.

3. Over-promising to Close the sale

We’ve all heard the saying that honesty is the best policy. It’s true. If your install schedule is full for the next month and a prospect says they will sign a contract right now if you can guarantee that the installation will be completed in time for an event they are hosting in two weeks, you need to be upfront. It’s possible that with some creative scheduling and long work days the install could be completed, but should you guarantee it? Absolutely not. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than disappoint.

4. Not preparing for OBJECTIONS

Objections are a given part of the selling process. We know they are coming, yet some sales people don’t think to prepare for them. If you’ve been in the business long enough, you probably think you’ve heard them all. However, you may find it beneficial to sit down with your colleagues and do a little team brainstorming. Share all the objections you have heard and work toward preparing thoughtful responses to those objections. If there are certain objections that seem to find their way into your conversations more often than others, think about ways you can proactively address them. Overcoming common objections and concerns before your prospect brings them up will help you eliminate them before they become an issue.

5. Not following up

You’ve done all this preparation to ensure a great first meeting. The prospect expresses interest and requests a follow-up call. Then they never hear from you again. Fact is this is a common scenario. Only 20% of sales leads are every followed up on. That is a tragic percentage considering only 2% of sales occur during the first meeting. Think of all that opportunity lost. When you commit to a follow-up and fail to complete it on time (or at all), you lose all the trust and credibility you worked so hard to create. Studies show that 80% of non-routine sales occur only after a minimum of five follow-ups. Don’t forego the follow-up.



Smith, Craig. “By the Numbers: 125+ Amazing Linkedin Statistics.” DMR

Clay, Robert. “Why 8% of Sales People Get 80% of the Sales.” The Marketing Donut

Featured image by Mark


Melanie is a plant enthusiast and expert contributor at Bromeliads.info and OrchidPlantCare.info. Melanie's experience in internet marketing, business management, and horticulture allows her to bring a unique perspective to the community. Melanie received a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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