6 and a Half Crucial Mistakes to Avoid When Selling

Here are 6 and a half mistakes I have seen salespeople make. We are all guilty of some of these. However, I hope that this list will serve as a reminder to help you from engaging in the following mistakes.

1. Never quote price to an unsold buyer

Far too many salespeople fall victim to the urge of quoting price prematurely. Until you have defined the prospect's or customer's issues and presented a solution that is on target, your price will be perceived as being too high because you have not established value. To create value, you must first understand what your prospect or customer perceives as valuable. Address their pressing business concerns and issues, then receive buy-in that you are on target and that your solution is agreed upon before you ever present your price.

2. Zip your lips and listen

Telling is not selling. Ask your prospect well-thought-out questions that will allow them to express their situation and then LISTEN to the answers. Don’t be tempted to tell them how you can address their situation until you uncover all the reasons they may buy from you.

3. Be prepared

Nothing is worse than to be in front of a prospect, reach down for your materials and realize that you are missing a crucial piece of information. Take the time before your sales call to check and recheck that you have all your needed materials. This will prevent uncomfortable, embarrassing moments and put you in the situation of making excuses in front of a prospect.

4. Stop the small talk

Our research has shown that 75% of all prospects find small talk to be negative. I’m not saying you shouldn’t warm your prospect up with initial pleasantries and a proper greeting, but talking about the trophy on their bookcase or the fish on the wall is not going to be well received. If your prospect wants to engage in small talk they will initiate the conversation. Otherwise, stick to your reason for meeting and clearly define your objective to the call.

5. Don’t under-dress

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a decision maker laugh at how a salesperson appeared when they entered their office. Wear the appropriate dress for the occasion. Your attire will convey the message that you are a business equal and not an unprofessional salesperson.

Avoid failing to take the active steps to build rapport and establish trust. Learn the techniques for building rapport by matching your communication style to their communication style. Trust comes as you do what you say you are going to do. Don’t tell a prospect you will call them back and then forget to do so.

and one-half …

Don’t forget the following formula:Knowledge + Effective Action = Phenomenal ResultsIf you truly want to be successful you have to constantly be a student and learn to be a master of your craft. Once you know what needs to be done, you have to take the right actions if you want to receive results. Sitting around thinking is not going to produce anything but a starving thinker. Be effective and efficient. Have a clearly-defined strategic plan and then take the actions necessary to implement your plan. 


Josh Winters

Josh Winters is a Group Vice President/Director of Sales at The Brooks Group, where he serves as the first point-of-contact for organizational stakeholders looking to improve their teams’ sales effectiveness and overall talent management.

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