Skip to content

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Sales People Make

May 1, 2012

Let’s face it: We all make mistakes. Every day.

Even seasoned Sales Professionals who’ve been at it for 20 + years like me still manage to “step in it”. But if you can manage to avoid the 5 most common selling pitfalls, you’ll be ahead of the game, and more successful than your toughest competition.

Today we’ll look at #1.

  1. NOT Walking Away
    That’s right: NOT walking away – or not “giving up” – might be a BIG mistake.We learn lessons at an early age to – as Winston Churchill famously said – “Never, never, NEVER give up”.  Well, that’s admirable, but unfortunately I’ve seen too many sales journeymen take this literally.

    So they end up wasting hours/days/weeks/months of their time with people who are never going to buy. Myriad reasons for this, but one of the most common is becoming too emotionally invested in “deals” that aren’t deals and never will be deals. I had a guy working for me once who took me on a sales call to Adobe. He’d had them on his forecast for ages, they just never seemed to move forward or backward and I wanted the opportunity to inspect it a little more closely. We met with his contact and she told us:

    1) the purchase and implementation of our s/w product had not even been made a project yet within Adobe
    2) the business issues it addressed were, at best, minimally beneficial for them
    3) all capital spending had recently been frozen.

    This should have been an “Other than that how did you like the performance, Mrs. Lincoln?” moment for my sales guy.  But on the way back to the office I asked him “So how do you feel about your deal now?”.  I swear he said “Great!”.

    He had defended Adobe so long that he’d lost any sense of objectivity, was  too emotionally invested, and couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  But more importantly, he wasted months working on a “deal”  that was NEVER a deal, when he could have been prospecting, qualifying and closing legitimate prospects.

    Lessons To Be Learned
    Knowing when to walk away separates the pros from the wannabes
    Walking away might be your BEST option
    Walking away does NOT make you a “quitter”. It frees up your time to find someone who WILL buy
    Your time is YOUR time. It’s your #1 asset. Don’t spend it with deadwood

Coming Next, #2:

  1. Will You Please Just SHUT UP?

From → Uncategorized

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: