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7 deadly sins of selling

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(MoneyWatch) Everyone has heard of the traditional seven deadly sins (lust, greed, etc.). Did you know that there are also seven sins of selling? And they're deadly sins, because if you indulge in them, you'll find your sales efforts dead in the water. Here they are:

Not being personally accountable Don't pass the buck to somebody else in your firm; your customers want your personal skin in the game.

Failing to understand the customer's business Don't expect customers to answer dozens of questions just because you didn't do your research.

Being an adversary, not an ally Since customers are risking their career doing business with you, they expect you to represent their best interests.

Selling products not solutions Don't burden customers with features and functions; tell them how your solution will help their business.

Being inaccessible when needed If customers are important to you, you'll answer their email or voice mail within minutes, not hours.

Selling rather than helping Customers want you to be thinking about how to help their firm, not how to sell your products.

Wasting the customer's time If your solution isn't the right choice for the customer, say so. Don't waste their time pitching something they don't need.

BTW, the above is loosely based on a list from Howard Stevens, the head of the HR Chally Group.

This post by Geoffrey James originally appeared on

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