Ten MORE Common Sales Mistakes

Last Updated Apr 10, 2008 3:30 PM EDT


Last week I posted what's proving to be an extremely popular post, "Ten Common Sales Mistakes". In that post, I asked if I had missed any common mistakes and, as I expected, my brain trust (that's you folk) came up with ten more. Here they are, with some suggested fixes:
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  • Not being objective. Fix: Seek the truth, not what makes you or your manager feel good. When you want know what the customer is thinking, ask.
  • Ignorance of the competition. Fix: Research your market and build your value proposition around capabilities that you have and they don't.
  • Insufficient planning. Fix: For every engagement, know what, why, when and how the customer will buy...and how much they're willing to pay.
  • Ignoring your sales strength. Fix: Review before every sales call why your company is the best and why you're the best person to buy from.
  • Insufficient product knowledge. Fix: Bone up on your offerings both by using them them yourself and watching customers use them.
  • Insufficient business knowledge. Fix: Research your target industry and its basic business models before you start calling on customers.
  • Ignorance of how the customer buys. Fix: Find out what "gotchas" within the customer's purchasing process and plan how to overcome them.
  • Trying to close too soon. Fix: Ask confirming questions and listen to the customer's answers carefully. If there's still resistance, it's too soon to close.
  • Failure to follow-up after a sale. Fix: After each sale closes, schedule a series of follow-up phone calls and email to check on the customer's status.
  • Not building a long-term relationship. Fix: Find additional opportunities to sell the customer and to the other prospects in the customer's firm.
  • Special thanks to Dave Stein, Dennis, Casey Ware, gchandna2003, mmtaylor, and dawngio for helping identify these!