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!
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: