29.5 Biggest Mistakes Salespeople Make (the Nightmare Continues) – Part 2

29.5 Biggest Mistakes Salespeople Make (the Nightmare Continues) – Part 2

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

Part two of four.

Mistakes prevent sales. Correcting mistakes will allow you to make more sales if you admit you make them. Here is the continuing list (from last week to the week after next) of 29.5 of the biggest mistakes that salespeople make and the success tactics that will turn them into sales.

My challenge to you continues as well – read this list and only think of yourself. The mistakes you made this morning are your opportunities for greatness this afternoon but only if you admit them. If you have the guts to rate your own reality. Brace yourself:

7. Poor presentation skills. Fidgeting, poor enunciating, verbal hesitating, monotone salespeople don’t make many sales. But they don’t know it because they can’t see themselves. Success tactics: Take a fellow salesperson with you just to evaluate your presentation. Ask him to be brutally honest. Join and involve yourself in Toastmasters. Record yourself and listen to it in your car.


8. Not asking the right questions. A sale is made (or lost) based on the questions you ask. Success tactic: Ask prospects questions that make them evaluate new information. Ask questions that qualify needs and finances. Ask questions that separate you from your competition.


9. Selling before needs have been established. Why tell the prospect anything about what you’re selling until you’ve established what is needed? Sounds elementary, but at this moment millions of sales people are doing it. Success tactic: Develop some form of needs assessment. A test, a factory tour, a series of ten questions. Something that will draw out specific needs before a sales presentation is made. (See #8)


10. Lack of knowledge about how your product is used. Not a bunch of boring features and benefits. Real world information. Success tactic: Spend a few days at the customer’s place of business observing (and working with) your product. You can learn more spending a day at a customer’s than you can on 1,000 sales calls.


11. Selling in terms of yourself, not the customer. Not saying how you help. Know the kinds of problems you solve. Know the types of needs you fill. Sell that. Success tactic: Tell stories about how other customers have succeeded using your product or service. Don’t worry about your commission, think about how much help your service will be, the sale will follow.


12. Talking too much. Salespeople are under the huge misconception that they have to talk a lot in order to sell something. Nothing could be further from the truth. They must give the prospect a chance to buy. They must ask a lot in order to sell something. Success tactic: Ask questions at least 50% of the time. Draw out responses that keep the prospect dominating the conversation and giving buying signals.


13. Being too pushy. Pressing forward makes the prospect doubt you and run for cover. Forced sales get canceled 85% more than any other type. There’s a fine line between a “close” and a “force.” Success tactic: Relax. Backoff. Ask more questions to involve the prospect, and help him buy.


14. Not making it easy to buy. Customers don’t want to fill out forms or wait in line. Customers don’t want (or need) to know your problems. Don’t let your situation interfere with the ease of product delivery. Success tactic: Do it all. Fill out every form, don’t keep anyone waiting, personally deliver what you sell and set it up. “I’ll take care of that.” is your new motto.

We’re about half way. Painful isn’t it? While there are no “quick fixes,” there are adjustments you can make that will begin to show some immediate improvement. Start by adjusting your attitude. It’s the single biggest results-oriented adjustment you can make.

Go back through the first 14 items and you will see that most of them are attitude driven. If you’re serious about self-improvement, you must begin with the right outlook.

Jeff Olson says, “The ugliest answer for where you are, is the one you must deliver to yourself.” I will add to that, “Your attitude will allow you to get ugly with yourself, and see a way to make it pretty.” Go get some makeup. Go get a mirror. Go.



Want to learn the formula for how sales are really made? A 10.5 step method for landing more sales than you or your company can handle. Just go to www.gitomer.com click Access GitBit, register and enter the word FORMULA in the search box.