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How to avoid common mistakes when selling

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This is an extract from The Secrets of Success in Selling by Nicola Cook, published by Pearson.

A wise man once said Why would you want to go through life and have to learn from all your own mistakes, learn from and avoid making the mistakes everyone else has!?

Wise words indeed. By reading this book thus far you have discovered new ways to improve your own sales ability, learn some new sales skills and uncover new ways of applying them that will increase your sales results; so in this last chapter I will briefly outline the most common mistakes that I come across in my sales consultancy and coaching practice.

Although all the answers have already been covered as I said right in the introduction, knowledge without action is worthless. So as you read this list take a final look below and make sure you avoid repeating the most common mistakes that will erode your sales success.

Your sales ability

1. Low self-belief and poor confidence levels

2. Taking rejection personally which, again erodes confidence

3. Inability to immediately bounce back after a rejection which affects your next sales presentation

4. Dont want to be labelled as a salesperson , therefore avoid generating sales opportunities

5. Not understanding the real reasons why people buy your product or service and therefore targeting the wrong ideal customer

6. Not following up sales leads instead allowing them to go off the boil

7. Low motivation as have not clearly defined personally motivating goals
Your sales skills

8. Low empathy skills which leads to poor rapport 

9. Failing to effectively qualify opportunities and wasting time chasing dead opportunities

10. Presenting the opportunity before qualifying the Hot Button simply because the client shows an initial interest

11. Closing meetings or telephone phones on sending the client a proposal or brochure

12. Not gaining commitment by using Tie-Downs or Test Closes before moving the conversation on

13. Presenting Features and missing Benefits altogether, or presenting benefits that do not match clients needs.

14. Not asking for the business!!


15. Not asking for referrals

16. A lack of healthy competition within a sales team which can add motivation.

17. Poor sales management, and no accountability for activity and results within the individual team members, instead they are left to run amok. Or a lack of self discipline if you are responsible for your own accountability.

18. Broken promises rewards & recognition that have been offered are not forthcoming, which demotivates the salesperson. Or not taking a break if you need to rejuvenate yourself.

19. Poor time management, not focusing on activities that deliver results, becoming side-tracked in less productive activities.

20. No idea of the companies sales process, instead scrabbling hitting and missing sales opportunities. 

21. Not measuring activity KPIs instead only focusing on revenue generation 

22. Poor record keeping and not accurately recording sales history

23. A poor sales environment which does not inspire or motivate and you wouldnt want to work in.

24. Overcomplicated systems that pull resource away from sales generating activity.

Nicola is MD of Company Shortcuts, a consultancy dedicated to excellence in sales and leadership. Join her at the next Company Shortcuts Business Accelerator sales growth conference. 

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