The 12 Mistakes That Kill Sales


(By Loyd Ford) What if I told you that over 50% of your potential clients formed their opinion about your company, your product and you before you ever sell them?

Do you believe your potential clients are looking for a reason to spend money with you or do you think they largely feel each decision they make reflects on their opportunity for success and they know that every choice they make will move them closer to success or failure?

What if there was a list of likely mistakes salespeople make and you used that list to focus your opportunity for higher sales in 2022?

Let’s see what you think.

  1. You talk too much and you don’t listen enough. Unlike what most people in your family think, it isn’t the big talkers that always sell the most. Why is that? If you talk more than you listen, you miss important clues. You miss opportunity (or opportunities to sell a client). People want to be heard and they can tell when you are not listening to them. Do you think that builds trust? It doesn’t. It’s also likely not to help you sell a prospect. However, if you learn and practice active listening, you will increase your opportunities to build trust and your opportunities to pick up on more clues on how to resolve issues for your potential client with your product and services. Learn to make questions the center-piece of your sales strategy. Be curious. Listen and learn to sell more.
  2. You hate prospecting so you avoid it. There is no question about it: The more potential clients you see, the more you sell. Opportunity exists every single day, but your attitude about how you handle rejection, how you wade through the process of prospecting and your ability to enjoy the fortitude it takes to fully develop highly productive clients will be your keys to overcoming prospecting hate. Practice, activity, sharpening of skills and sheer numbers all work in your favor if you consistently keep your sales calls high.
  3. You overestimate what you can do in the short-term and ignore the value of consistent work ethic and time. This is human nature. We all want immediate results. Because our expectations are often ‘off,’ sales reps can fall to defeat too early in the game. This is why it is important to have a building game plan to keep going, continue listening to potential clients, working to earn your way into their business as more than a seller. You want to spend your planning and execution on developing yourself as someone who is a helpful resource to your prospects. That’s important relationship and it turns into money time and time again.
  4. You haven’t been trained well enough by your company and you don’t invest in coaching, training, education to elevate your selling acumen. Many employees often think it is only the company responsibility to train you or help you improve on a professional scale. School is in every day. The best sellers not only find important mentors, they also continuously self-educate so they elevate what they know about selling, how the adjust their overall approach to potential clients and how they grow referrals often enough to create a more steady pipeline of even unexpected business. By committing to long-term goals, consistently investing in education and even coaching to elevate your game, you will become more admired for your higher sales than others on your team.
  5. You accept no too easily. Often sales reps will see a client once or maybe twice. After hearing no, they will move on. Even the old days of ‘frequency of 3’ is long gone. Today the number of times you will likely want to present to a client (not just see them) will be 7 to 10 times before consistently reaching paydirt.
  6. You don’t focus enough on the clients and potential clients that really support your success. Every sale is a good sale, right? How about…wrong. You’ve heard it often, I’m sure: 20% of your clients provide…..well, you know. What about the smaller clients that cause you more trouble? Focus on clients you can develop into significant clients of depth. These clients will help you move the needle and you’ll be able to help them more as well.
  7. You don’t prep enough before you see clients. I see this all the time. Sellers go visit. They stop by for a casual hello. They go in with an underdeveloped idea of what they want to accomplish. Most battles are won before the first shot is fired. Why? Because those people planned for victory. If this is your attitude, every time you step in front of a client or potential client, you will have a well thought out plan and an important reason (to the client) for being in front of them. It will make a powerful difference in your sales.
  8. You don’t even believe clients sell themselves. Clients buy from people they like. They like people they believe in. And they buy ideas that they mostly think are their ideas or ideas that fit into the story playing in their head. Start with the client – not with you, not with your product. Start with them and you will more often taste the sweet taste of success.
  9. You neglect to improve the customer experience. It’s not just the sale that is important. It is the experience that your client has with you, working with your company, how they feel about the process, the results and the relationship. Focus on the client experience more than your own and your clients will see you differently than other sellers, other companies and they will see your product as different. That will make a huge difference in repeat buying.
  10. You ignore math and data. Most people hate math, but you don’t have to if you understand that math is a key language to success. Data and math are often direct partners to help you map success with clients. Learn to understand them for individual clients and you will have the secret weapons that keep on giving again and again.
  11. Sending information that doesn’t matter instead of relevant material and especially solutions that make your client’s lives easier and more productive. Some people just think more information is better. Sometimes it hurts you. Work hard to make sure when you give clients information that it is well thought out, important and very helpful to the client. This is a powerful way to build your personal brand with individual clients as always honoring their time. Your clients will know that when they see you, you won’t waste their time. They either learn something important or accept the keys to moving their business forward because you are the man or woman that delivers solutions again and again. That’s meaningful in relationships when others are simply piling on more information to try to see what might stick.
  12. You think it’s all you. First, we really accomplish nothing alone today. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t hesitate to learn from others, accept help from others, engage others to lift your knowledge, keep you encouraged and going forward or to keep you from giving up on an individual key client or sector opportunity that could be the key to your future.

What if focusing on these 12 items could help you increase your sales in 2022 by 30% or even more? Imagine the life you could live if you avoided these 12 mistakes and replaced them with actions and consistency that make you really impactful in the next 12 to 14 months?

At the end of the race, it’s not always the best runner that wins. But you can bet making less mistakes and improving the way you run the race on a daily basis will improve your year next year.

Loyd Ford can be reached at 864.448.4169 or [email protected].


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