5 Killer Mistakes Salespeople Make! – Avoid the Traps

From Guest Blogger Vince Esposito, Managing Partner Sandler Training/The Strickland Group

As a general rule most of us, most of the time, do the right things. I have been very fortunate to train and coach now reaching close to a 1000 salespeople in different industries. I am always impressed with the strong desire that most of them exhibit to improve skills, and the willingness to work hard to achieve more success.

There is however certain traps to avoid as a salesperson that I see repeated over and over again. These self limiting traps will impact you in many negative ways but particularly in your bank account.  I would encourage you to read through the list of the killer mistakes to productivity and ask yourself the question, “Am I suffering from any of these traps?”. If so, I have also given some advice and suggestions on how to fix each.

Read on with an open mind and the willingness to be honest with yourself and you may find an area that if worked on might impact your success right away.

The following list of killer mistakes may be keeping you from achieving your desired lifestyle.

  • Mistake Number 1: Settling for Average Performance.   It is human nature to achieve goals but is the “super-star” that strives to achieve beyond those goal.  The super star sets lofty goals and goes about trying to achieve them. Start believing you can be a superstar but there is no substitute for hard work.

Fix: Make the decision to double your income! That’s right double it.  Go find more opportunities in your territory starting today. Write down the income you want to earn and go to work in a positive way to find it

  • Mistake Number 2: No Solid Well Organized Plan. Most of the time we work with ideas, strategies and opportunities only floating around in our heads. That is ok… but it usually doesn’t turn into superstar status.  It is imperative to have a plan to achieve higher results.

Fix: Create a formal prospecting plan on a calendar for 60 days out. Your plan should look like a “cookbook” of high performance with a mix of activities from cold calling to networking to generating referrals but should be organized in a calendar of high performance behavior. Start tracking your daily behavior to your cookbook. Don’t wing it.

  • Mistake Number 3: Not being a “Listener” This is most common mistake and the largest frustration for your prospects. Learning to truly listen and focus your energy on your client instead of your own desire to sell an agreement is by far the biggest killer of high performance.

Fix: Remember it is about them not you, focus your questioning skills. Get your clients talking. Questions show your real expertise not your pitch about your company. People buy for their business reasons not because your company is the biggest or supposedly the best.

  •  Mistake Number 4: Not understanding your hidden weaknesses. As human beings we all have strengths and weaknesses. Most of these weaknesses stem from our childhood and how we psychologically view selling.

Fix: Erase your need for approval which prevents you from asking the hard questions or getting rejection. Stop taking it so personal .It isn’t. Also start making stronger agreements with your customers on whether they have a serious interest in your solutions. We were taught as children not to ask money questions because that was private and personal. The hidden weakness of avoiding the money discussions combined with need for approval can really get you in trouble.

  • Mistake Number 5: Giving up to quickly. There is no better trait in human beings than not giving up. Persistence will most always trump skill in the world of sales. I am not suggesting being a pest but more the willingness to continue follow up with clients professionally. Often clients are very busy and need to be reminded several times that a problem should have a higher priority and be solved.

Fix: Stop thinking a no call back means a NO! It is not necessarily true at all. Keep a list of clients that you think they might be a NO but continue to follow up. Get them to say it don’t assume it. Last of all don’t be afraid of a No. The sooner you a get a NO the sooner you can either move on to more productive business opportunities or negotiate the objection that got you there in the first place.

Now review the list again and circle the traps where you need to focus.  Remember eliminate the killer mistakes and you just might double your income! Happy Selling!

Vince Esposito Managing Partner The Strickland Group based in Louisville KY.


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