7 Common Sales Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

always be closing

Do you want to get good at sales? Because if you do, there is a lot of money to be made. But before I can teach you how to sell, first I need to teach you what not to do.

If you want to make money through selling, you don’t have to be a great sales person. You just need to avoid these common mistakes:

Don’t forget to qualify

Before you can sell, you have to find someone to sell to, right? Whether it’s someone coming to you or whether you are finding someone to sell to, the first thing you have to do is qualify your potential customer.

If you forget to do the qualifying step, a large percentage of your time will be wasted on potential customers who don’t really need your offering or can’t afford it.

Every opportunity isn’t equal. Through qualifying, you’ll get a better understanding of what each customer wants, when he or she wants it by and what his or her budget is. Most importantly, you’ll be able to figure out if you are talking to the person who can actually make the decision.

If you aren’t sure how to qualify people, all you have to do is ask them simple questions such as:

  • What are you looking for specifically?
  • What’s your budget?
  • When are you looking to start?

Don’t be a “yes” man

Do you know what the biggest sales mistake you can make is? It’s not forgetting to qualify. It’s saying “yes”.

When a potential customer makes a request, you naturally want to say “yes”. And once you say yes a few times, you’ll realize that you’re walking down a slippery slope because the customer will keep making requests. Each one of those requests will not only cost you money, but it will also let the customer know that he or she can be demanding and walk all over you.

If what a customer wants is profitable to you and you can deliver, say yes. If the request is unreasonable, say no. By setting this precedent early on, you’ll have more happy customers.

When I first started selling years ago, I had a tendency to say yes constantly, even when I couldn’t deliver. This produced unhappy customers, and it added unnecessary stress to the business. So, don’t do what I did.

Don’t offer too much information

The more information you offer to people, the more likely they’ll be confused. When people are confused, they don’t become customers.

Learn to get your message out in a quick and concise way as it will be easier to understand. Trying to look smart by using sophisticated language or talking in technical jargon is just dumb.

When pitching customers, make sure you only tell them what they need and want to know. I’ve found that when you tell them more than they want to know by trying to throw in something that’s mind blowing, sometimes you’ll increase the likelihood of closing the deal, but in most cases you’ll just bore them to death. People have short attention spans, so be careful about dragging things on.

Don’t oversell

Similarly to avoiding offering potential customers too much information, you will be wise to not oversell. If you’re too pushy, you’ll turn off a lot of people.

You have to think of sales like dating. If you reek of desperation, no one will be attracted to you. You have to be casual with your sales techniques and act like you don’t care to make the sale. At the end of the day, if your product or service is that good, the person you are selling to should feel privileged to use it.

If you are one of those people who wants to be a bit pushy instead of just waiting things out, you can always create a sense of urgency to close the deal. Plus, it won’t seem like you are overselling.

For example, when I had a consulting company, I told potential prospects that if they wanted to work with me, they had to sign the contract by X date as I only had one opening next month. When using this tactic, I increased my closing ratio by over 50%. At the same time, you shouldn’t use this unless it’s true as lying to potential customers is a bad way to start a working relationship.

Don’t lose sight of the goal

You’re in sales meetings to make sales, right? Of course, you are. So, why would you waste your time chit-chatting about random topics with a potential customer?

You don’t have people’s undivided attention forever. So, make sure you are keeping track of time to get your message across as quickly as possible. If you have spare time after that, you can start chit-chatting about common interests as that will help build a stronger connection, but you shouldn’t do that until you get all of your major points across and have the person on the hook.

Don’t delay your sales

If your product or service isn’t ready, you’ll have a tendency to not sell until it’s ready. The big problem with this is that you can’t predict when things are going to be ready. Yes, your engineers can give you a completion date, but chances are there will be delays.

So, why not start selling now? You don’t have to give your customers your product or service right now. You can give them access to it in the future. By having them sign up right now, you can always give them a discount to entice them.

What I also like doing is to close the sale ahead of time and tell companies that there is a 30 to 60 day implementation time frame as this buys me time. This works really well in a service-oriented business.

Don’t talk past the sell

After you close a deal, you need to learn to stop talking. I’ve seen people lose deals countless number of times because they keep talking after the potential customer is ready to become a customer. They do this by saying something stupid, which makes that person think twice.

Learn to keep your mouth shut after someone tells you he or she wants to be a customer. If you can’t, this is the best time to chit-chat about random subjects that aren’t related to politics or religion.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be a good sales person to close a deal. You just have to avoid the mistakes I talked about above. If you can do that, you’ll start closing more deals and make more money.

So, don’t focus your time on trying to become an exceptionally great sales person. Just focus on avoiding the common pitfalls I discussed.

Do you know of any other common sales mistakes people make?

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Comments

  1. I think you find that too many web developers are yes men. Maybe it’s more common amongst other fields.

  2. TMI-too much information can definitely be detrimental in the sales process. The sales person really has to learn when to speak, and when to hold back.

  3. Biggest mistake I see people make is to not ask for the order. For example, if you are talking to someone on the phone who seems interested in your offering go ahead and ask, “Are you ready to get started? If so, we can do it (take order, etc.) right now.”

    • I agree.

      If it seems like the customer is interested, ask if they are ready to proceed. When talking to others it helps if you are the one to lead the sale. Thanks for the input.

      • Most of the time, I have seen that when you ask for orders. People find it pushy. If you want to establish your product/services and want to stand out then you should just answer their questions and let them go. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself involved in lot of bargaining and stuff…

        May be wrong but its my personal finding…

  4. The one thing that I bear in mind if I want someone to ‘buy’ something from me is this:

    Help them realise that they’ve wanted it all along.

    This means that they must not only want what you’re offering, but they must also believe that they’ve wanted it all along.

    It can take a while to get to this stage, but it works :-)

    • Yep.

      Nice advice. It absolutely helps a sale if you are able to convince your customer that what you have to offer is not only what they need but what they were looking for. If they believe it is something they wanted, rather then something you are selling, then they are more likely to buy it.

  5. The art of the “sale” (trying not to play off of the Art of the Deal) is truly a unique phenomenon. It’s one of those things that you want to study methods, approaches, and techniques, but can quickly find yourself immersed with academia and no actual talent or social skills. There is no perfect equation to the “sale”. When I first got into sales as a teenager, I made the mistake of #3 “Giving too much information”. I really cared about the products I was selling and I wanted to make sure the customer knew that not only was I knowledgeable about the product, but that it was the correct one for them (this was not a car dealership lol). However, in this particular industry the information about the product was too much for someone outside the industry and didn’t matter because all the customer needed to know where the aesthetic qualities. Then when I started to branch out on my own, I started making mistake #2. I found myself overpromising and under delivering. Not only was this exhausting because I was working a regular job 50 hours a week, school 20 hours a week, and starting my first business (I was 18), but it was costing me too much. The customer will really try to take advantage of you if they can (we all want the most bang for the buck) and I let them do it. Now (6 years later) I have learnt an enormous amount about selling. The customer should not only want your product, but they should want you. You are a brand. Now it is under promise and over deliver. Like Neil, I have had some failed businesses, but I wouldn’t really classify them as failures because I have learnt oodles. For one-on-one sales, I try to bridge that gap through a link that we have in common. We all have something we can relate to in order to break the ice. I notice multiple pictures at someone’s house of dogs, then I talk about how I love dogs; boom! Into the sale. In regards to #6, I’ve started a new business and am already hitting the ground running (if you click my name to my website you’ll see it’s under construction, but that doesn’t mean I’m not participating in the blogosphere, setting up contracts, and branding myself). Some good advice that I can personally relate to here. Thanks Neil.

    • It is a delicate art. You never know what will work, because each person is different. It certainly takes a special type of skill set, studying up on multiple techniques is a good idea. Giving too much information seems to be a typical rookie mistake. It is tricky knowing what to promise because sometimes you can’t for see how much work it may take. Which could force you to under deliver and that is never a good thing in business. It takes a few years to become business savvy, unless you are lucky enough to have a strong mentor. You are definitely not only selling you product but yourself as well. People tend to trust a product more when they trust the person selling it. I appreciate all the additional input.

    • I commented earlier on how each person has their own style, then I read your comment — the part about noticing pictures of dogs, and then saying how you love dogs. I know salesman that this works perfectly for, forms a bond with the seller, etc., but I have to say that whenever I’ve tried something like this, it totally falls flat, and I lose the sale. Your thoughts?

      • Each sales person has some sort of hook that works for them. Trying to make a personal connection can work for some but it depends on how personal you are getting and the way you pitch it. If it doesn’t work for you then try something different.

      • I just try to find the link that connects me to the person I’m trying to sell to. You don’t want to get off the topic too much, but you want to connect with your customers. It makes it more personal. Sometimes this is good and sometimes not. It really depends on your industry. Another example. I am a Scotch and Whiskey drinker. And there was a guy who owns an electronics distribution company that did $100 million last year. I really wanted to meet him and get some advice with a new venture I am starting. I found out that he also enjoys Scotch. So I found out an event he would be at and I got myself in. Then I approached him and offered him some of the house Scotch the event had while saying, “Man I wish they had some MacAllan 18 or some Glenfiddich 18 or something with a little more body”. He replied, “Yeah that’s what I’m talking about. I have an unopened bottle of MacAllan 30 at home”. Then I talked to him about how I recently went to a MacAllan tasting in the Bay area and he went on about how his friend owns this great Speak Easy style bar with a great whiskey selection. We ended up leaving the event and going to the Speak Easy place. The place is called Single Barrel in San Jose just if you were interested. We ended up drinking and talking about business until close to 4 in the morning. He gave me some great advice and showed me some helpful hints he has in going into this type of business. We stay in regular contact now. So although this wasn’t a sale, I did gain greatly from it and it was through something that linked 2 human beings.

        -Cheers

  6. Great article! I really think this is a great tool for all sales people to use to help guide them in their sales.

  7. Great post. I love the picture from Glengary at the top. That was a fantastic movie btw thanks for the rec.

  8. i am kinda guilty of too much information. it really does not help

    • Sure doesn’t. You might think it would help, giving the customer as much information as you can but in fact it almost never works in your favor.

      • Great stuff Neil! I work for an ISP, and i have noticed most of my clients do not understand IT concepts e.g bandwith. When selling to customers about our variety of packages i mostly want to get it clear to customers on I.T concepts but i have noticed some of them would say “lets get to the point of this” its like they have no time to listen and then if i give the a wrong package because they refused to understand, my fear is that it may not work for them due to bandwith allocated on that package is not enough. So how i deal with such clients?

        • That’s tough. You can get to the point, but let them know that if you don’t have the technical details they may end up picking the wrong package. I would just get to the point and let them know that if things don’t work out they can always change their plan later.

  9. If you build a good rapport by asking the right questions you will be able to quality the lead, and sell them a product that will benefit them. Questions, Rapport, Sell

  10. This is a great primer to those new to the game.

    Here are just a few more thoughts that may be helpful to other newcomers

    Re: Qualifying

    If you’re in an industry with some amount of maturity, you have the privilege to qualify your customers more discriminately. Why? Because if you’re saying, let’s say 15″ powered speakers, there are people out there already looking for that. You just need to find them and sell them on why yours are better than other options. You don’t care their age, nationality, gender, interests, etc. If they’re looking for 15″ powered speakers, you’re their guy/girl.

    On the other hand, let’s say you’re a site like Match.com. Sure, you can “sell” your site to any single person over 18 that’s single, but that’s going to get VERY expensive. You’ll spend an insane amount of money on under converting demographics. You need to learn to qualify demographically. A more extreme example of this would be a totally new communication service, like Twitter, which is even harder to set a target demographic for. Nonetheless, its the only way to actively grow something like that seeing as there was nobody actively looking for “microblogging” services when twitter was launched.

    Re: Being a Yes Man

    I can’t agree with this enough. *HAVE SOME GODDAMN STANDARDS*.

    Don’t take every scrap that falls your way. Have relationships with people in your industry that will do work that is below your threshold and send clients too small their way. Ideally, you’ll even get a referral commission.

    Likewise, DEFINITELY have relationships with companies that’s take on clients bigger than you’re able to. Those will almost certainly pay a healthy referral commission.

    People respect you MORE when you say, “I’m sorry, I don’t think we have a fit.” Likewise, if you tell someone “that’s not something we do,” they will respect you and assume you are a real professional. Find anyone who is awesome at anything, I can guarantee they turn stuff down all the time and don’t act so desperate as to not be able to hold up a negotiation.

    Maintain an under promise and over deliver philosophy. It’ll keep your margins healthier & your clients happier.

    Lastly, re: Too much information -

    I think this really depends. If you have an informational video on your landing page that is targetted towards a certain demographic and it goes into pinpoint detail, that’s probably a bad move. However, if you’re offering a somewhat technical business solution to a somewhat technical audience, they *will* want the details.

    Likewise, when someone is highly qualified, it is ok to give them the details in the form of EDUCATION. Don’t just go into some kind of feature dump. Tell them what they need to understand in order to make a good decision. Make sure you use lots of good metaphors so they don’t have to learn your jargon to make sense of your concepts. All of this should be towards the end of winning over the customer and closing the sale.

    • Your intro video on your website utilizes a lot of the strong points of selling. You drop some info that people familiar with SEO would recognize and makes you an authority on the topic, but a laymen would understand your message too. Basically, you’re saying, “We are SEO badasses and here is why.” I’m liking it.

    • Thanks,

      You give a ton of detail. Everything you say is very specific and useful to anyone, especially newcomers. All good suggestions to take into consideration. Hopefully between my post and yours any questions should be thoroughly answered!

  11. Takeaway: “..After you close a deal, you need to learn to stop talking. I’ve seen people lose deals a countless number of times because they keep on talking after the potential customer is ready to become a customer. ..”

    Bingo. Reminds me of how law school professor’s tell “potential lawyer’s clients” to NOT to talk to the police.

    Thanks Neil
    P.S: By the way Neil..when you get a chance..a typo: “..slippery slop..”

  12. Extremelly good points . I can see we make some of those mistakes and I can also see why they will work . I think its important to make those mistakes to understant why the points you said will work :) .

    Manish

    • Do whatever works best for you. Learning from your own mistakes is a great way of making sure not to make them again. Yet, if you rather learn from the mistakes of others then you won’t have to make any to begin with! Which could save you the time of having to learn it the hard way.

  13. Hey Neil thanks for sharing such a good points. It is necessary to avoid all these mistakes in order to get good sales as well as good profit.

  14. Sales is about practice, most people need to work on their relationship with sales. We would not have got the best things in life without sales. Sales elevates quality of our clients, We are all the times selling at home or at work all the time. Some sell the concept “selling is hard”.

    We do not sell we only gift our service to our clients

    When your company provides something that offers far MORE value and than deliver on that consistently and with integrity, there’s no “selling” necessary.

    This is what we practice with all our clients-
    1) invitation,
    2) conversation
    3) proposal (gentle offering)
    4) welcoming our client.- He is willing to gift himself a new life

    Thanks to the person who read what i wrote .

    Happy selling

    • Very true.

      Nicely put, you must be quite the sales person yourself. Like you said sales are less difficult when the product is of value. That couldn’t be more true. Thanks for sharing tips that you practice and work for you.

  15. Great post,

    No doubt in that this is the kind of field where many people will slip from their ways because sales in not an easy task to do in now adays where competition is going on very huge number. If you will do a little mistake in sales that means you will go far away from your targets which you set for you.

    Beside that a perfect salesman should apply these simple rules in their field and i sure he will get success in his life but heshe should keep passions for that.

    • Thanks,

      I agree. It is far from easy that is why I hope those who read this will be able to learn from my mistakes before they make the same ones themselves. Competition is vast and there will always be another person out there fighting you for those customers. It can be a difficult craft many don’t make it in sales.

      If you try what I have suggested I’m sure you will have a better chance at succeeding. Also like you said passion is key, if you don’t care about what you have to offer then why should your customers?

  16. Do you use contracts for all your business deals. Or just all the large ones?

  17. Great article btw – Some simple real world tips. I need to get better at all those things. Especially qualifying customers.

  18. Great writeup. I see you’re really inspired from the movie boiler room.

  19. Hi Neil, Again a great share and sure most of us would have come across these mistakes in our business and thanks for the useful tips on how to avoid them.
    Online Business Virtual Assistant

  20. Task manager Disabled :

    Great article btw – Some simple real world tips. I need to get better at all those things. Especially qualifying customers.

  21. Hey Neil thanks for sharing such a good points. It is necessary to avoid all these mistakes in order to get good sales as well as good profit.

    • Well, these tactics may help bring in revenue, but they don’t focus on profit. You as a sales person have to make sure you are charging more than the deal actually costs.

  22. Most people in business are far more impressed by somebody saying “no” rather than being continually told “yes” and being let down.

  23. Sales make crazy requests just to make the sale is what hurts. Then if account managers deal with the accounts later… They get the wrath of it.

  24. Hi Neil, great post :)
    Just a quick insight:
    I had to read this line over and over again ’cause it didn’t make sense to me: “If you can’t this is the best time to chitchat about random subjects that aren’t related to politics or religion.”
    My mind kept trying to read it as “If you can’t do this…” and it just wasn’t making sense. I finally realized all that was missing was a comma… “If you can’t, this is the best time to chitchat about random subjects that aren’t related to politics or religion.”

  25. Amazing article Neil.

    We have just started selling our first product (http://eyech.at) and this serves a fantastic resource! I would make sure, I follow all the points you mentioned, the next time when I make a sales pitch!

  26. I really like “Don’t delay the sale” especially for services. I am definitely going to use the implementation time to buy some time when it’s needed.

  27. Niel, you’re exactly right. We’ll need to learn lot from you.

  28. lots of good tips / tactics in here Neil.

    Using the tactics you provided above and really understanding and zooming in on the potential customer, finding out his/her problems, and helping them solve that problem by presenting your solutions as the best one for her situation, you’ll have a high conversion rate.

    Neil, what resources would you recommend for improving your “getting the message across in a quick and short way so it’s easier to understand.”

    Chung

  29. Excellent post (love the Glengarry Glen Ross photo), with some extremely valuable advice. Often, the trickiest part in a sale, is knowing how much information is too much. But as you so concisely put it, people get bored!

    Definitely some fantastic thinking points, thank you so much!

  30. Great tips for sales executives who can avoid all mistakes to improve there sales

  31. This article is one I am re-reading at least a few times — there’s lots to digest, especially when I get to the parts where some of the sales mistakes are the same as ones that I’ve made :-) One thing I’ve learned, though, is each person has their own style that works for them. Using your “not over-selling” example, that’s perfect advice for someone like me. But I personally know one salesman who is SO good (what’s that expression, could sell ice to a polar bear or something?) that when he “over sells” something, everybody loves it and reaches for their checkbooks. But that’s only because over-selling fits his personality and he can capitalize on it.

    • What works for some people in sales doesn’t always work for everyone. Like you said it depends on how your personality fits with the techniques you use. Try a few different tricks and see what works best for you.

      • Exactly — the only way to find out is by trying different things, even if some of those things is out of one’s “comfort zone.” Like in my earlier example of that salesman fellow I knew that “over sells” and is successful — I tried doing what he does, but that style didn’t work for me. But that doesn’t mean my style is perfect, as there is always room for improvement (I think…).

        • Definitely, if figure out what doesn’t work for you then you are able to move forward and try different things. I don’t believe any one style is perfect any ways. And there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

  32. Possibly the majority of Internet Marketers that attempt to sell by sticking a banner ad in front of the reader with a “Click Here” notice never stop to think about hard line sales. They should.

    Even though we do not wear the best of clothes, or even give a crap about how we look, the basic tenets of salesmanship should be followed.

    Very glad that you are reminding us of these things on this great blog. Back in the day I actually did lose a high priced project that was all but sold because I kept talking after the sale, so to speak. Never did that again.

    • Yep, some people don’t realize the power of a subtly sale. They think the more it stands out the easier it will be to sell. Which in fact sometimes has the opposite effect.

      If you are gifted at sales then what you wear may not matter, especially if the sale is over the phone or internet. However when making sales in person, dressing up could benefit you in your sale.

      Glad you found it useful. Learning from mistakes is what life is all about.

  33. i have been into situations where i have said yes a number of times just to oblige the client but it has only been counter productive to me and at times has even sour the relations with client. Over the years i have learned to be very clear and specific but also being polite.

    • It is tough telling people no when they ask for something. However it is even more difficult promising something you can’t deliver. If you are polite about it and honest, in the long run it will be better for business and your credibility.

  34. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for that info. I think salesmanship is an essential skill for all aspects of life. I’d just like to mention the importance on body-language and sales. I’ve found when selling any idea or object to someone that it’s always better to lean back. Even if you don’t do it physically, you can visualize it and it gives a sensation of no pressure to the customer. Nothing worse than a needy salesman.
    Paul

    • Absolutely,
      Being aware of body language is also a factor in making a sale. Interesting technique, if it works for you then keep with it. I agree confidence is better then neediness. Thanks for the tip, hopefully it will work for others as well.

  35. Expertly written advice on good salesmanship. I’ve just stumbled across your blog, and I’m very impressed. I hope to learn more from you.

  36. I am new to sales and found this article to be a great starting point. Thank you Neil. Also thank you to everyone who commented so far, I spent a good 15 – 20 minutes reading all the comments and there are plenty more great gems of sales advice in most of them.

  37. What i am thinking, every successful businessman did many mistakes in business that’s why there are successful now. In this post mistakes has been described better than “what to do in business”. So do new mistakes and rectify it.. get success.

  38. Don’t delay your sales is an interesting thought, and by giving them a discount you may be able to see how much of a demand you have so you are not stuck with overage of product. I know a couple people with things in storage units that are ridiculous. One actually has a mouse with a microphone in it, it was to be used with skype and things like that, but now mics are almost always included.

  39. Great piece of information. Thanks Neil

  40. Hmm, another interesting lesson here Neil, so now I know where to start, avoiding these mistakes will definitely help in making a lot of sales.. Great.

  41. I used to over sell a few times and it worked for me all the time. You just have to realize if the customer is ready to make a bigger step than he was planning.

  42. Very well said. No wonder Peter Drucker has said that Finance and operations are all support system, Sales is everything.

  43. Thanks for such a valuable points but it varies from person to person bcz different people are having different thinking, in my opinion sales person must have that much of vision that he understand the person & sales person must have knowledge of product & weight in his or her words that will work more

  44. Nice tips you have given about sales Neil

  45. Really great post. Lovely ideas. Will re-read when the next newsletter goes out..

  46. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the post, helped me understand the intricacies better.

    But a major put-off for customers (from what I’ve experienced) is stammering. This gives them the impression that the seller is either trying to trick them into something, or otherwise, the seller is not confident about his product; and so they turn away.

    • No problem,

      Happy to hear it was useful to you.

      Definitely, confidence is not only in appearance but in speech as well. When your words aren’t confident and smooth, they can come across as dishonest.

  47. Hey Neil,

    Nice post, lesson learnt.

    I had a client who wanted to buy USD 2000 worth of services.. I tried to get him to sign up for a 3 month package for USD 2000 each and I lost that client.

    The lesson is.. dont be too goddamn greedy.

    Yasir

  48. Great post, a lot of sales people make these mistakes, but if we didn’t make mistakes we wouldn’t learn and learning from own mistakes is the best teacher. thanks for another great post Neil.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. Mistakes are definitely the best way to learn. Its even better when you learn from others mistakes before you make them yourself. That way you don’t have to go through the hassle of learning the hard way.

  49. I think the hardest one is “Don’t offer too much information” because you can easily confuse the person.. then its all downhill from there. Getting straight to be point is what most people want.

  50. A wonderful post, not just tells you what to do for sales but also tells what not to do.

  51. Great post, I really appreciate your experience sharing, so many people speaking about sharing, you MAKE it true!
    I would like to SHARE my biggest challenge: TAKE YOR TIME, hear your client, hear his problems, hear his needs, hear his doubts, then start speaking, and count up to ten before you do!!! don’t just fill up the time gaps with useless words. Good luck and keep it up! Claude from Argentina.

  52. I just want to mention I am new to blogging and site-building and actually enjoyed this blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You really have terrific posts. Thanks a lot for revealing your web page.

  53. Neil whats the major difference we can find between normal sales man and internet marketer

    • I wouldn’t say their should be much of a difference both people are just trying to sell their products. The biggest difference would be in what they are selling and who they are selling to.

  54. Love the “yes man” problem. So true! I used to say “yes” too often to customers too and it sometimes put me in a sticky situation. Thanks again for the great post.

  55. When you are on the field of sales especially when you are new you tend to say to any request. I know a cousin of mine finds it hard to say no even it will lose him commission. You should know when to say yes and no especially if you can’t deliver it because it would make it worse if you made the customer expect something.

    • It is never a good idea to agree to something especially if you aren’t certain you can deliver. The only thing worst then loosing a client by telling them you can’t provide them with what they need is by loosing one because you didn’t provide them with what you said you could.

  56. Hi Neil,
    Great article. Most of sales in having confidence, which is an inside job. People want what they can’t have.

    People want to purchase, they don’t want to be sold

    If you are representing a great product, it is our obligation as
    sales people to get it into as many peoples hands as people.

    Becoming an effective sales person is a skill which can be
    developed by anyone

    Thank you for your contribition,
    Jeff Faldalen

  57. Alex @ Easy ways to make money :

    Don’t talk past the sell – I like this advise Neil, talking too much can have some adverse effects on a rather positive opportunity. So it’s really better to just state the important benefits of a product, consider it as a preview and not a long presentation for your product.

  58. Like Brad Pitt said in “Moneyball”, “When you get the answer you want, hang up the phone!” Nothing worse than messing up a sale you had in the bag…

  59. Excellent post! I got to watch another salesman a few days ago selling his product. He was actually called in to do a test, and from that he emphasized how the product he was testing was going bad, it should be replaced before it was too late. From that he offered a solution to the problem he had just created, which made him look like the good guy, and got him a sizeable sale.

  60. This is so different from most posts because it tells you what to do, and more importantly, what not to do. Thanks Neil.

  61. Jeesh Neil..great article, could have done with this advice 10 years ago! I have learned all this the hard way!

    The only questions I ask now is, “How old? what grade? When?”.

    Then book them in for tomorrow before they have a chance to ask me, “How much?”

  62. Selling is a fine art that requires a well honed skill.

  63. Dont forget customers, i mean dont go off with what you have made. Your product should be as per the needs of the customers. Their needs & wants is at priority .

    • I agree, making sure your product is something that your customers will need or want is key to a successful business. Customers should always come first because they are the reason you have a business in the first place.

  64. I’ve noticed a common mistake is the “Yes Man” . Once you can’t deliver what you had promised might end to a lost sale or if ever they continued it’s hard for you to make them make a deal with you again. It’s hard to trust those who just accepts your request just to look good but in the end fails.

    • Yep, the truth is always better in the long run. If you try to sugar-coat it or say, “yes” to everything you will loose more in the end then by being straight forward and honest from the beginning.

  65. Neil,
    Do you agree that talking about your prospective client’s problem and not offering a straightforward solution helps sell?

  66. Hey Neil
    Really great post it gets even better with all the comments and opinions.
    I must put emphasis to present your proposal on time. After a good business meeting or even a telephone chat your client has developed some empathy, don’t lose your time… present right away your proposal or this “chemical” reaction will tend to diminish, going against your possibilities of achieving a closing.
    Keep it up Neil, really good job!
    Charly

    • Thanks, I am glad you liked it. I agree, timing is everything. You never want to want to long or you might miss your chance. However you don’t want to jump to quick or you may come across as pushy and not in a good way. It takes time and practice but sooner or later you should find the right balance.

  67. hey neil,
    i agree with you on all the points you have discussed. i really liked this point that don’t be a yes man, and of course this is true.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  68. Hi,
    Great article! I really think this is a great tool for all sales people to use to help guide them in their sales.

  69. Your intro video on your website utilizes a lot of the strong points of selling. You drop some info that people familiar with SEO would recognize and makes you an authority on the topic, thanks!

  70. Very good points, I’m really bad when it comes to selling random people I was thinking on hiring a few people and sending them to do the selling for me, but I think I’ll give this info a try before I do that.

    Thank you,
    Kenny.

    • Kenny, I think that is a good idea if you have the resources. That will allow you to focus on your core responsibilities. I suggest you outline all of your sales processes thoroughly before you delegate duties though.

  71. I think this is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things,
    The website style is ideal, the articles is really excellent
    : D. Good job, cheers

  72. wonderful points altogether, you simply received a brand new reader.
    What might you suggest about your post that you just made
    a few days in the past? Any sure?

  73. Just wanted to say that the pit falls that you mentioned are absolutely correct. Thanks for putting them in writing.

  74. Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

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