5 years ago
October 1, 2019

8 of the Most Common Sales Mistakes to Avoid

Do you make common sales mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes. But some are worse than others, especially in the sales industry. There are some sales mistakes that you want to avoid…

Rhys Metler

Do you make common sales mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes. But some are worse than others, especially in the sales industry. There are some sales mistakes that you want to avoid at all costs, or it could end up costing you a sale or a client. A sales rep’s ability to avoid and overcome sales mistakes can have a huge impact on performance, sales numbers, and even career progression. In this blog, our Toronto sales recruiters have put together a collection of mistakes commonly made by sales professionals.

Common Sales Mistakes to Avoid

Small mistakes or errors in judgment are bound to happen occasionally as you try to turn a prospect into a paying client. You can recover from these. However, there are some sales mistakes that are not as easy to correct. Avoid these common sales mistakes:

1. Being Late for a Client Meeting

This can be a fatal error. If you show up late for a meeting or are late on a sales call, it basically tells your prospect or client that they are not important to you. Even if your intentions are good, it’s vital that you avoid being late for any type of sales call. Make it a priority to always be on time. If you are traveling to meet your client, build in some buffer time to your commute to accommodate traffic delays and other unforeseen circumstances.

Toronto sales headhunters warn against being late for a client meeting

2. Having Meetings Just to Touch Base

Staying top of mind is important, but so is your client’s time. If you request a meeting with your client, there needs to be a purpose. Having a meeting just to touch base is a time-waster.

Your client’s time is valuable. They are busy. Unnecessary and long, drawn-out meetings will not be viewed favorably. Have too many of them and your client may not be so willing to meet with you in the future. Set a time, communicate your purpose, and avoid wasting a client’s time.

3. Giving a Stale Sales Pitch

Your clients don’t want to hear your sales pitch. You won’t sell them by restating a stale pitch that is not customized to them. What your clients want is to have a conversation with you about how you can help them. Talk about your customers’ needs, understand their pain points, and learn about their business objectives. Once you understand this information, then you can start to sell them on your products/services.

4. Being Distracted During a Sales Call

People get easily distracted today, especially by their phones. Avoid the temptation to check your phone while you are meeting with a client unless it has a direct connection to your communication with them. No message, call, or email should be viewed as more important than your current client, even if it is more important.

5. Being Pushy and Overselling

Sales professionals are known for being a bit on the pushy side. People do not take well to overselling and pushy sales tactics today. They don’t work anymore. Using them communicates to a prospect that you are in dire need to make a sale and that you are only concerned about making a sale, not helping them meet their needs.

6. Failing to Properly Qualify a Lead

You’ll have a more difficult time closing deals if you fail to properly qualify your sales leads. Trying to sell to anyone who will listen is not an effective sales strategy. You’ll waste your time trying to sell to people who are not interested and lose out on time you could have spent with a prospect who actually has an interest in your products/services.

Qualifying leads not only tells you if a prospect is interested, but it also helps you learn more about them, their specific needs, which products and services are best suited to help them, who has buying authority, and their budget.

7. Always Saying Yes

You can say yes too much. As a sales rep, there are certain things you can say yes to definitively. There are other things that many sales reps say yes to, even when they shouldn’t. While you want to say yes to keep a customer interested and keep them happy, it’s more important to be honest with them. If they make a difficult request, say no. Avoid over-promising and under-delivering. You will create unhappy customers by setting unrealistic expectations.

8. Information Overload

Educating your customers is part of your job. But providing too much information, too often, can confuse your customers. It could also cause them to take a step back. If you bombard them with technical information and insider lingo they don’t understand, it could backfire on you.

Communicate clearly and in simple terms. Provide your customers with the information they need to make a purchase decision. If they want more information, they’ll ask you.

Sell More and Avoid Common Sales Mistakes with These Tips From Toronto Sales Recruiters

Want to sell more? Of course, you do! Here are some additional blog posts from our expert sales headhunters that outline great tips and advice on how to improve your sales strategy:

I Want a Promotion! 4 Highly Unflattering Behaviours Sales Reps Should Avoid

7 Innovative Tactics Sales Pros Can Learn from the Marketing Department

How to Own Your Negotiation Skills to Close More Deals

4 Tips to Walk Away from a Horrible Sales Deal

5 of the Worst Selling Tips to Ignore

3 Unconventional but Totally Successful Ways to Sell

5 Terrific Ways to Gain Buyers’ Trust


SalesForce Search is a Toronto sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.