7 months ago
February 21, 2017

5 Bad Sales Behaviours That Prevent Closing More Sales

Bad sales behaviours can have a negative impact on the ability to close sales. Here are five to watch out for.

Claire McConnachie

Even the most diligent sales person can fall under the influence of bad sales behaviours. Behaviours that can have a negative impact on the ability to close rarely begin overnight; in many cases they are due to a slow build of outside influences, such as those of sales peers or pressure to save time. It is only through being aware of the bad sales behaviours that can seep into daily sales activities that you can avoid falling under the influence of these bad sales behaviours yourself. Here are five to watch out for.

1. Not Tracking Your Sales Activities

While you may receive periodic updates from your sales manager about your sales activities, these may only include activities that are a priority for your company. By tracking your sales activities and understanding how these build a foundation for your sales numbers, you can make quick adjustments when necessary for better sales results. Moreover, tracking your own sales activities can help you spot bad sales behaviours creeping into your routines right away.

2. Using Strongly Biased Language

You have likely chosen to work for your company because you believe that its offerings are better than those of the competition, and this is definitely a positive position to hold. However, there is a fine line between demonstrating how your products and services are superior and slighting the competition. Even if your offerings are miles ahead of your industry, avoid these bad sales behaviours and:

  • Be sure to back up your claims with unbiased numbers or other hard facts.
  • Choose your words carefully. You can’t be expected to be neutral, but you can always be fair and err on the side of objectivity.
  • Never castigate your competitors. Your prospects will respond to you if you are confident enough to handle objections using open-minded and truthful language.

3. Relying on One Communication Channel Too Heavily

Bad sales behaviours do not include using the communication channels that your prospects prefer. However, it is better for you, your prospects, and your sales pipeline if you make an effort to keep in touch through all of the channels that you have available – e-mail, telephone, and face to face meetings are all part of the routine sales cycle with good reason. Do your best to choose the appropriate channels for your communication in line with your sales strategy for each prospect to avoid bad sales behaviours like always responding over e-mail.

4. Pursuing Prospects Who May Never Be Ready to Close

A large part of success in sales depends on being able to find, develop, and close prospects with high top line potential. However, these prospects can encourage bad sales behaviours by constantly deferring and delaying the final step of signing on the dotted line. When this happens, these prospects remain forever prospects, and may be detracting from your ability to close other sales. Remember, part of the qualification process is readiness to buy! Stay focused on avoiding bad sales behaviours by being realistic about the chances a given prospect will actually close, and schedule your time accordingly – no matter how tantalizing the potential deal may be.

5. Spending Less Than 15 Minutes Preparing for a Sales Call

Which would you rather accomplish: 100 sales calls that lead to four completed sales, or 30 sales calls that lead to 10 completed sales? When making sales calls there is a wide margin between quality and quantity, and to succeed sales people should be aiming for the former. Bad sales behaviours like inadequate preparation for sales calls could be harming your ability to close sales. Try to spend at least fifteen minutes preparing for each sales call you make by performing research on your prospect and his or her company, which will allow you to formulate better approaches to sales calls and be knowledgeable about your prospects’ businesses and needs right from the start.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.