8 years ago
April 13, 2016

7 Mistakes Every Great Sales Leader Has Overcome

Everyone makes mistakes at some point. Even a great sales leader can make a rookie mistake every now and then.

Rhys Metler

Everyone makes mistakes at some point. Even a great sales leader can make a rookie mistake every now and then. In sales, a mistake can cost you an order, or sometimes, a client. It is often difficult, if not impossible, to go back and correct a mistake that has cost you a sale. The trick is to be aware of as many potential and common mistakes that sales people make.

As a sales professional, you must always be on your A game. As hard as this seems, with a little planning and preparation before you contact a client or prospect, you can regularly avoid these pitfalls.

1. Fail to listen

This is not the listening that is waiting for the right moment to jump in and start speaking again. This is the listening that gives you information and that allows you to ask questions and learn more about your client. Be an active listener. Your questions should reflect the information you just received.

2. Talk too much

This is different than not listening. This is not knowing when to be quiet. Most people can only focus on a few facts at a time. If you go on and on, you will lose the attention of the person that you are trying to sell to. We’ve all had the situation of being stuck with some one who will not shut up. You come away from that person with a less than positive view. Don’t be that person.

3. Not being prepared

Abraham Lincoln once said, “By failing to prepare your are preparing to fail.” If you know your product and you know the client and you know what your are trying to accomplish, you will be in control. This also includes knowing upfront what the budget is and making sure you are talking to the correct person–the person with the authority to buy. Preparation allows you the flexibility to be more at ease and more confident.

4. Not taking control

The last thing you want to do is allow your prospect to lead the sale. While this can be an outcome of not being prepared, it can really happen for any number of reasons. If you or the prospect are interrupted during the presentation, you need to bring the presentation right back to where you were. If you allow yourself to get off track, you leave an the opportunity for the prospect to shut you down.

5. Not having a systematic approach

Every sale will have a process. Every process has steps that lead from initial contact to sealing the deal. Trying to wing it, or skipping steps that you think may not matter, can lead to failure. Think of yourself as a analyst. What are the steps you take from Prospect to Sale? You probably have an approach, so solidify it.

6. Not asking for the sale

This may seem ridiculous but it happens more than you think. After your presentation, you need to ask the customer for a comment or a commitment. This is essential. You have asked the client to invest time in your presentation. You have an obligation to find out what they think.

7. Not honoring your commitments

Every relationship is built on a foundation of trust. When you do not honor your commitments, trust is broken and hard to get back. You not only cause damage to your own reputation, you could be risking the reputation of your company as well. Always make notes of what you have promised to your client. The smallest breach in trust can cause a great deal of harm.

Many of these hazards are easy to avoid with a little preparation and planning. Avoiding these mistakes will help you to be successful in your sales career.

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.