7 years ago
February 21, 2017

Why Many Sales Calls Fail and What You Can Do to Avoid It

Sales calls fail for a number of reasons, but we see some of the same deadly mistakes happen time and time again. Read on to learn more.

Rhys Metler


Your sales calls could fail for a variety of different reasons—and some of them might not even be your fault. But honestly, the chances are high that it probably was your fault, and it was totally avoidable. Even the greatest salespeople make mistakes from time to time that lead to failure, but the difference is that they learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same errors in the future.

Below, we’ve gathered the most common reasons sales calls fail and what you can do to ensure that they don’t hurt your performance or your sales numbers. Learn from others’ mistakes instead of making them yourself.

Being Unprepared

Sometimes, a client will request a meeting for later that afternoon or the next day. No matter how quickly a meeting comes up, you absolutely have to be prepared—or you’re going to blow it. Whatever you’re doing, stop, and get to researching. The biggest reason why sales calls fail is because salespeople don’t take the time to learn more about the buyer, his industry, and his wants and needs. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have much time or if you’re too busy—you have to find the time to do some preliminary research.

You might know everything there is to know about your products or services, but that’s not what’s important to your buyers—that’s not what’s going to lead to the success of your sales calls. The better prepared you are, the more you can focus on your buyer’s unique pain points, issues, wants, and needs so you can offer him something of value—a solution. It will allow you to have a more compelling message to deliver, so you can effectively engage your prospect.

Presenting a Sales Pitch

Wait, what? You’re not supposed to present a sales pitch? That’s right. It doesn’t work anymore. In the past, salespeople memorized their one sales pitch and repeated it to every single one of their customers. But today, this sales tactic is totally ineffective. To avoid failed sales calls, you have to ditch the pitch and put more time and effort into having honest and open conversations that focus on your buyers’ unique needs and wants. You have to get personal.

Using Persuasion

If a client has agreed to meet you, it’s because he has at least a moderate interest in what you’re selling, so there’s absolutely no reason to be trying to aggressively persuade and convince him to buy from you. It’s a turn off. And it will make you lose the sale. Prospects resent being pushed into a sale and being manipulated. You’ll only create sales resistance, which is the opposite of what you need to get the sale. Persuasion is an obsolete sales tactic, so throw it out the window. Instead, focus on honesty and empathy to gain trust.

Spending Time on Unqualified Leads

If you really want to waste all of your time, sure, go after every single lead. But if you want to be efficient and productive and actually make sales, then you need to be more selective in the contacts that you reach out to. You need to figure out where your prospects are in the sales cycle by asking the right questions to ensure that you’re only following up with prospects who actually intend to buy soon.

Not Using a Consistent Sales Process

If your sales calls are largely hit or miss, then you’re definitely not using a consistently effective sales process. You shouldn’t be guessing and hoping and praying that you make the sale. You should be using a proven method that will lead to closing the deal time and time again. You shouldn’t be handling each sales opportunity differently. Learn what works and do it consistently for a higher closing rate.

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.