Do Not Make These Top 10 Selling Mistakes! on Marzec 20th, 2003

Achievement of selling „excellence” is most often earned rather
than learned. Outstanding professionals continuously seek to
hone their skills from mistakes made and lessons learned in
pursuit of success. Professional sales people in search of
extraordinary selling competence are no exception.

There has been an ongoing philosophical argument among sales
professionals whether extraordinary sales people are „born or
made”. Most think born, because few people can maintain
consistent sales generation performance within the same span
of time needed to achieve financial and motivational

Since most sales people’s compensation is based on actual sales
orders obtained, not good intentions or positive attitudes,
the selling profession’s relatively high rate of job turnover
is most often validated fraught with intense frustration and
an insurmountable learning curve that crosses many industries,
products and services.

Selling „skill” is best achieved via real world practice not
sales training theory, supported by guidance from others who
have taken the same career path previously and are generous
enough to share their learning experiences. This article
attempts to guide you past the „potholes” on the road to
selling success. Like most professions, the most common
mistakes made can be boiled down to a short list of avoidable
choices many of us naturally make in our pursuit to make a

10 Selling Mistakes You DON’T Have to Make!

1) Exhibiting Little Self Confidence:

There is no direct place to send you to get more self
confidence. The more you have in selling the better. Most
importantly, the more you exhibit to your existing or
potential customer the better your product or service is
perceived by them, the greater your probability of continued
selling success.

2) „Stretching” the Truth:

No one likes getting lied to, especially someone who is about
to spend their hard earned money based on factual liberties
told to them from the sales representative. Maintain your
reputation first and foremost; it supersedes you in every
sales call. Honesty should be the first adjective you want
most of your customers to describe you with.

3) NOT Saying „I Don’t Know”, When you Don’t Know:

This is a classic selling mistake! Discipline yourself to admit
to your customer that you don’t know about something
anything! It is most credible to say, „I don’t know, but I
will find out for you”, than to try to sound like you know
what you’re talking about. As you continue to practice this
principle, your knowledge base and your client’s perception of
your expertise will continue to increase.

4) NOT „Looking the Part”

Selling involves approaching strangers, people who have never
met you before. People naturally base purchase decisions on
first impressions. Look the part you are playing, or better
yet, exceed the common „image” expectation in your industry.
Always dress and groom one level above your targeted audience.
It portrays success and gives you an opening edge over your
competition. The least you can do is look like you know what
you are doing!

5) Not Knowing Your Competition:

Any business owner, much less a sales person, should know this
common mistake! Think about it, all you have to be is slightly
better than your most effective competitor to get the order.
Proactively research your competitive companies, but more
importantly, master your knowledge of the specific sales
representative you actually compete with – their habits,
strengths, weaknesses, pricing history and selling tendencies.

6) Not „Knowing” Your Product or Service:

Believe it or not, depending most on your product or service
knowledge to get the order is one of the most common mistakes
made in selling. Understanding the common application benefits
and associated features of your offerings is critical, but
constantly regurgitating nebulous product and services details
to a customer will quickly send them to your competitor.
Mastering knowledge of your competitor’s offerings is also
critical to selling success.

7) Not „Filling Your Sales Pipeline”:

No matter what you sell, there evolves a consistent selling
time cycle that must become an integral part of your selling
process. Knowing how long it typically takes to get a sales
order from initial contact with the target customer equals
your sales pipeline. To maintain a consistent earnings flow
you need to have a constant injection of the correct number of
new sales opportunities going into the front end of your sales
pipeline to get the guaranteed % of orders that will close
coming out.

8) Not Clearly Understanding „Rejection”:

Selling is rejection intensive. It is absolutely critical to
understand and learn to appreciate that a larger percent of
potential new customers will reject you and your offering more
than accept it. Selling is a numbers game and unfortunately to
be successful at it you have to learn that customer rejection
is not personal and „no’s” can be as valuable as „yes’s”!

9) Ineffective Use of Your „Selling Time”:

Many average sales people spend most of there prime selling
time every day, „getting ready to get ready” filing,
driving, typing or sitting in meetings. Typically from 8AM to
5PM a sales person has only approximately eight hours to be in
front of customers or doing what is necessary to get in front
of customers. Anything that can be done „after business hours”
should be done then and only at that time.

10) Not Having a „Selling System”:

Selling is a DIS-qualification process. If you have not
developed a methodical selling process of disqualifying
potential customers, by systematically defining their
problems, their level of commitment and financial resources to
solve the problem, and addressing the purchase decision
process involved, you should stay home! Develop and use a
selling system, refine it continuously, and eventually master
it so you can leverage it over and over without needing to
think about it!

Many seasoned sales professionals believe learning from your
own „real time” selling mistakes contributes more to eventual
career success than anything that can be learned from someone
else’s experience or teachings. That may or may not be true,
but, if you avoid these 10 common selling mistakes your path
to selling success will be much shorter!

About the Author:

Mark Smock is President of,
the FIRST international business buyer directory of its kind.
Business Buyer Directory provides a non-traditional means for
proactive business buyers to locate businesses for sale
worldwide that meet their exact registered purchase criteria.

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