10 Mistakes Every Sales Representative Should Avoid

October 22, 2021
10 Mistakes Every Sales Representative Should Avoid

It’s easy to stumble along the sales roads; most, if not all, sales representatives have slipped up. However, to win a sale, you have to walk a tightrope, balancing a number of aspects and avoiding any missteps.

We put together a cheat sheet on all you need to know; we brought in the experts to advise us on all these common mistakes sales representatives need to avoid.

1. Offering Everything You Have

This is maybe the most typical blunder made by new salespeople who are high achievers. It's important to be eager to help, but don't give too much for anything; that's how you end up as a pro bono consultant. Not only will you be giving away free essential information, but you also risk confusing or, worse, boring your customer. 

Tell them only what they need to know in the most straightforward manner possible. Use your Shakespearean vocabulary sparingly. Keep in mind that today's folks have an extremely short attention span.

Neil Shaw, Founder & CEO Lottery Sambad

2. Not Focusing on the Solution and Value

It's critical to know all of the aspects of your product as a salesperson. But what if some of them aren't relevant to your prospect? Rather than listing them all one by one and wasting your time and that of your prospects, concentrate on the ones that address their problem. 

If you're selling a CRM solution, for example, don't go into detail on how it works; instead, focus on how it will improve their sales process and generate revenue. If you believe that cutting your product's price will attract more clients, you may be mistaken. If you price your goods too low, it will have the psychological effect of making the client believe it is of low value. 

Discounts and special promotions will only give you a temporary increase in sales since once bargain seekers are pleased, sales will return to normal. You want a customer base that will stick with you, and to do so, you must persuade them that you are delivering value. It's always better to spend more money on something that will pay off in the long run.

Lauren Cook-McKay, Director of Marketing & Content of Divorce Answers

3. Don’t Bad Mouth Your Competition

One of the worst things you can do is try to make your business look better by knocking down your competitors. In order to win over a prospect, an unskilled salesperson makes this error. To a savvy customer, this just demonstrates your lack of confidence in your own goods. 

Rather than providing your competitors free airwaves, attempt to highlight your own advantages. If your prospect mentions a competition, thank them for their efforts or even compliment them, but then focus on the advantages of your product. 

As a result, you'll be perceived as a corporation that strives to exceed its competitors. There's a lot more on the line than simply losing a prospect. If your comments become public, you may face a slander or defamation case.

Gerrid Smith, Founder of Corporate Investigation Consulting

4. Not Empathizing With Your Prospect

Never underestimate the power of listening and empathizing with your prospect. It's very important to actually engage with them first and allow them to tell you all about their situation or concern before you even begin to enter a negotiation. When you give people space to talk and show them that you're listening to every detail, it serves as proof that you are genuinely looking to understand and find the right solution.

In today's digitally-dominated world, where everyone is looking for genuine human interactions, having someone who can empathize with our problems is one of the best ways to establish a meaningful connection with someone. That type of authenticity is what makes the process more engaging for your prospect, causing them to invest more into reaching an agreement with you. 

Dan McCormick, Director of Partnerships and Senior Content Strategist Perfect Brew

5. Too Much Talking And Not Enough Listening

When marketing a product or service, you may want to appear excited to a prospect in the hopes of hastening their purchase decision. However, this does not always work in practice. Prospects sometimes desire to be listened to. 

When you initially meet with a prospect, strive to learn as much as you can about their needs. Know what they expect from you so you can provide solutions to their difficulties. Listening carefully to your prospects will not only make them feel valued but will also make you appear more professional to them, I believe.

Daniel Carter, SEO Manager at Snowpads

6. Too Much Emphasis Is Placed On Selling Rather Than Providing Solutions

You'll undoubtedly want to brag to your prospects about the benefits of your product or service. Apart from being boring, something may also be regarded as pointless. Following the prospect's explanation of their requirements, it's a good idea to offer them a solution to their business challenges. 

Instead of bragging about how amazing your digital marketing team is, explain to the prospect how your team can assist them to improve the number of people that visit their website. Give them a list of the tangible advantages they'll receive if they choose your product or service, I am convinced.

Susan Smith, Marketing Manager at Velden Engineering

7. Lack of Personalization In Your Outreach

A lack of personalization in your outreach. Many SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) I've hired in the past have tried to scale their outreach efforts faster by taking a cookie-cutter approach. This is always a big mistake. Although outreach templates are important to use, it's vital that sales reps adjust these templates to add personalization to every outreach message they send out. 

Without personalization, your pitch will fall on deaf ears. No prospect wants to know that they're one of several hundred or thousand that have been sent the same email. People want to feel special. If you can make them feel special, you're halfway to making the sale.

Marc Bromhall, Head of Sales at Surf Gear Lab

8. Making Promises That You Know You Won't Be Able To Keep

Saying yes to prospects or clients too frequently and without thought is one of the most dangerous sales blunders. As a result, the team will be forced to meet unattainable demands. And if these needs aren't met, you'll have to deal with dissatisfied customers. You must realize that declining a prospect's or client's request does not harm you.

What you must do is provide them with specific reasons why your team is unable to fulfill the request. You'll also be limiting your prospect's or client's scope by doing so. You can, in fact, still give them alternatives, I am convinced. 

Will Cannon, CEO of Signaturely

9. Failure To Learn From Previous Sales Failures

Salespeople frequently believe that their performance is enough and that their results are satisfactory, but they fail to learn from their previous sales failures. A dangerous habit that every salesperson should avoid is getting carried away. 

Sales reps must do periodic evaluations in order to boost potential clients and close more agreements. This should be done once a month at the very least. They will be able to see what has to be changed, as well as what mistakes may be avoided in the future, I believe. 

Julian Goldie, CEO of Goldie Agency

10. Inattentiveness and Defensiveness

In sales conferences, many salespeople are better talkers than listeners. Getting a word in edgeways may be difficult! Our December article “Are You Listening To Your Customers?” discussed this. By not listening while prospecting, you miss out on asking the correct questions and gathering important information. 

During prospecting, salespeople should listen the most. Too many of them assume the prospect knows what they want or has a budget for their solution. For your customer, you, and your business, a thorough knowledge of the purchasing circumstances is required. Sellers must also empathize with buyers' worries. 

For example, when a prospect criticizes a product feature or your pricing, you may instinctively defend. But defensiveness and irritation do nothing to soothe a buyer's mind. Your sales staff may react with the required advantages and value propositions if they really want to comprehend the customer's issue. And if your prospect says, “Your pricing is too high”, don't start gushing about your expertise, quality, or additional value. And don't give a discount right away. 

No questions have been asked; your possibility is just stating- They want to know how you react, and they want to get the greatest price for their business. That's fair. So, ask: “Why do you believe certain businesses are cheaper than others?” Because they aren't yet on your wavelength and don't recognize the value in what you're providing. 

Ethan Howell, Co-Owner of Florida Environmental

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