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No matter what everyone seems to say, first impressions always count. Whether it’s in relationships, professional networks or casual meetups. This human trait could have something to do with our primal instincts which have evolved over the years.

Instead of sizing up animals to determine whether they are prey, predators or friendly, we now adjust our lingo and mannerisms in order to try fitting in with those around us. As a salesperson, one should always have this in mind, especially when looking to make a sale.

During the pitch, there’s hardly sufficient time for one to capture the interest of prospects whilst retaining their attention. Thus, it’s quintessential for salespersons to ensure that right from the off, they tick all the right boxes. While the aforementioned analogy is quite important in the sales world, it’s important to note that a lot has changed through the years. In the digital age, people are more informed.

One should never expect to simply dazzle prospects with new information and expect them to hand you open checks to append your signature. Bearing this in mind, we’ve made attempts to highlight the top 9 mistakes every salesperson needs to avoid.

9 Mistakes You Want to Avoid in Sales

1. Not Taking Charge

Communication is an integral component of the sales pitch. Yet, most salespersons get caught up in all the action and forget that they are required to draw the clients in with their silky smooth pitches.

Asking a couple of quality questions during discussions with prospects can ensure that the conversations are always steered in the right direction.

Importantly, such questions can enable salespeople to quickly conjure up convincing solutions to offer to their prospects, while they are still engaged in deliberations.

Taking charge also ensures that one establishes a good rapport with the prospects and gets to fully understand the nature of their business in close detail. That way, as a salesperson, one is able to find out whether the products they have on offer can actually help clients handle their business.

2. Talking Sales

When talking to prospects, it is of utmost importance to ensure that the tone is always conversational. While it’s true that the ultimate objective is to make a sale, it’s important to ensure that the process happens naturally.

Instead of embodying the conventional know-it-all, loud and enthusiastic approach used by many salespersons, one should instead strive to establish a friend-like relationship with prospects. In doing so, prospects are able to feel right at home with one and are comfortable sharing details about their business. The key ingredient here is trust.

3. Being a “Yes” Man/Women

Sounds perplexing right? Indeed. Naturally, salespersons are inclined to make the best of attempts to please prospects in one way or another. However, there’s always the danger of slipping down a rabbit hole if one overpromises and budges at every client request.

Most clients are quick to notice such kind of mannerisms and will rightly try to take advantage of them. They may end up making requests that may have great repercussions. Other than losing money as a salesperson, customers may get the impression that they can be outrightly demanding when it comes to you.

To avert such situations, it is essential for salespeople to weigh the requests made by clients and decide whether they are able to deliver as required. If not, it’s always a safe bet to say no every once in a while.

At the end of the day, the clients will go home happy customers simply because one was frank about what they could do to help out without overselling themselves. As a rule of thumb, one should always say yes when they’re certain they can deliver and live up to the client’s expectations.

4. Lack of Intent

For an effective pitch, salespeople need to approach clients with utmost confidence and expressly make known their intentions. Prospects need to know right from the beginning what you really want to do and if they can make arrangements to fit you in their plans.

Even after stating your intent and the prospect says no to your pitch, one should never despair. Instead, maintaining an aura of confidence whilst mentioning how you believe the product you’re selling would be a perfect fit for them should be the way to go. Importantly, one has to tread the fine line between confidence and arrogance in order to give off the right vibes to prospects.

5. Taking Too Long Before Closing

As previously elucidated, the initial contact with prospects is important because that’s the time when every utterance defines make or break. The first five minutes are very crucial because, in that time, most buyers have usually decided if they are willing to move forward with the pitch or not.

Therefore, one should never wait too long before quizzing the buyers whether they’ve come to a decision. Often times, the response “no I haven’t” directly translates to “not yet, please continue”.

From such a position, salespeople can keep on going with the presentation. With the full knowledge that they have, an eager audience looking to discover how their products can be of benefit to them.

6. Delaying to Name the Price

The conventional wisdom is that as a salesperson, one should focus on building value, then, name the price later on. However, there’s a slight caveat involved with taking this approach

Irrespective of how the buyers may be intrigued with the pitch, the lingering thought of just how expensive your product is will keep distracting them.

During the momentary pauses, the customers may interrupt the salesperson with questions about price instead of contemplating just how the product and/or service will be put to good use. To avoid this, it’s always a good idea to list out the product, state how the product is going to be of benefit, then, mention the price.

That way, even when the customers have some opposition to the expense of the product, one can always let them know that they’ll need to wait until the end of the presentation to truly appreciate the product. Essentially, bringing the price up during the initial stages takes out the mystery and makes one seem confident in what they have to say. Having established some trust, the rest of the time can then be used in building value.

7. Disregarding Influencers

Many a time, salespersons pay too much attention to the key-decision maker and fail to acknowledge that there could be other influencers and peripheral decision makers in the mix.

Instead, one should always make a point of asking clients who else is involved in the parlay. This knowledge can be of essence since by reaching out to the other influencers, one can get to sway the final decision in their favor.

8. Free Incentives

As well-intentioned as free trials usually are, sometimes, it’s wise to incorporate some form of commitment deal whilst still offering incentives. Having customer’s credit card information, or some other form of payment information logged in for charging after the free-trial expires is quite important since it will prevent the company from making losses in the long run.

Most salespeople offer free trials and forget to put up timelines and commitments from the customers. Letting customers know that they can cancel the free-trials anytime they wish to in order to avoid being charged later on tends to work in favor of the one making the pitch. This is because such utterances give off a sincere and confident look. Two integral components every salesperson seeks to have in their arsenal.

9. Not Following Up

As a salesperson, one should never be afraid of looking and sounding like a nuisance. If a buyer truly liked the pitch, then, they’ll probably be willing to proceed to the next phase. Therefore, one needs to learn how to insist on closing the deal at the earliest possible time.

Making those follow up calls and emails to prospective clients is quite important. Wait no longer than two days after the meet-up before sending over an email or making a phone call. The message should be short and courteous, yet still, straight to the point.


To close a deal, a certain amount of finesse is necessary. However, this doesn’t mean that one needs to be a perfect salesperson to get the job done. Avoiding all of the listed mistakes can be a great place for one to hit the ground running and land prospects. Typically, after attaining success, many people tend to rest on their laurels and remain dependent on a select few buyers.

To achieve sustained success, salespeople need to ensure that they are always on the lookout for new business. That way, they’ll have a continued period at the very top of the game.


Jack is known for leading the charge in sales innovation. He has a proven track record of working with top organizations to help them integrate social into their traditional sales process.

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