Are You Making These Basic Sales Mistakes?

BY Kathy Crosett

It’s the start of a new sales year. Maybe you’ve just outscored everyone in the latest and greatest sales training program. You’ve learned all the tips and strategies that will make you this year’s sales star. All that may be true, but Anthony Iannarino has a reality check for you. Success in sales, and in any professional organization, comes down to the basics.

On one level, sales is all about manners. You may think people with impeccable manners are akin to dinosaurs in today’s casual workplace. These days, we increasingly equate slacking behavior and general rudeness with being cool. Some folks have identified this personal code of conduct as a path to the top of an organization.

Nothing could be further from the truth, especially in sales, warns Iannarino, a seasoned professional. If you want to develop a good reputation and close more deals, start by paying attention to a few key details.

  • No Interruptions —  Sure, you’re in a hurry to get the prospect to sign the contract. That’s usually the time when he launches into a long description of his son on the football field. Listen attentively, smile politely and don’t interrupt. If you don’t give the prospect the time he wants now, he’ll assume you won’t have it for him in the future, either, when he really needs you.
  • No Criticizing – In a selling situation, it’s sometimes tempting to put down your competitors. You may believe that the competitor’s sales rep is a loser who will only give the prospect a poor deal, followed by poor service. Keep those thoughts to yourself. When you criticize someone else, the listener will wonder what you say about her when she’s not around.
  • No Phone – The go-​to device in any setting these days is the smartphone. It’s fine to catch up on what your friends are doing while you ride the subway. By all means, check out the latest episode of your favorite show while you’re taking a lunch break. Do not, under any circumstances, start checking your phone while you’re meeting with a prospect. Pulling out your phone is the same as telling the prospect she’s not important to you.

As you plan your 2017 sales strategy, put a few of Iannarino’s practices to work for you and watch your reputation improve.