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Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 1
Guest articles > Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 1
by: Daniel Milstein
As I was writing The ABC of Sales, I had an opportunity to talk with a group of salespeople from different professions. We began thinking about the common errors that salespeople make.
It was an interesting, rewarding opportunity to watch successful people from different backgrounds and experience levels mention some of the 'errors' they have committed and how they can easily be rectified. For instance, Al Wootton, a longtime mortgage industry veteran, recalled his first day on the job as an account executive.
'The territory was wide open, and I could call on any accounts I wanted,' he said. 'I put together a target list and since I was a new guy, I was afraid to go after the larger, big name accounts. About four months later, I was at the yearly mortgage broker expo where lenders and the existing customer base came to display products and learn who and what was available. A gentleman walked up to my booth and began looking at our handouts and talking to me about the product. Further into the discussion, we determined our offices were about a mile from each other and that I had been there for a while. He was a large name player that I was a little intimidated by and I had been waiting to call him until I felt I was good enough to win his business. Then came his question: 'Why haven't you called me yet?' he asked. I nearly fell down. He wanted to hear from me and was surprised that he hadn't. I had driven by his office almost every day for months and had thought several times that I would one day become an established salesman that he wanted to hear from. I learned the hard way that he was surprised that I hadn't taken a shot and he wasn't impressed. I learned after that to pick up the phone and dial it, because the risk of not calling was worse than the fear of failure.'
Of course, Al has long since learned the importance of not being intimidated and failing to contact what new salespeople often perceive as the 'larger prospects.' In addition to his Top 40 mistake, I received a variety of other suggestions. We agreed that while some of them may seem elementary, we can all benefit from an occasional tutorial.
As Al noted, 'Remembering all of these sales experiences and the lessons learned has been rewarding. It's awesome to remember how exciting it was when I first started selling.' When beginning a sales career you will make mistake and learn lessons from them. One important lesson is this: always pick up the phone and dial it.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
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