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Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 2


Guest articles > Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 2


by: Daniel Milstein


All salespeople make mistakes as they learn to hone their craft. Below are a few common mistakes (in no order of importance) and a few ideas to avoid them. In fact, many of them could be applied to various non-sales aspects of our lives.

  1. Being embarrassed to be a salesman. During the last several years, many salespeople have sought new titles to describe their profession, such as advisor or consultant. Some do it as part of their overall marketing strategy, to distinguish themselves from the competition. However, others believe that a different title somehow adds more credibility to what they perceive as a slightly tarnished profession. You cannot ignore the fact that you are a salesperson. You sell products and services. It is an honorable profession.
  2. Poor follow-up. You don't have time to call the customer to see how your product or service has performed. Then why should the customer subsequently care about your interest in repeat business or referrals? It does not take much effort to make a phone call or send an e-mail to see how they're enjoying their purchase and if they have any questions or suggestions.
  3. Not qualifying prospects. While you do not want to ignore people who at first glance may appear to be marginal prospects, you also don't want to spend too much time with those who don't intend to or are unable to buy. By doing basic homework, you should be able to confirm whether they are a bona fide customer. If in doubt, consider them a good prospect.
  4. Over-promising/ under-delivering. Every salesperson is taught this essential maxim, but many forget it as they try to excite the customer by pledging an early delivery date or making other special promises. Customers are always impressed when you under-promise and then provide exceptional results. It is always better to be conservative in your offering.
  5. Improperly setting expectations. Closely related to the preceding error. You need to advise the customer upfront what to expect regarding the cost, accessory options, guarantees and availability. Do it in writing and if necessary review in person. There should be no surprises.

First and foremost, be proud of your profession and the work that you do. Everyone makes mistakes, but with the preceding five warnings, you should be able to avoid some very common mistakes.


Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit:

Contributor: Daniel Milstein

Published here on: 02-Dec-12

Classification: Sales


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