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Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 3


Guest articles > Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 3


by: Daniel Milstein


In anything that you do you have to first learn the basic mistakes and how to overcome them. Simply by talking to other salespeople you can learn from their experiences and grow. Below are a few common mistakes novice salespeople tend to make.

  1. Not having sufficient understanding of clients' personalities. Obviously, there is no single customer type. Some are patient, appreciative and friendly; others are impatient, abrupt and ungrateful. Customers have differing desires, concerns and frustrations. Everybody doesn't respond to the same sales presentation, so you must try to adapt your approach to meet the varying personality types. You don't have to be an expert in psychology, but it helps to have at least a basic understanding of customer profiling.
  2. Forgetting names. Everyone appreciates being remembered. Some salespeople have a 'photographic memory;' others take longer to recall prospect or business partner names. You can be excused for forgetting someone's name during the first meeting; after that it may appear that you just don't care. Use whatever memory system you can to improve your recall.
  3. Missing the details. As the well-known phrase suggests: 'The devil is in the details.' That is where so many transactions break down. You forget to have one minor form signed, neglect to inform the customer of the return policy or overlook some other small, but crucial item. If you continue to miss such details, it's time to create a 'cheat sheet,' 'Sales Detail Inventory' or other reminder to ensure you check off every possible requirement.
  4. Not walking away when the customer 'fit' is not right. Even the most aggressive, stubborn salesperson knows that not every prospect should become a customer. Perhaps they want a product that you can't provide or seek unreasonable terms. Maybe they are too difficult to work with. Do everything you can to please a prospect, but know when to walk away. Explain that you don't have what they are looking for and refer them to someone else.
  5. Difficulty handling rejection. If you cannot deal with rejection, you should not be in sales. Salespeople are often rejected by prospects and others. There are days when it seems you can't sell anything. You do not have to be insensitive, but salespeople do need moderately thick skin. Don't take rejection personally--unless there is a reason to. (You have made a major error that led to the unwanted rejection.)

Sales is a very personable field, you must be able to learn names and personalities. In addition, don't assume every person you interact with should become a customer, they have to be the right fit for you and your business. Lastly, you my hear "no" just as often as you hear "yes"; you must develop thick skin.


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

Contributor: Daniel Milstein

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Classification: Sales


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