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Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 4


Guest articles > Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 4


by: Daniel Milstein


Sales can be a trick profession and one wrong move may cost you the sale. Be sure to prepare yourself with the knowledge of the field and be ready and willing to learn from every misstep you may make. Below is a list of five common mistakes in sales.

  1. Not listening, interrupting. Customers consider this one of the worst offenses. They have just begun to explain what they want, and you cut in to share your wisdom. They will forgive you the first time you interrupt them, but when there is a pattern of inattention, they will likely realize that you really aren't listening. And if you are not listening, you must not understand their situation. So listen carefully to what your prospect is saying. Give them a chance to finish their sentence (or paragraph), rather than always thinking about what you want to say next.
  2. Thinking of only your self-interest, not giving back to the community. You are not required to donate your time and money to worthwhile causes, but it certainly helps. It is the right thing to do and also helps strengthen your ties with business partners. There are so many ways to show your enthusiasm for helping others, many of which don't require much time or money. Work with others at your company or at another firm to raise funds or contribute in other ways.
  3. Not making yourself indispensable to customers. Your customers should feel that they cannot live without you and your product or service. You accomplish this by providing the best product at a reasonable price, in addition to offering the more intangible benefits. The latter includes thinking of their interests first, being available and responding promptly to their queries. The goal is to have them always think of you when they are considering another purchase.
  4. Being complacent. Even the best salespeople need to avoid being overly content. Complacency often occurs when you ignore the competition or take your customers for granted, and believe that you know everything about sales and your industry. You stop paying attention to some of the most critical areas. Never stop learning, improving your skills and seeking new opportunities to enhance your customer relations.
  5. Not realizing when the customer has agreed to the purchase (overselling). There is always a certain point in the sales process when the prospect is ready to buy. They are convinced you have the best product and are ready to write a check. At this point, some salespeople continue selling, not realizing that their audience may find a reason to cancel the sale. For example, you may unconsciously raise a new issue that the customer had not considered, or she may think you are too pushy and begin to reconsider the purchase. Stop selling when you see the obvious signs, such as the customer nodding his head or holding her checkbook.

As a salesperson you are agreeing to listen to your customers' needs and putting those first. Always be available and helpful to your customers, never take them for granted.


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

Contributor: Daniel Milstein

Published here on: 16-Dec-12

Classification: Sales


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