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Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 6


Guest articles > Forty Ways to Ruin a Sale...and How to Avoid Them Part 6


by: Daniel Milstein


In the beginning of a sales career many people make common errors that may cost them the customer's business. Do your research and be aware of common missteps you can avoid, including:

  1. Dressing inappropriately. You would think everyone should know the importance of following proper dress (and hygiene) guidelines. Anyone who meets and greets the public--as a salesman or any other profession--should wear appropriate attire. So if you are trying to impress a prospect, dressing casually (jeans, polo shirt, shorts) probably doesn't work. This doesn't mean you have to wear designer outfits and expensive suits. You do have to dress for the occasion.
  2. Using technical terms that clients don't understand. Customers usually do not like it when they have to ask you to explain various terms. Assume that they don't understand the intricacies of your industry. Think of 'prospect friendly' alternatives to industry jargon. You don't have to 'dumb down' your presentation to make it understandable, just minimize the more complex wording.
  3. Accepting 'no' for an answer, when you detect 'waffling.' Sometimes salespeople give up just a little too easily. Customers often want you to give them additional assurances that they are making the right decision. They may not mean 'no,' but rather 'I need to be convinced that this is the right decision.' Before accepting 'no,' try a few additional questions or suggestions to get a positive response.
  4. Failing to track your marketing and sales efforts on a daily basis. It is essential to know where customers heard about you and what marketing activities are most effective. At the very least you should ask customers what prompted them to call you and keep an ongoing log that details the source of referrals and other contacts.
  5. Being scared to tell someone you don't know. Of course, customers appreciate the most knowledgeable salespeople, those who have answers to nearly every question. However, they also understand when you don't have an immediate response. When you don't know, just say 'That's a good question, allow me to look into it and get right back to you.'

When meeting with a client show them you are invested in them by dressing appropriately and being relatable. By doing so, you have made yourself more trustworthy and reliable.


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

Contributor: Daniel Milstein

Published here on: 30-Dec-12

Classification: Sales


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