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If you’ve been in sales for a while then you know your own unique selling style. There are no two sales pitches that are alike to the deal-closing veteran. However, the world of business is constantly evolving and a traditional habit formed in the years past will not always be the most effective in closing a deal tomorrow.  In the article, 10 Rookie Mistakes That Experienced Salespeople Still Make, author Zorian Rotenberg says that to be a “rainmaker” you must be a life-long learner and continually adjust your pitch. Summarized below is his outline of the 10 biggest, bad habits that he has seen sales professionals develop over time and his advice on how to correct these lethal mistakes.

  1. Not Developing Rapport With The Prospect- This may seem obvious to most, but its importance is often overlooked by veteran reps. We hear this all the time, but too often forget that people use more emotion in purchase decisions than rational and want to buy from people they like. So, to truly excel we must make the effort to have an authentic, unique conversation and form a meaningful bond.
  2. Not Asking Questions-More specifically, not asking the right questions. To fix this, imagine you’re the doctor trying to cure their affliction. To allow you to fully understand the prospects agony you must ask them where it hurts. Then see if what you have can cure their suffering.
  3. Not working off the prospect’s answers and/or answering questions that were never asked- Only answer/ask questions that are specific to the needs of the customer. Stray away from this habit by staying on the path of conversation that the client wants to be on, and only the that path.
  4. Not hearing the question behind the question- There is often an underlying reason that a prospect asks a certain question that may always seem straightforward to you but in reality it’s not. Don’t get caught thinking a simple question like “How much does it cost” is just for “budget approval” when they really what to know what your offering includes, or they’re about to cut you a check.
  5. Information Overload- This is seen far too often in sales. Your prospects don’t have time to listen to you read a never-ending list of what your offering can do. So drop this bad habit like the useless slides in your generic presentation. To get a higher success rate reps need to customize their pitch to the few topics that the prospect cares most about.
  6. Giving a Premature Presentation- This is tied to the prior notion, in that in order to give the most specific pitch possible, you must know the client’s issues before inferring to them that you can solve them.
  7. Not Practicing ABH (Always Be Helping)- Sales people have a bad wrap in most people’s eyes because they are willing to do anything to close a deal. The moral of the story is don’t sell your reputation. If you “can’t genuinely help a Buyer” then don’t risk your company’s bottom line and your reputation on a deal gone sour once your customer realizes what transpired.
  8. No Next Steps- Sadly this is still a common mistake made by many of the best sales people. What good was that amazing pitch delivery if you never talk to that prospect again? Make it a point to allow yourself time to get on the same page with your contact before ending communication.
  9. Selling Based On Price- Price is important, and to some buyers it is more important than it is to others. This is why it is critical to focus on creating value/solving their problem and letting them bring it up when they feel necessary. Rotenberg says, “You may be worrying about it (price) more than your buyer is.”
  10. Not Asking For The Sale- This is one of the first things that you learn in sales education. Yet, many do not ask the question “either out of fear of rejection” or because they failed to realize that the deal was ready to close. This correction couldn’t get any easier, just ask the question when the time comes, it’s that easy!

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The Sales Quant

About The Sales Quant

A champion of B2B sales and marketing alignment and brand audience development, Jeff is passionate about leveraging content, technology and data to enable challenger organizations to accelerate sales and realize extraordinary growth. As the CEO of Madison, Michigan and Market, and the Publisher of SalesQuants, Jeff is a resource to both Sales Executives and CMOs because he understands the dynamics of their relationship.