Jill Konrath

 

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Salespeople Should Never, Ever Do This ...

  
  
  

DON'T DO ITWhen Forbes magazine interviewed me about what salespeople should never do, the five "no-nos" below immediately popped into my mind. But it was so fun thinking about them that I decided to run a NEVER-EVER contest. (see details below)

_________________________

5 Things Salespeople Should Never Do

Here's what I shared with the writer from Forbes magazine:
  • NEVER allow failure to enter your vocabulary. Redefine everything as a "learning experience" and then focus on figuring out how to get different results.
  • NEVER talk politics with a prospect or customer -- unless you are 100% sure you're totally aligned. And, even then it might not be smart because other members of the decision team may have different feelings.
  • NEVER look at your email first thing in the morning. It'll suck you in and you'll lose a couple hours.
  • NEVER ask questions about things that can easily be found on a company's website. You'll lose credibility and look like a fool.
  • NEVER look at your cell phone during a meeting. In fact, you should turn it off so you won't be tempted to check a text or see who's calling.

YOUR TURN: What should salespeople NEVER-EVER do?
Post your "salespeople should never" advice in the comments section. Make sure you tell us how you learned this lesson.

  • The best entries will be included in my upcoming ebook on this topic. 
  • 10 lucky contributors will also win an autographed copy of SNAP Selling.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other's mistakes. 





Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


Comments

Never put your needs as a salesperson ahead of serving the best interest of your client / customer.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 4:59 PM by Lisa Quake
When proposing something new, tell a prospect what you "usually do" - it suggests to them this is too far of a stretch for you.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 5:16 PM by Lynette Loomis
Many years ago, a prospective customer expressed a great deal of interest in our training program. Convinced we were about to land the sale, I actually answered her question: Who are your competitors? 
 
Yup. We lost the deal to one of those competitors whom she contacted after I was sure we were about to sign on the dotted line. Dumb.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 5:53 PM by Cynthia Clay
Never EVER send a rush package overnight when you're tired, especially when it’s regarding a $40k job: I sent a large file my customer had sent me on a disk AND a courtesy copy of the PO...to my customer instead of my supplier. AHHHH! 
 
Which leads me to my OTHER never ever: never assume the worst about a customer's reaction to a serious mistake like this. I only found out about it because my she graciously forwarded the envelope to my supplier, and wasn't going to embarrass me by letting me know she'd received it. She just laughed and said "hey we all gotta make a living" about my now public profit margin on the job.  
 
I've had a few similar gafs in my 15+ years of being in business, although none quite as big as this. But everytime – without exception – my customers were gracious and understanding.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 5:57 PM by Laurel Grey
Never sell something that you're unable to deliver. 
 
One night I received a frantic call from another speaker who wanted a recommendation for a good book on How to Conduct a Meeting. It seems this speaker had sold a Meeting Facilitation and just realized it might be a good idea to know what to do the next day.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:00 PM by Steve Kaye
Never ask a female "What did you do to become a boss?"
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:14 PM by Michael Adams
Never give a presentation or answer product questions unless you have determined that you have a viable prospect. QUALIFY! QUALIFY! QUALIFY! 
 
If you do, you're setting yourself up for "Let me think about it", then they take your info. and share it with their existing vendor, who of course "can do the same thing.".People will take the path of least resistance and don't want to face the discomfort of leaving an existing relationship.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:21 PM by Sheldon Weber
Salespeople should never... use overplayed words and phrases such as: "trusted advisor", "what keeps you up at night", or the dreaded "just checking in". 
 
A little more than 10 years ago, I was pursuing a significant advertising contract with a leading vendor in the Internet space. I must have spent months leaving "just checking in" or "touching bases" voicemails. When I started leaving more concrete messages, such as how my proposed solution would increase revenues, I finally got a return call and ultimately secured the deal. 
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:30 PM by Brian Farrell
Never ever walk in without reading the bio of who you are about to meet with. There are always great opportunities to learn important insights about their passions, skills and often point of view. Also, by checking linked in, you may realize you have friends and/or associates in common - call them and do some due diligence so you can be even more prepared. Its a little thing but can deliver some hugely important results.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:30 PM by Genevieve Bos
Never, assume that your product is the best thing for the customer - since sliced bread. I have been on both sides of the table both as a salesperson and a customer. When I am the customer, having a salesperson discuss our needs and their offering(s) based on assumptions it just shows how green that salesperson is. I will never do business with someone that is presenting their offerings based on assumptions about our business.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:08 PM by Stefan
Lie. Never ever, ever, ever stretch the truth, fib, sugarcoat, lie and put yourself in the postion that you would say anything to move the sales process forward. You will get found out and in this day and age of collaberative/social media the result is career/business suicide. As a salesperson once you have lost credibility in your market you have nothing. 
 
Be up front with people you are dealing with. I have found that whilst brutal honesty may not win you todays battle, those that meet you will remember you for the future and you will win the war.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:26 PM by Anthony
NEVER get angry when a prospect misleads you and doesn't follow through on something they said they would do.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:38 PM by Kent Levi
Never 'badmouth' your competition. If you do, you either come across as jealous or vindictive, or both. When pointing out weaknesses in the competition, do so by subtly representing how you might do it a bit "differently" and let the customer draw his/her own conclusions. 
 
 
 
When asked directly what you think of a competitor's presentation, be frank but point out all the good points before summarizing the bad - and then do that "with class."
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:09 PM by Bob Andres
Never assume the customer knows the answer to their problem. 
 
 
 
Often, as sales people, we provide excellent customer service by being responsive and promptly handling their requests.  
 
But we forget we've acquired a valid industry experience ofen with a different perspective to the customers.  
 
Yet we're hesitant to question their plans or suggest an alternative solution to help them achieve their outcomes. 
 
 
 
Being an above average salesperson means tactfully questioning your customer's plan at the appropriate time. Never assume the customer knows the only right answer.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:25 PM by JB
When I first started out in sales over 25 years ago, I had a sales job where I was learning how to prospect. At that point in my career, I was easily distracted, and didn't tune people out that came to speak with me at my desk while prospecting. 
 
I learned the hard way to focus on who I was talking to one day, when I called an important prospect. 
 
When I asked how he was doing, he said not too well. His wife had just passed away.  
 
My idiot response? "I'm glad to hear that, Mr. Prospect". So is this a good time to talk? 
 
WIth a lump in my throat and completely embarrassed, I hung up, and never called back, but I did learn a life-long lesson: 
 
Pay attention and listen to whom you're speaking, and avoid all else.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 9:35 PM by Dennis
I believe that the most serious no-no is telling a prospective client you're going to do them a favor and provide your services gratis or something totally absurd like a $1 a year contract like I did.
Posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:12 PM by Ron
When client request a decrease in price, never give up immediately. That is a sign that he wants our service, so if we do it, we are probably losing money. You always have time to do it later. Just show a little bit more value, and the sale is done.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 3:05 AM by Inigo
"Learn to loose, before you try to learn to win".  
 
Explaining ... If you are not ready to loose something you´ll probably give more than necessary to win sales.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 3:52 AM by Luis Deak
Never tell a customer they're doing something the wrong way. 
 
 
 
I was on a call with an ex-salesperson of mine who proceeded to tell the customer that the process they were using was all wrong and that the way they should be doing it was by using our solution (which indeed was true, but not the way to do it). All I heard were crickets. 
 
 
 
After I took him off the account, I was still never able to get an appointment with that customer again.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 6:35 AM by Paul Cartwright
Never presume your value proposition is what the prospect's value perception is.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 7:18 AM by Leanne Hoagland-Smith
Never EVER wave the arch rival's brand in front of your prospect when you're making a pitch! Here are two examples of what I mean.  
 
1.) When I was an assistant at a media analysis company, without thinking, we sent a pitch to UPS just like we did with all of our pitches.... in a FedEx package!  
 
2.) When I was in marketing at a big 5 consulting firm, we were courting Pepsi. Our CEO showed up to the meeting with a Coca-Cola in his hand.  
 
Oops!
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 7:36 AM by Angelique Rewers
Never believe that your job is over once the sale is made. I worked in a company that did highly customized services, and in my first big sale I was told: "Let the project manager handle this from now own, your job is to go on to the next sale." 
 
The next time I heard from my customer it was because they were furious about a misunderstanding about scheduling. They weren't angry with the project manager, they were angry with me because I didn't even know there was a problem! 
 
Needless to say, I lost the customer and any future sales to them.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 8:24 AM by Eliot Axelrod
Never forget that the word ‘NO’ is not a stop sign but rather an acronym for Next Option/Next Opportunity/Next Offer. 
 
 
 
Many years ago; as a fairly new salesperson my Boss tasked me with handling a fairly large sales opportunity. I had done my research, prepared my findings and went to pitch my ideas back to him before delivering it to the Client. My Boss was less than impressed with my efforts and made it quite clear that the work wasn’t up to standard. Simply put, he used one simple word to tell me whether this presentation good enough; 'NO'. 
 
 
 
I was angry. I’d spent weeks putting together what I thought was an excellent presentation. My nose was clearly out of joint and I was ready to throw in the towel until a colleague of mine explained to me that if I always took 'NO' at face value, then I would be destined to fail. In my haste, I hadn’t really stopped to think about why he had said ‘No’ in the first place. 
 
 
 
Redoubling my efforts, I went back to my Boss and sought out specific feedback to see where I missed the mark. He provided me with candid feedback and explained to me that he said ‘NO’ because he wasn’t given the option of saying ‘YES’. I hadn’t provided him with enough choice and if he couldn’t see the options, then the Client certainly wouldn’t either. That feedback allowed me to look more critically at the work I had done and rework more options into the presentation so that in the event the Client did say ‘NO’, I could easily move on to their next opportunity.  
 
 
 
By realizing that ‘NO’ is not a stop sign but rather a detour, it’s allowed me to focus more on my Customer’s options instead of my own ego. It’s certainly been a mantra I carry with me even to this day.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 8:25 AM by Cale Helmer
I inherited a position in a tiny company where the previous sales guy must have learned all his skills from a used car lot. For the first few months on the job, I would get people calling and expecting the moon for the price of cheese, or terrified to ask a simple question about a product they'd purchased, because the salesman had made them think they would be invoiced for a consulting fee if they ever had questions (blatantly untrue). Lesson? Don't say it unless you're sure about it, and don't EVER make promises you have no right to make. Oh, also? He had been fired for arguing politics with customers one time too many!
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 9:01 AM by MK
Never trust a verbal agreement. In today's economy verbal agreements are worthless. 
 
I had a VP of Sales look me in the eye, shake my hand and tell me that if I got him the contract by the end of the day I would have the signed contract on my desk by the morning. It was for $200k. I went back to my office and high-fived my manager and everyone else. The next day that VP (who was the only Sales VP in the company) found out that the CEO hired 5 other VPs of Sales without him knowing. His "power" was pretty much eliminated and so was my contract. Another learning lesson was to never put all your eggs in one "Champion's" basket.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 9:23 AM by John Barrows
Never ever try to bluff your way through a technical product presentation. They will not buy and could tell their friends and colleagues to not accept your meeting requests in the future.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 9:34 AM by Wayne Vaughn
Never call your customers customer and try to sell directly. I had one of my vendors try to sell my customer directly. The customer was very upset and it made everyone look bad.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 9:51 AM by Brian Martin
Never stop asking questions. 
We often think we know everything we need to know after we have completed the first few phases of a sales cycle. 
This is a dynamic business and change is THE constant. 
Make sure you have thought provoking questions for every visit with a prospect and especially a customer. It takes less time and effort to sell more to an existing customer than to convert a prospect to a customer. 
 
Never stop by, drop in, or check on a customer!!. They are running a business and require that you add value each and every time you meet with them. 
 
Never miss an opportunity to ask a customer WHY they chose to buy from you and equally important, never miss an opportunity to circle back to a loss and ask WHY they did not buy from you.  
I have failed so often in my 25 years of sales, starting out going door to door and eventually making my way inside the cardiac operating room. It is those failures that created my success.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 10:18 AM by James Lowry
Never argue with your client, no matter how forceful or antagonistic they are in their objections.  
 
 
 
Early in my career - a VP of a prospective client organization, in front of his team, went on the attack during a final sales presentation. Before hearing the details of the proposal or understanding our value proposition, he interrupted the meeting to tell us that our services were substandard in his opinion - even though the company I represented was the market leader - and that he might buy from us "if hell freezes over."  
 
 
 
My company had spent weeks preparing a response to his team's RFP and I had gone to the expense of flying in several subject matter experts for the meeting. I was none too happy about this guy wasting our time and money. So I blurted out that he didn't know what he was talking about and that his competitors actually benefit from our services every day and I could prove it. Then I rattled off examples of how the competition was using our technology to outmanuever his company. This caused him to escalate his hostility and he began shouting at me. 
 
 
 
The VP's team removed him from the room and then they asked my team to leave the building. Predictably, we were dropped from their service provider candidate list and never invited back.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 11:43 AM by Ken Fritschel
Never ever break a promise even if you think the situation has changed to warrant it. 
 
I had been serving a client in organization effectiveness for eight years and persuaded them to undertake a companywide survey measuring Teamwork Effectiveness. I promised total anonymity to assure truthful answers. 
 
The findings blew me away! The 30 employees averaged 85 when a score of 70 and above was considered a strength (60 and below was a weakness). I took great pride in this outcome. Then I blundered, big time.  
 
Since everyone had scored so high, I excitedly reported by name those who were in the 90s as the "ultimate team players". Everyone else took umbrage and an eight year relationship went sour. It's been 10 years and I still shudder at how I could have done that.
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 2:27 PM by Larry Smith
Remember what is important to us may not be important to our customer. 
 
 
 
I attended a sales training where one method of getting a prospect's atttention so they will return your call was to leave an "urgent message." 
 
 
 
Boy did it backfire. The prospect did call me back but harshly repimanded me and advised me not to use that tactic again. She followed up with the standard "I've got a lot going on, had my number and if interested in our services would contact me..." 
 
 
 
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 3:23 PM by Cheryl
Never show up late to a meeting
Posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 3:54 PM by Chris
Never stick to the "script", paying no attention to what the customer says. As I rookie salesman, I accompanied a senior colleague to a meeting. He just barged ahead with what he wanted to say, not taking any notice of the customer. Finally the customer banged his fist on the table, and yelled "You are not listening to me" I got such a fright, and have never forgotten this lesson.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:26 AM by Moira de Roche
Jill, 
 
Mine would be: Never assume who your customer is when they walk through the door. 
 
I was out looking to buy a new car. This was a slam dunk because I knew exactly what I wanted and it was to be a cash deal. I was with a friend, who was a man. The woman car salesperson came up to us, looked straight past me to my friend and said to him “May I help you?” His response was pretty funny “Don’t ask me, she is the one with all the money.” 
 
This was only a few years back and I was surprised the stereotype that only men make the car decisions still existed. I was also disappointed that this stereotype came from a woman salesperson.  
 
I bought the car from a different car dealership. 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:39 AM by Lisa
Never argue with a prospect. That will only make him defend his point of view instead of focusing on the issue at hand - Always ask questions to get him where you want him to be.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:49 AM by Ricardo
Never get slipshod on the truth. That one fudged fact always seems to be the be one a prospect remembers.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:42 AM by Dave LeBlanc
Jill when I did trailing the one thing that people had a hard time over coming was being able to SHUT UP! I tired to teach God gave 2 ears and 1 mouth, listening twice as much as you talk! You can talk to yourself all the way to bank. People tell you how you can help them if you listen.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:49 AM by Tom Allison
Also Jill always check written material 3 times to catch typo's. I wasn't trailing people i was training them. LOL
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:51 AM by Tom Allison
When a direct question, problem or unfamiliar topic that I don't have enough info about comes up during a conversation, it is a bad idea to guess. The more important the question and answer, the more important it is to respond, "I don't know, let me find out and get back to you." Addressing the customer's concern honestly builds more credibility than faking an answer. Even speculating can dig a hole that's impossible to get out of. Share the concern, then share information when you are confident it is accurate.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:19 PM by Janet
Hi Jill, 
 
mine would be: 
Never assume! (anything about your customer) -FULL STOP -  
(... but LISTEN... true care of your customers needs brings you ahead and makes you able to decide if he on the other side is a good or a bad one)- we should truely re-learn to listen to others as well as to our inner voice :) 
Thanks for all your good work! I've learned a lot "listening" to your inspiring words :)
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:06 PM by Stef
Never over-extend your stay.  
 
 
 
I once spoke to a client who had just finished a meeting with a sales person and she said, "I can't believe how long that meeting went. I even closed my binder and started to get up but he (the sales person) still didn't get the hint. I finally had to usher him to the door" 
 
 
 
The sales person did not get the deal and it taught me to confirm the amount of time a prospect has alloted for a meeting and not to exceed that time.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 3:54 PM by Kelley Robertson
Never let your customer make you wait if you are there on time.  
 
Reschedule if he keeps you waiting more than 10 minutes.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:32 PM by Jay
Make sure you never ever fail with what you have promised to do within the specified deadline -be it a phone call, visit, offer, proposal or anything that matters to your prospect/customer even though it may seem unimportant to you. Prospects and customers will always look for signs to make them believe you are credible and interested in them well enough. This is one of the most professional ways to show you care about your prospects and customers. 
 
Posted @ Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:20 AM by Rusen Karaca
Never hurt a customer's feelings. 
 
I've had people ask me if it was okay to ask questions or if I was really going to serve them--because some other sales person treated them shabbily. Customers are people, not 'prospects' that you can offend at random. Handle with care.
Posted @ Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:05 PM by Phyllis K Twombly
When working with a prospect using a competitor's product, NEVER run that product down. If you do, you just called your prospect stupid. If they're stupid, you better hope they're stupid enough to do business with you. #1. Your attitude needs to be that the competitive product was purchased by the customer with the best information they had at the time of purchase. Your job is to provide your prospect with new information, and a better opportunity. Keeping in mine that the competitive product itself might be superior to yours. Service and pricing might be the issues. The reasons why you might be a better choice now could be many You need to be prepared to find and present those. #2. If all you can do is run down the competition than you don't have much to offer yourself. #3. It's disrespectful, maybe not overtly, but disrespectful never the less. First to your prospect, and also to your competitor. Competitors are not our enemies. They're out there making a living just like us. Anyway, your prospect may personally like the competitor.
Posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 12:12 PM by Kenny Charnell
Hi Team ...  
On the "Never" section ... ever since the advent of cell phones I've always mandated to "Never, Never, Never" take a "loaded" cell phone into any business meeting of importance ... or rather into any situation that requires you to "pay" attention (aka friends and family included ...) You'll realize this have been a long journey for me and one that shows total respect for the other party whether client or spouse (girl-boy friend, etc.) Hopefully that helps some of you good folks in your decision making ... Gordon
Posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:12 PM by Gordon
"Never be late for an appointment. Never. If it will snow, leave earlier. If there is traffic, leave earlier. If you have a busy day, leave time between appointments. Never be late. It is a sign of disrespect, not caring and not having your act together" 
 
I was in Vermont and had an appointment to sell my services. I drove up the on a Friday to enjoy the weekend and go skiing. They had called for a storm on Monday, but I was young, self absorbed, feeling a bit omnipotent, so I figured I could ski that Sunday and leave that evening. Well, the storm came a little earlier than forecasted (I guess I was also a bit stupid since I actually believed a weather forecast). I called the prospect first thing in the morning to tell them I wouldn’t be able to make our 9AM appointment and to schedule for a little later that day. They told me they had no more time that day and we wouldn’t be able to meet. The trip cost me time, money and I never got a 2nd chance.
Posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:30 PM by Jonathan London
Smetimes, as a Buyer, I've come across these most annoying "Sellers" who never listen to me! They just keep rambling on about how honest & good they are who would never sell a `Dud'. They've never heard about listening to a prospect first, regardless of the fact that it is common courtesy anyway!
Posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:32 PM by Tony
Never leave your door open if you are doing a videoconference from home.  
 
I was once training a sales team in Asia so I woke up a 4 AM and put on my videoware (shirt and tie with shorts on). Things were going incredibly well until my cat snuck into the room, jumped on the table and started purring and plopped herself right in front of me and the entire Asian team. It was very embarrassing but everyone got a big laugh out of it. 
Posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:36 PM by Jonathan London
Never assume you know or understand your customer/client 's goals and objectives without asking. These goals and objectives will be different from different levels or groups within an organization. So just because one company person told you what they were trying to accomplish, does not mean you should assume the second contact has those same objectives. 
 
I asked the engineers in the company what they wanted to achieve, and then asked the CEO what She was trying to accomplish... Two completely different things. Now we won the business because we were able to give each group exactly what they asked for, instead of assuming we knew... 
 
Lesson: Ask everyone, at risk of sounding dumb, "what is the goal they are trying to accomplish"? 
Only then will we be able to present ideas and potential answers to those challenges. (Plus, people just like to hear themselves talk..) 
This technique was taught to me by a very wise and rich man. I have never forgotten. 
TS 
Posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:51 PM by Tony Strong
Its always better for longevity to undersell and over deliver.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 4:09 AM by Dan Sandford
Dont laugh uncontrollably when your potential customer walks into a glass door then falls to the floor holding their nose and groaning.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 4:27 AM by Steve Grundy
Never tell a customer you were too busy to work with them because a bigger client came first. (I was spending £50k per year with the supplier who told me this). I stopped using them.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 5:27 AM by Mike Thompson
I was in a meeting with two co-workers and a salesperson who was doing a demo of a new software system we were considering. The meeting was the week after Sept. 11, 2001. 
 
He asked us if we could take a minute to pray for those who died and their families. OK...that's awkward but who could say no at a time like that? 
 
So he starts praying out loud (maybe a moment of silence would have been more appropriate)...and in his prayer starts asking God to bless the meeting and help my colleagues and I (who he referred to as "these people") "recognize what a great tool this would be for them". 
 
Good thing his eyes were closed so he couldn't see the looks on our faces!
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 7:36 AM by Winnie Anderson
The two major lessons I have learned a s sales rep. 
 
The first one I learned from a missionary…you can never win those whom you fight with. 
 
The second one is never try to sell anything…we are in the needs meeting business. 
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 7:50 AM by Terry Siemens
Never, ever send email chains to a customer/prospect before you have read them thoroughly. We had a 15 M dollar deal that the customer was ready to sign, and unfortunately, one of the salespeople mistakenly sent our email chain, which detailed all of our profit margins and other private information, to the customer. The customer saw our profit margins, thought we were too expensive and demanded we lower our prices. I have never forgotten this incident and check any emails I send out for proprietary messages buried below.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 10:06 AM by Ellen Kirchman
Never give a problem back to a customer.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 12:01 PM by Bruce Winslow
I have this little sign on the wall in my office to remind me how to avoid errors. It works as long as I follow it... 
 
Nowell's Five Rules of Order Handling 
 
1. Assume NOTHING. 
2. Recheck EVERYTHING. 
3. Confirm IN WRITING. 
4. Keep your WITS ABOUT YOU. 
5. Pray every day that you don't miss one of the above. 
 
Words to live (and work) by.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 3:01 PM by Sandee Rodriguez
I have several "nevers" thanks for the forum, Jill. 
 
#1. Never let the sun catch you in bed. The best time to prospect is when the only people at work are the decision makers. 
 
#2. Never "wing" it with a prospect; inarticulate, half-fast presentations, stumbling deliveries and 'just touching base' is disrespectful and should be embarrassing.  
 
#3. Never let pre-conceived ideas dictate your call preferrence.  
 
Just make the call. 
 
#4. Never fail to adequately plan your work - calls, days, weeks, etc. 
 
#5. Never ask your boss for a raise. If you work on commission - go write one for yourself.
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 3:05 PM by Al Cavasin
Never email a proposal or pricing to a new prospect. Always aim to present in person, or as a second choice, over video/phone.  
 
And never allow the meeting or call to end without a follow-up scheduled on the calendar. 
 
 
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 5:26 PM by Amy Franko, Impact Instruction Group
Never give up! 
Visiting a customer on a quality issue - we came to an agreement and a interim and long-term solution. I went into my purchasing manager to deliver the news and he was at least appeased... I then went on to ask if he had anything new for us to quote... 
He said "WHAT! you visited based on a quality issue that will cost both of us thousands of dollars and you want me to GIVE you more business? 
I said well you see, it is my job to sell our products and services, not just to solve problems if we screw up. He reached over in his out0-box and picked up a filled-out RFP with MY name and company on it. We won the business, and I am certain we would not have gotten the chance if I didn't ask for it!
Posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:31 PM by hank Merkle
NEVER over-commit and under-perform, your reputation in business is the most valuable asset you have.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:46 PM by Jerry Longsworth
Good salespeople should never believe their own hype.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:50 PM by John A. Hudson
Never answer an "unasked" question. Focus and listen to what prospects and customers are saying. Respond to that and resist to urge to give too much information all at once. It creates confusion, and most probably a lost sale.
Posted @ Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:59 AM by Eileen Kornmeyer
Never try to convince a customer to buy exactly what you think they should buy in your head. Hear what they have to say and show them products that fit their needs.
Posted @ Monday, March 05, 2012 9:57 AM by Amy
Salespeople should NEVER, EVER take their skills for granted. They should never stop learning; never stop working on improving and never stop reading the best sales books, magazines and articles.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:29 AM by Bill Paul
Never Ever claim to know things which you do not....saying that I am not aware may helps at times. 
 
 
 
This is more true in Technology Sales, where one single sales person is not expected to know all. (e.g, radius server is a security component and not a typical server) 
 
 
 
I learnt this hardway, by making a fool of myslef. Customer was gracious enough to go along with me in finalizing.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:36 AM by Ajay Mishra
Never assume the level of the solution your buyers will accept. For example, many salespeople give the low or mid-tier solutions that cost less assuming the buyer would NEVER pay for the deluxe or the extras. Today's time-starved buyers are buying more services and ease-of-use solutions than ever.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:38 AM by Nancy Bleeke
When I first started recruting, which is the business of selling both talent and opportunities the owner of the firm I worked for ask if I had ever pumped water from a well. When I said that I had he ask me to describe what happens. When you first start you pump and pump and nothing happens but in time it spits and sputters water. Eventually water begins to flow and you don't have to pump so hard and fast. Selling is much the same and so it is critical that you never take you hand off of the pump handle if you want water/sales to flow smoothly.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:52 AM by J. Renee Gordon
Never assume you know what your client wants or thinks about you until you've asked them directly. 
 
Many people assume they know what their client wants and needs and they end up being wrong.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:56 AM by Tom Smith
Never assume the person you are meeting/speaking with has the authority to purchase your product or service. Most buying decisions today are made by committees of two or more. And most inviduals have the power to say "no" but not "yes."
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:13 AM by Kevin
Never focus on selling your services and solutions, focus on what their issues are how you can help them solve those issues. Start with doing some research about what their issues might be for their company or industry. Lead with those issues in the meeting so they start talking about themselves first, then map what you have to offer to what they care about most.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:15 AM by kathy minchew
My all time NO NO is very simple. All good sales people have a sales Track to follow or should have. Never ever deviate from your proven sales Track it keeps you in control of the client and always allows you to understand where you are with the client and allows you to understand the next step to closing down that big deal. If you allow yourself to deviate you will fail at least 9 times out of Ten. If you don't have one make one 7 steps is a good starting Point from first call to the close.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:17 AM by Mark Greenway
If you've met someone, and they've forgotten, and they introduce themselves again, do not say "I already met you, you don't remember? 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:29 AM by Mike
Never say or do anything that makes you appear "NEEDY".  
 
 
 
I've recently been getting "harassed" by a salesperson. She thinks that her persistence will wear me down. I'm not interested and she recently left me a message that begged for a chance to make a presentation.  
 
There are plenty of fish out there for everyone. Some will, some won't, so what, move on!!! 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:37 AM by Thomas Breitenbach
Never push your business card on anyone. Always ask for their business card first and remember... your business card is not a flyer, there is nothing more annoying than going to a networking event, take your seat and someone has placed their business card at every place setting!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:40 AM by Diane Craig
Never be in a trade show booth: 
 
1. On the phone 
2. With your back to the floor 
3. Talking intensely with your coworker 
4. Slouched in the chair 
5. Chewing gum 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:51 AM by Gretchen Weaver
NEVER answer a question that the prospect did NOT asked. 
 
 
 
If the prospect asks a question, answer it with questions of your own to find out why they are asking the question. Try to gently (“good question but let me ask you this…”) find out what the motive is behind the question and you may uncover more of the prospect’s pain and more reasons they should do business with you.  
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:53 AM by Doc Pratt
Never start a sales appointment without first reviewing the time allotted for the meeting, then finish five minutes early.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:53 AM by Dean Holmes
When going into a meeting with another sales or engineering partner,NEVER discuss in front of the customer the information you are presenting. It is common when a salesman visit a customer and an engineering or quality co worker join us, that there are information that is not accurate or simple disagree because it was not discussed previously and did not coordinate who would lead the meeting. 
 
 
 
This gives a bad impression that we are not prepared, poor knwoledge, no profesionalism and at the end the potentiatl opportunity is lost to a competitor. 
 
 
 
Also another thing that you NEVER should do when going into a international sales meeting with a potential customer is to not knowing the customs values or beliefs of the poeple in the hostess country. If you say something that is not appropiate because culture differences you not only loose the opportunity but out in risk the company image. 
 
 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:19 AM by Eduardo Paz
I train sales people and two of the biggest mistakes I see new people make are: Telling prospects they are new, this distroys credibility and does not help someone want to buy from you. The second error I see is new sales reps trying to "tell" the prospect about everything we do instead of taking the time to find out what is important to the prospect.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:29 AM by Sarah Russo
Never go behind the back of your main contact-that is, do not contact the boss directly without the main contact present or at least have his approval. Even then it is best to figure out a way to get both in the same conversation.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:34 AM by Wayne Vaughn
NEVER talk about yourself! 
 
Remember: Business is great, People are wonderful, life is good. 
 
I once shared with a customer that I had a headache. They called my boss after I left to say they felt that I didn't give them the service they wanted. Another time, I showed a client pictures of my kids. She called my boss saying she felt pressured to buy so that I could support my kids! Shocked me both times! But lesson learned. I never share anything personal anymore.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:50 AM by Debbi Henderson
I went to buy new appliances and was greeted by a sales woman who was busy eating jelly beans. She continued to do so through her whole sales pitch (and included that she was 100% commission in the first part of her pitch!) until she received a call on her mobile phone. That's when she excused herself to take the call!  
Lesson: I was just buying a washer and dryer that night, but we are redoing our kitchen and will replace EVERY appliance. Won't be buying from her!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:58 AM by Mindy Bloom
Lots of great advice!  
 
My never evers come from a long, long time ago. Hopefully, these won't be applicable to many people now, but just in case there are young people with vices reading:) 
 
Never, ever, ever.... smoke a cigarette before walking into a sales meeting. I did once, in 1988. After shaking hands and sitting down, the much older prospect said: "Do you realize you stink of cigarettes?" I was mortified.  
 
Second one: Never give alcohol as a gift without knowing your audience. I used to give bottles of champagne at real estate closings. One time, the recipient was a recovering alcoholic and he let everyone at the closing table know how offended he was. I gave plants from that day forward.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:18 AM by Traci
"NEVER TAKE A 'NO' FROM SOMEONE THAT DOESN'T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO TELL YOU 'YES'"!  
 
NEVER START OUT WITH THE FINAL OFFER...ALWAYS LEAVE ROOM FOR NEGOTIATION! I cannot tell you how many times I've fully expected the customer to try to negotiate a better price/deal for themselves but instead ended up accepting my initial offer...no questions asked...sweet!!!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:22 AM by Dana
At a convention to meet with existing as well as prospective customers I had become friendly with some of my competitors. Bad, Bad idea. I gave one of the companies a lead and recommendation to one of my customers that they wanted very badly. They got in. I now have one less event per year because of it. Also, when I asked for my lead to be completed, the company owner told me it just wasn't going to happen. Nice. It's a surviving world, handle your business carefully.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:35 AM by Jo
No matter how new you are to the industry, never tell a prospect "I'm new to this industry, please be patient with me". I had a new to our industry sales person tell this to several prospects. She did not last with the prospect not with us.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:40 AM by Ann Patton
Salespeople should never think Customers are Crazy, 
 
Salespeople should never think Customers have no time, 
 
Salespeople should never accept the introspection of a Salesperson as Evidence Based Selling skill. 
 
 
 
Salespeople should never base their development on a book. 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:49 AM by Brian MacIver
Know who your talking to. Working with a factory rep on electrical equipment for processing plants. The high quality motors we provided were from Twain and we were calling on an electrical super that was also the Union Steward. The rep went on about how labor was so much cheaper there and all the other things a Union Steward would not want to hear. I literally kicked the rep in the shin to no avail. Took me two months to get back in and cool the Electrical Super down.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:03 AM by Harlan Goerger
As a Packaging Specialist, I'm a quick study & love learning from the mistakes of others, rather than living it; mine would be "Never ship any freight COD!" because if there's no check ready & waiting, the shipment will be returned & then your company must pay for both freight bills.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:15 AM by Laurie Shafer
Never do things that show someone they are just another prospect - tailor everything to not only their business - but to them.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:22 AM by Freddie J Knapp
Never go in to a sales call without preparation first. Always, always make the call about them and not you.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:47 AM by Rick
Never, ever assume that you know what your customer's expectations are. Each customer has a different set of expectations and it's your job as a sales consultant to find out what those expectations are.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:27 AM by Patti Mann
Never, EVER force or expect your internal staff to make the sale for you. Having worked in technical sales, I put one poor engineer on the spot by asking him to deliver a technical seminar. He knew his stuff, but had no experience on speaking effectively to a group of decision-makers. I was in the back of the room and had to scramble when the engineer's 45 minute program ended after 5 minutes! Luckily, another engineer was present so he and I were able to recover fairly well. I learned then that it's always my job to deliver the relevant information to my current and prospective clients.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:08 PM by Thornton Prayer
What a great idea, Jill! 
 
Never, ever NOT look a company's bulletin board. Many times, in addition to all the required postings, a company will post valuable organizational information or production statistics. This data, while public, never reaches the press or is otherwise unavailable. While selling tank cleaners, I visited a chemical company once, which had posted the past week's production volume, the number of off-spec batches, the number of deliveries rejected by customers, etc. This was valuable data to me as it indicated the seriousness of production equipment not cleaned well enough. And it was data I would never have seen had I not visited the plant.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 1:05 PM by Victor Sheronas
Never assume anything. (Well, there's one exception: Fred Picker taught me when composing photographs to "assume you're standing in the wrong place.") 
Never lie. 
Never disrespect anyone. 
Never take credit when you can give it to someone else. 
Oh, and these also apply when selling.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:01 PM by Josh Margolis
NEVER open your conversation on the phone like one new sales person who opened with: 
 
 
 
"Do you have a few minutes or are you super busy?" 
 
 
 
(This was after a training session on how to ask open-ended questions!)
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:12 PM by John Moffitt
Jill, 
 
Never use the word no. 
 
No is final, unless you do not stand behind it and then you have weakened your position and eroded confidence. 
 
I wish I could do that. 
 
Let me see if that is even possible. 
 
We have never done that before. I'll have to look into your request. 
 
I'm not sure. 
 
Maybe. My kids used to say, "When dad says maybe, it means no." 
 
Diplomacy is not my strength, but I work on it. And "no" is too inflexible for diplomacy. There are a myriad of ways to say no, without painting yourself or client into a corner of embarrassment.  
 
Best Regards, 
 
Gary 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:27 PM by Gary S. Hart
Never assume. Because it makes an ass out of you and me. Ass|u|me. 
Always ask. Ask, and then build on the response.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:41 PM by Edgar Valdmanis
Never run through a longish presentation if the customer asks you to move forward. 
I am often in a client position these days, and I read through the salespersons ppt faster than they can read out loud. Some of the points are good, some are irrelevant. I often ask them to move forward, just to experience that they still go bulletpoint by bulletpoint. This is an irritator. 
 
If the client says he gets the point, please trust that it's right. At least until proven otherwise.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:46 PM by Edgar Valdmanis
Never jump from sales straight into negotiations. They are two completely different situations. 
The correct sequence is 
- Sales call 
- Client asks for a proposal 
- You submit one 
- Client responds 
- You meet for a specific negotiating meeting once you have clarified that the client is indeed interested and your total offer (price, quality, delivery time etc etc) is within the clients expectations. 
 
Teh, and only then, do you actually start negotiating. 
Otherwise go for a salescall to some other (prospective) client.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:53 PM by Edgar Valdmanis
Never assume or act like you are are winning until you have the signed contract in hand. Always prepare and work deals like you are behind your competitors. This will cause you to focus on the right things and ask the hard questions to give your self the best chance to win deals.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:13 PM by JIm
Never tell off color jokes to try to break the ice. I have heard them from customers and cannot imagine why they'd think it would work for me when I wouldn't begin to think it would work for them!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:17 PM by Lee Janzen
Never use profanity with a customer or prospect. It lowers your esteem and may cost you the sale. 
 
 
 
Never lose your cool when a customer is cursing you about you or your product/service. Just let him/her vent their thoughts. When they are finished, ask for the order. Why would they spend so much time and energy with you if they were not interested in what you were selling? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 4:16 PM by Larry C/ Williams
Never be afraid to say no when the customer's request is unreasonable or puts your company in a bad position. Don't be afraid you'll tick off the customer and lose the sale you've worked so hard on. Stand in your power as a professional and a peer. Learning to say no and to mean it is an essential skill in life as well as business. You can say it politely, you can say it by offering an alternative, and you can say it flat out, but you must learn to say it with conviction. Think of yourself as a wet towel. The customer will “wring” you until you stop dripping. They’re just doing their job. Once you say “no,” they know there is nothing more to squeeze out. Until then, they have every reason to keep pressuring for more.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 4:21 PM by Sharon Parker
Never tell a customer about a promotion to get their feedback. Because the next you know, they want that promo and you can't deliver it! yikes!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 5:53 PM by Lorena Leggett
Never assume you're sitting in front of the Key Decision Maker. Don't fall for a title and infer that decision-making authority lies within the title. Verify what you "think" before you get an appointment. Plus...as a sidenote that I learned the hard way...make sure that if there is more than one KDM that you have all of them in the same room with you when you're having a meeting. The last thing you want is for one KDM to sell you to another KDM. That's your job.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:17 PM by Kathy Maixner
If you have a facebook or other social media outlet, make it a friends only page. We had one sales representative which posted some of the funniest things about work, clients, their family and more. Funny to us that is. Not to clients who had "Friended" them. BIG MISTAKE. This cost the company one of the largest accounts in our history, and the sales rep their job. Since then we have all changed the settings on our social media pages. Smart move - a bit too late though.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:05 PM by Earl Pilkington
Never take it personally. Always remember that its business. So if a prospects ditches your offer at the last minute or client refuses to give you any more business, try to learn WHY? But don't wither under the rejection.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:15 PM by Saeer Butt
Never lower your price just because the client feels its high. 
 
 
 
Price is always an objection but it should not be the ONLY objection. You are better off walking away from this sale than lowering your price just because the client asked to. If you absolutely have to, then always take away something off the table. "So Mr. Cheapo, I can bring the price down by $X but then I won't be able to guarantee Next Day shipping or Free installation." Or my favorite "I can give you that price if you sign a 3 year contract for this service." 
 
 
 
Make him work for the price break. If you just drop your price, your customer will never respect you for that. Never.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:21 PM by Saeer Butt
Never try to sell everyone the same way. 
 
Not many sales people know about this. Every person has a type of personality, you sell them based on their personality. 
 
Each personality types have different goals that they want your product or service to achieve. 
 
Never assume that everyone wants lowest price or fastest computer or biggest SUV. First understand the buyer's personality and then you will understand their goals. 
 
Never use "cookie-cutter" sales routines all the time.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:26 PM by Saeer Butt
Never do a proposal until you've asked your power questions (hopefully questions that "cut to the quick") and preferably SMART questions that NO ONE ELSE HAS ASKED THEM. You'll know it's a power question when they say "hmm, I hadn't thought about that" or "No one else asked that, but thank you for bringing it up".  
 
Smart, insightful questions separate the you from the pack. Spend some time creating them.  
 
Never ASK more than one question at a time and NEVER INTERRUPT THE PROSPECT WHEN THEY ARE ANSWERING YOU.  
 
How many things do you want to think about simultaneously when purchasing something?  
 
How do you feel when someone interrupts you? 
 
I often, on phone conversations, get asked "are you still there?" and I answer "I was just listening intently and wanted to allow you to finish your thoughts". People love that and it helps establish that you are a professional.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:28 PM by Michael Bremmer
never be late for an appointment..It shows disrespect for the prospect or client and also sets a bad tone for the meeting 
 
Never make excuses if you are late like"traffic was bad"
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:17 PM by Joel Cadesky
You should NEVER assume no answer as a "No". Be consistant (and persistant)in follow up and always give your prospect the ability to say "No" while educating them that it takes a "Yes" or a "No" for closure to an opportunity.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 07, 2012 10:12 AM by Joe Gater
NEVER walk into a meeting unprepared to talk about something you are very confident is highly relevant to what the prospect/buyer cares about. Understand their company, their issues, and even the person you're meeting with BEFORE you walk in the room.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 07, 2012 10:51 AM by Sam Richter
Many years ago, I attempted to explain to a customer why my company had been unable to perform as the customer had expected. There were several honest and legitimate reasons why we hadn't met his expectations, and I thought he should know. 
 
 
 
After a few minutes of attentive and patient listening, my customer said to me: "Your problems are not my problem. My problems are your problem. Get my problem fixed or I will." 
 
 
 
I have never again discussed the challenges my business faces to deliver on a promise made to a customer. Because it's my problem...  
 
 
 
Posted @ Wednesday, March 07, 2012 1:07 PM by Michael Crider
Never, ever forget that selling is a process and therefore skip any of the steps in that process. You can't go from prospecting to closing without honoring all of the steps in-between.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 07, 2012 4:27 PM by Bill Paul
Never critisize your oposition.
Posted @ Thursday, March 08, 2012 5:09 AM by Nelia
Never Assume - No Guessing! Sure Mahan said that, but it is still a never do. Questions are the key.
Posted @ Friday, March 30, 2012 9:34 AM by Fred Dempster
I've been in sales since 1984 (more than half my life), and have made enough mistakes to have developed my own list of what I and other salespeople should never do. I also teach these ideas in sales classes and seminars. Some of the basics are: 
 
 
 
Never Use Industry Jargon 
 
The moment you use language the prospect doesn't understand, their confidence level drops. Most people think the salesperson is trying to "get over" on them when they do this. 
 
 
 
Never Give A Blind Quote 
 
If you sell a service, there's a lot of information you have to gather from your prospect in order to create an accurate and meaningful proposal. If a prospect insists on eliminating this process, and wants a price immediately, refuse. Yes, flat out refuse--professionally. I will tell a prospect, "I wish I could just make up a price for you. It would save me a lot of work. I'm sure there are plenty of amateurs out there who will do that for you, but I'm a professional and need to gather information before I can do a real proposal for you." The prospect will either understand or go on to call someone else. You must be OK with the latter because blind quotes are usually disastrous. 
 
 
 
Never Give Up 
 
I will never, ever, ever walk away from a sale. It doesn't matter how many times the prospect says no. If he is willing to listen, I will keep talking. I'm not kidding or exaggerating about this. The only time I'll walk away is if the prospect either asks me to leave (if I don't, I'm trespassing), or threatens to call the police (self-explanatory). Luckily, I've never had these things happen to me. If you give up and decide to walk away, how will you ever know what could have happened if you had stuck it out?
Posted @ Friday, June 22, 2012 9:02 AM by Francisco J. Acosta
When attending a networking event, do not stick close to your friends and colleagues. You are there to meet potential new clients. Work the crowd and come away three new names that you can contact the next day.
Posted @ Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:49 PM by Diane Marcus
I'm turned off when sales people say: "Well, to be honest with you...". What have you been hiding? What else are you hiding from me? Always be honest and direct in your sales engagements.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 24, 2012 10:04 AM by Tom Metcalf
Never assume anything. Always go into a meeting with what you have researched or know concretely but leave any and all assumptions out of it.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:45 PM by Nick
Never celibate closing a sale in the parking lot, hold your composure until you are well out of sight the client before you start the high fives. There is a good chance that if the client sees you exuberance after the sales call they wonder if you got more than you expected. That’s not the last impression you want to leave them with. Sure enough Buyer’s remorse set in and by the time we got back to the office there was a message for us…it wasn’t good news.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:11 AM by Fred
Never not tune in to your prospect. Are they visual auditory or kinesthetic. I once rapidly offered to "fix" a situation at an extreme cost. All he wanted was a long sigh, and "i understand how you feel" completely mismatched his style and lost rapport and the account
Posted @ Monday, August 20, 2012 8:11 AM by john
Sales people should Never talk about all the products to their customers at one glance , know your customer well before meeting and figure out the pain he is having and give them the product, also explain his pain which he can reduce after buying the product which will remove his pain.It will be a WIN-WIN Situation.
Posted @ Monday, August 20, 2012 3:19 PM by paresh
Learn the art of listening and asking questions about the client. They love to talk about themselves. I was 6 months pregnant and never once mentioned I was pregnant - I'm sure they wondered why I was gaining weight! It's about THEM, not YOU! You will learn more if you listen, not talk about yourself!
Posted @ Monday, September 24, 2012 10:19 AM by JoAnn De Young
Never overpromise. It is better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise and underdeliver. Listen to your client with a keen ear, relay the relevant facts with confidence and let your product deliver.
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 9:02 AM by Katie Hart
Thank you for the wonderful article as an upcoming sales person its given me invaluable knowledge.
Posted @ Monday, December 24, 2012 12:05 AM by Sean
I have been in sales for a few years and in my opinion it is wise to NEVER treat your prospect like a dollar sign. Resulting to hard selling to get them to say yes is not only showing the prospected customer you don't care about them but it also decreases the value of your company. A company with a good product and great sales people do not use that tactic because both speak for themselves.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 4:54 PM by Danielle Lewis
Never, ever assume you understand the need until the prospect tells you that you understand it.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 29, 2013 3:41 PM by Rusty Dworkin
Never quote price, when you sell value!
Posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 6:11 PM by Thomas Mooney
Never become a "marriage counselor." In many businesses, especially those which are family-owned, there's a lot of in-fighting and politics. Even if one faction asks your opinion, keep in mind: whatever you answer, it will always be wrong. Why? You aren't a member of the family. Politely decline to take a position, pointing out that it is a family owned business and your professionalism doesn't allow you to take sides. Alternatively, I've been called in to arbitrate when one partner has a huge beef with another (which could involve re-allocation of funding, etc.). Again, I politely declined to moderate, redirecting them to an attorney to sort out their problems. It's a lose-lose situation for you, always. So don't get sucked into triangulated, co-dependent situations.
Posted @ Saturday, April 20, 2013 8:11 PM by Babette Ten Haken
Sales folks should never think having a blog is a stupid idea. If they are in sales, they better have one or get left behind in the digital dust.
Posted @ Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:42 PM by Ocha
Never tell a client to buy your product in order to help you win a sales contest or bonus. This has happened to me as buyer.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:26 AM by Tom Hernandez
Never lose sight of your GOALS and where you want to be. 
 
This is the most powerful driving force to success in the sales profession, the ability to picture yourself achieving your dream goals, resolve to get there and do whatever it takes, and then focus 100% of the time doing what you need to do to get there and you will! This requires self-discipline: the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it whether you feel like it or not. 
 
The day you lose sight or doubt this is the day you fail.
Posted @ Monday, June 24, 2013 4:11 AM by Rab
First discuss with client about industry business challenges and discuss about your offerings...
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:02 AM by Ravikanth
THought you would enjoy this
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 4:12 PM by Donna Harrison
never doubt yourself
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 4:16 PM by Jonathan London
Well, that's really a great tips. I think if you are talking with the prospect buyer, it is always a good reminder to stay focus, make eye contact appear interested in what they say even though it's boring and entirely irrelevant. You are right, it's better to turn off your cellphone than talking while not paying attention: means looking at your phone while they are talking, it's rude..
Posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:14 AM by Jeremy Matthews
Never tell a prospect their decision is time-sensitive and the "deal" will go away quickly if you don't act fast.  
 
Never use your own sales quota, trip qualification or any other selfish motive as a reason for your prospect to buy.
Posted @ Sunday, August 25, 2013 7:05 PM by Robert Phelan
It is now and will forever be the salesperson's job to deliver the sale! I repeat, deliver the sale, close it, bring it in, pass go with $200, etc. Work for the sale, for your customer, for your company and for yourself. Not one or the other.  
 
Never - tell your customer a lie. 
Never - make small chatter with a type A personality, busy person that has no time for you. 
Never - pretend to know your customer, get to know them seriously! 
Never - advise other department in your organization of what their job's are (shipping, credit, operations, management, etc) There are two people that care if you make this sale, let's try and make it at least three people! 
Never - say "that's not my job" 
Never - tell the credit department to do their job, if you have guts and feel compelled to sell an account, work it like you own it including the responsibility of calling up your customer and giving them hell about paying so poorly.  
Never - take your customer's side over your company's side. Unless you want to go to work for your customer that is. 
Never - curse around your customer. An ability to draft monologue that would make Hemingway blush is no sign of a brilliant nor informed sales agent! 
 
In other words, act professional, be courteous, class will win on every occasion and eventually even when you lose you will win because others that you compete with cannot contain their arrogance nor their ability to screw up a good thing. Be the person that has a baseline of profitability for your company first! Exercise is what you do from 7-9 pm not what you do from 7am - 5pm. 
 
Develop a creed and a moto, live by it, don't veer from it's purpose and you will find success! 
 
Bill "M.F." Jones 
Apex, NC
Posted @ Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:51 AM by Bill Jones
NEVER send an email to the wrong person. ALWAYS check the content of the email and who you are sending it to before hitting the send button.
Posted @ Friday, January 03, 2014 10:20 AM by Paul Robinson
NEVER criticize a competitor. When asked about competition, say that we are qualified to talk about ourselves and that the prospect should understand the competition who know themselves the best.
Posted @ Thursday, January 09, 2014 10:34 PM by Anand Bijapurkar
I like to approach each sales call with this in mind; 
 
Never Forget! People Do Business, With People They Like... Guess what? ... "I Never Do Business With People That I Don't Like"  
 
I'm Blessed With Being In A Sales Position That I Can Be Very Selective!
Posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 12:45 PM by DAVI HERRERA
You ARE very fortunate! Few salespeople can be that selective. I have found that a few clients that I initially thought were "not worth the effort" - for one reason or another - turned about to be very good. I guess my advice is not to prejudge.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:58 PM by Bob Andres
Never, EVER Assume or make assumptions.  
 
Early in my sales career, that would often be my response to what is going on with a deal that had been lost. "Well, I assumed, they were going with us, since John Doe in purchasing said they were." I learned pretty quickly that making assumptions is a fast track to losing.  
 
On the opposite end of the spectrum, as a customer, I recently visited a store which I frequent for wine. There was a new sales person working at the front desk. They had a special on a few different wine bottles, from different manufacturers. I typically take advantage of these deals and mix and match. I took the selected bottles up to the counter, where the new sales rep. stated that I could not mix and match my selection. I informed him that I have been coming to the store for a number of years and always mix and match. (They are all on the same rack anyways) He then went on to state that the system wouldn't allow him to ring through the two different selections. I advised him to try ringing it through, and low and behold... it worked! He then went on to say, "well, I'm new here and I assumed that it had to be the same type of wine for this deal." I informed him to never make assumptions and that he could have lost the sale had I not known better as a frequent customer.
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:02 PM by Reena
Never chew gum during a sales meeting!
Posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 4:18 PM by Linda
Never try to sell something you don't believe in
Posted @ Saturday, March 22, 2014 9:31 AM by Ronnie
That's good advice from Ronnie, but people do it all the time. Think about it: Police officers enforce laws they don't like or want; lawyers defend clients who they know to be guilty; teachers administer tests they know to be flawed, and used car salesmen... they're the experts. 
 
If you believe in the product or service you are selling, it makes the job much easier. You more effective - and happier - and that comes across.  
 
But you may have the luxury of walking away from selling products you "don't believe in" - it just means that it will be more difficult to do so. This forces you to "walk carefully" and skillfully avoid answering damaging questions.  
 
Look at the politicians. They do this every day! (They sure have been doing a great job of selling us down the river lately.)
Posted @ Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:12 AM by Bob
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