There’s an old saying that a sale is made with every presentation—the product is sold, or the salesperson is sold that there is no sale. What’s closer to the truth is that what the salesperson does or doesn’t do has more to do with landing a contract than anything else.

7 Things That Can Stop You Before You Start

Nobody is home. The customer never gives you a chance, doesn’t listen, or won’t set an appointment. Avoid this – You’ve got the wrong customer or the wrong person within the organization. Be sure you have a product that fits their needs and if so find someone who will listen, and if no one wants to listen, move on.

It’s a shaky deal.  A lack of confidence shows in voice inflection and body language. Inflection should almost always be lowered, which denotes confidence as opposed to rising, which sounds like a question even when it’s supposed to be a statement. The best body language is open and calm. Not sure what to do with your hands? If you’re sitting fold them in a steeple, if standing, leave them at your side until you speak.

One size fits all. A one size fits all product or service will not solve every prospects problem. Either design products to fit the needs of individual clients or only offer the product to those it can help.

Here comes the judge. While some pre-qualification may be merited, it should be based on fact, not conjecture. Don’t assume a client can’t afford your service. Don’t guess whether your product is a fit. Do your homework.

Talk, talk, talk. If all you’re doing is pitching and talking, talking and pitching who’s going to listen? Would you? Maybe worse yet, you learn nothing when you’re yapping away. Ask questions, let you client tell you what they need.

Not following your lead. You made a good presentation. You have a product that solves the prospects problem. You know you can help, but they haven’t made up their mind. Don’t lose track of them. Keep them in your loop with occasional non-threatening queries or send them an occasional promotional product.

The Show Must Go On

If you don’t want to be a show stopper do your homework, practice your skills, and know your customer. Find a prospect with a problem you can solve and confidently show them how you can help. Don’t over qualify. Fit your solution to their need. Listen to your customer, offer the best you can, and then follow up. It’s not easy, but it works. What show stoppers have derailed your sales efforts?