I’ve been in sales and marketing most of my life, more than 40 years. I’ve managed retail operations, sold B2B, and directed sales teams.  And…I’ve made every single one of these mistakes—more than once. If you’re in sales and continue to use these sales techniques, it may be time to reconsider your methodology.

The Top Ten 

10. Selling products, not solutions – The best salespeople discover their customer’s problems and offer solutions to fit the customer’s needs. They don’t attempt to sell whatever product is lying on the shelf at the time.

9. Over Promising – When a salesperson over promises to get a sale what happens when he or she under delivers on that promise. It ain’t pretty. How to Keep Customers Happy or Lose Them

8. Relying on price alone to close the sale – The sale should be made based on the benefits to the customer not by cutting price, which quite often means lowered quality.

7. Not asking for the order– If a salesperson has met the needs of the prospect and offered a solution to the problems, then they should ask for the order with pride. Earning the Right to ask for the Order

6. Not enough listening – When a salesperson spends too much time and energy pitching it’s hard for them to listen and learn what the customer’s needs and wants are.

5. Afraid of the price – When a salesperson thinks their product is overpriced it shows in their presentation. This can be overcome by researching what’s behind the price and understanding what’s being offered.

4. Not asking questions – Pretty simple, the only way to find out what the customer thinks—is to ask them

3. Not establishing a budget – One of the best ways to help a customer is to offer solutions within their budget.

2. Not seeking referrals – When a salesperson delivers they should ask satisfied customers for referrals. Every. Single. Time. How to get more Leads without Working Harder

And the number one answer is…drum roll, please.

Using old-school, high-pressure tactics. That game is nearly over. People expect conversations; they want to be part of the equation not led down a path. Just say no to Bad Sales Tactics

And a Personal Pet Peeve

Knocking competitors –A salesperson should never resort to badmouthing a competitor. Instead of critiquing the competitors’ faults share your organization’s strengths.

If you’re making any of these mistakes it’s time to stop, drop, and roll. It’s time for a change. Not sure you can? Call me, we’ll talk it out.