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5 Most Common Sales Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Alex Edson

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 1, 2018
Phoenix, AZ.
Today we take a look at the 5 most common sales mistakes (and how to avoid them)!

In building my former company to over $10 million in sales, my position as CEO enabled me to gain a unique perspective on what separated the most successful salespeople in our organization from the rest.

I observed these five errors to be the most common sales mistakes. Enjoy!

#1): Not quickly following-up after a prospecting call.
If you take away one thing from this post, let it be this:

Develop the habit of sending your prospects a quick follow-up email immediately after each cold call that you make (before you move onto your next prospecting call).

For instance, if your prospect has agreed to an in-person meeting, try sending this quick email after your initial exploratory call:

“Hi John,

It was a pleasure speaking with you earlier.

Thank you so much for being so generous with your time.
Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday at your office at 3:15 PM.


Quick follow-up emails do two things:

#1). They demonstrate professionalism.

#2). They provide reminder details regarding the next set of actions to take (in the above example, this would be a Tuesday meeting at 3:15 PM).

#2): Not being aggressive.
Being aggressive shows that you believe in what you’re selling.

(In my humble opinion) If you know that your company’s product or service is superior to your competitors’, you have an obligation to be aggressive!

Ask yourself this:

If you’re certain that you can help your prospect achieve their goals, why wouldn’t you be aggressive?

As Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, once said; “I lose 1/5 sales for being too aggressive. But I get the other 4!”

#3): Not using a script.
Having a cold calling script (or at the minimum, a list of pre-written bullet points) puts you in control of the sale.

And when you feel in control, you have more confidence.

And when you have more confidence, you close more deals!

#4): Failing to follow-up.
In a recent blog post about the best sales email subject lines, we shared the findings of a research study which revealed that 80% of successful sale transactions require an average of five follow-ups after initial contact.

Yet despite this fact, 44% of salespeople never follow-up after their first outreach!

If you’re worried about sending a follow-up because your prospect didn’t reply to your first email, don’t be.

The absence of a response doesn’t mean your prospect isn’t interested!

For instance …
- Your prospect may be traveling and simply hasn’t had a chance to check their inbox yet.
- Your prospect may be busy and may have missed your email in a flood of other emails.
- Your prospect may have read your email but became distracted and forgot to respond.

Regardless of the reason, the lesson is this:

Don’t be afraid to follow-up. The money is made in the follow-up!

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you can track your follow-ups with the MailTag browser extension, allowing you to know whether or not your emails have been read (100% for free).

#5): Not knowing your sales ratios.
The top salespeople in every organization all have one thing in common:

They know their sales ratios.

If you’re going to be successful in sales, you must know your numbers.

For example, you must be able to answer these questions:
- How many emails do you need to send in order to arrange a prospecting call?
- How many prospecting calls do you need to make in order to arrange an appointment?
- How many appointments do you need to make to successfully close a sale?

As Stephan Schiffman once said; “If you don’t know the numbers you need to reach your goal,
you’re probably not going to get there.”
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Legendary Contributor
Staff member
Read Fastlane!
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Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
User Power
Value/Post Ratio
Oct 31, 2011
Gulf Coast

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