10 Things All Salespeople Should Stop Doing Immediately


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Sales is one of the only jobs in the world where you can’t fake success. At the end of the week, month, or quarter you will be held accountable for your numbers, for better or for worse. That’s why it’s important to spend your time doing the right things. Our personal sales assistant Spiro helps you do just that, recommending what actions to take to close more deals and make more money.

But just as important as knowing what to do is knowing what not to do. Salespeople sometimes develop bad habits which prevent them from being as successful as they can be. Here are the ten things that all salespeople should stop doing right now if they want to be successful:

1. Talking

Sales is more about listening than it is about talking, no matter what that little voice inside your head is saying. Let the customer speak, and actually listen to what they’re saying instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next, or what bar you plan on going to Friday night. No one ever got rich by talking without listening first, and you won’t either.

2. Interrupting

This goes along with number 1. Stop interrupting your customers! Our fast-paced world has conditioned us to all have the attention span of a three-month old labrador puppy, eager to make our point or move on to the next deal, but there’s a great tip that can help you close more deals: slow down to speed up. This means taking more time with each person, hearing them out, and earning their business.

3. Bragging

Salespeople are a competitive and outgoing bunch, and along with that comes the urge to show off and brag about how great you are at sales or how much money you’re making. Stop doing it. Not only does it not help you achieve anything to brag, all you’re doing is alienating potential customers who are turned off by such behavior, and irritating co-workers and others in the business world who could be valuable allies.

4. Apologizing

How many times have you apologized for “bothering someone” when you’ve made a call, or followed-up at what appeared to be a bad time? Were you actually sorry you did it? Probably not. Stop apologizing for things that you aren’t truly sorry for. You’re a salesperson who is trying to connect with someone for who your company is providing value. I assure you, apologizing to someone isn’t part of any sales script on the planet.

5. Lying

Salespeople get a bad rep from the general public because of a small segment in the profession who conduct business unethically and dishonestly. These few liars make life much more difficult for the overwhelming majority of hard-working salespeople trying to provide for their families. If you need to lie to sell your product, go sell something else. If you can’t sell without lying, do us all a favor and pick another profession.

6. Being shy about what you do

Because salespeople get a bad rep, many of us tend to be apprehensive when it comes to discussing what we do for a living. Anyone who works in sales has seen the reaction from friends and strangers when you tell them what you do for a living, and it can be a bit annoying. But true salespeople embrace what they do, because they’re committed and have no qualms about the career that they chose for themselves.

7. Making excuses

In the opening paragraph of this post, we said that sales was one of the only jobs you couldn’t fake because the numbers simply don’t lie. This means excuses don’t matter in sales any more than they would to your bank when it comes time to pay the mortgage. Don’t try to find reasons for why you’re not successful, instead focus on and find the reasons for why you need to be. Block out all negativity and only focus on what matters.

8. Counting your deal chickens before they hatch

While this habit may be more common among new salespeople, veterans sometimes also get caught up in the trap of counting deals before they’re actually closed. A deal isn’t done when a customer promises to do business with you. A deal isn’t done when a customer shows up to sign the documents. And most of the time, a deal isn’t done until the money has been deposited AND the check has cleared, and even then you may still have to wait until after the recession period has elapsed before counting your deal.

9. Waiting

Salespeople who wait around are never going to be successful. If you’re waiting on a prospect, you’re wasting time. Follow-up, look for new business, create new opportunities, educate yourself, help a co-worker, do anything and everything you possibly can to not give yourself any downtime. An object in motion tends to remain in motion, and an object at rest remains at rest, which one are you going to be?

10. Complaining

If tomorrow morning every salesperson in the world woke up without the ability to complain, businesses across the planet would see their earnings skyrocket. While complaining is toxic to any workplace, it has a profoundly detrimental effect in sales because it’s a career that has as much to do with what you say as how you say it. Complaining leads to a culture of negativity, where sales teams go to die. So the next time your co-worker starts complaining to you about management, or the comp plan, or whatever, don’t feed into it, and close some new business instead.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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