The Seven Deadly Sins of Selling


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Throughout my 25 years of selling I have come to realize that those that need sales help are impacted by seven elements. These factors present obstacles for any business development person. A lack of understanding, training or education will severely impact revenues and success.

  1. Service – over 50% of every selling situation involves customer service. The fact is many selling professionals and entrepreneurs are not very good at. With competition increasing and the ill effects of a fledgling economy, selling professionals need to be more attentive to customer service. It is the clear differentiator in today’s marketplace.
  2. Communication -the problem with many professionals that sell for a living is that they have never been taught the proper methods of communication. The clear line of distinction in selling today is creating relationship. And the best relationships are from those that know how to listen. Speaking too much will kill every selling opportunity.
  3. Follow Up – nothing is more deplorable than selling professionals that do not follow up when they say that they will. More importantly, those that do not follow up for several days after voice mail and e-mails are left. One client has left nine voice mail messages for one of his clients and calls have never been returned! Not only is this a bad business practice but rude. If customer service is a selling differentiator then follow-up must be part of the process!
  4. Preparation – the area where most selling professionals need sales help is in preparation. It is vital to know what to say before you say hello. Not knowing information about company, industry or competition only opens the pathway for your competition.
  5. Language – in our competitive world if knowledge is power than language is the key to relationship. Know what to say and when to say it! Become a voracious reader so that you can insight good objective conversation with economic buyers who see your value.
  6. Action – unfortunately procrastination is inherent within 82% of the population. However, to get anything done in a crazy world action is vital. Return calls when you say you’re going to. Ask questions that close business. Tell clients what you want them to do. But, tell them because if you don’t they will move on to the next thing because they are too distracted in this crazy noisy an information packed world.
  7. Relationship -I am about to say something that might surprise you. Stop selling! Individuals want relationships with those they know and trust. You cannot sell anything in this crazy world without having a solid foundation for relationship. Start focusing on how to create value, how to use language and how to instill confidence with investing in you!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


  1. Although I was confused by the meaning of “over 50% of every selling situation involves customer service” (source?), you’ve compiled a good checklist–but I’d put lack of ethics, honesty, and personal integrity at the top of the list.


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