The Top 10 Sales Mistakes Salespeople Make and How to Avoid Them

The Top 10 Sales Mistakes Salespeople Make and How to Avoid Them | CIO Women Magazine

Sale is a field where factors like numbers, facts, and patience are important. Human behavior is such that it can get overwhelming working in sales. So, sales mistakes are bound to happen. Due to the stress of chasing targets and achieving a certain level of revenue as per the plan, sales mistakes aren’t anything new. It happens because of misinterpretations, wrong forecasting, and overestimating the analysis done. 

The customer’s needs and providing a solution for the same is the main agenda of sales. Sales mistakes occur when one strives to fill the gap in between. By offering customized solutions, always being customer-centric, and increasing sales figures to the consumer sales mistakes take place.  The organization is always trying its level best to avoid sales mistakes. Adequate training is provided so as to ensure the anticipated sales figures are achieved. 

Speaking of sales mistakes, here are 10 of them;

1. Wrong target market

Being in this field, selecting the wrong target market isn’t a mistake that can be encouraged. For the ones who don’t need the product, is not your target market. Checking on the brand value and the image of it when selecting the market is necessary. When implementing customer profiling during lead generation, learn better methods to do so. Sales mistakes will be avoided then and there. If this is done during lead generation itself, a lot of time wastage and sales mistakes can be avoided. 

2. Not hearing out the prospect

Another important sales mistake is to keep talking more than required. To persuade the customer to buy the said product, a salesperson talks more. It restricts the thoughts or doubts that the prospect is waiting to ask and get answers to. A salesperson hears out what the prospect has to say. Talking more than the prospect will make him lose interest in purchasing the product and approach your competitor.   

The Top 10 Sales Mistakes Salespeople Make and How to Avoid Them | CIO Women Magazine

3. Over-stressing features, ignoring benefits

The prospects do not understand the features so efficiently. They take time as it is a new thing for them. Exactly that isn’t understood by salespeople, and it is counted under sales mistakes. They look for the benefits of using the product. Stress more on the benefits while you relate them to their daily life. Practice the pitch with the combination of explaining the features and how are they beneficial. Prospects look for ease in their lives through various products. So, explaining the benefits is more important. 

4. Wrong use of words

One of the underrated sales mistakes. Some words are considered sales-diminishing words. Words have power. The use of words like payment, competitor, however, and but are negative words. The sound of it isn’t pleasant to the ears. They provide no specific information and sound vague and void. During pitching a product, ensure no amount of negativity comes around you. Be specific, correct, and give reliable information.     

5. No heed to pain points

Qualifying a lead means getting to know the exact needs and concerns of the prospects. Handling the qualifying of a lead will help you save time and perform better. Make buyer personas that highlight the types of prospects you’re looking for.

The Top 10 Sales Mistakes Salespeople Make and How to Avoid Them | CIO Women Magazine

This could be a list of types of customers you’re looking for, their business size, location, industry and other aspects. Getting to know the pain points when deciding on a customer is vital as the further steps depend on it. Get to know the nuances of the listed buyer personas, so the accuracy in identifying the leads to give time and work on become easy. 

6. No follow-up

Another one of the common sales mistakes. Not establishing further communication after pitching the product, disappearing after first contact, and not replying to emails, calls or other methods of communication. In fact, a follow-up strategy should be formulated separately as a standard operating procedure (SOP). The prospect may think of you being rude, irresponsible, and unprofessional. By formulating the said SOP, the prospects will stay in touch and respond to your emails and calls. 

7. Disrespectful body language

If you’re working over the counter and a prospect appears to purchase, keeping positive body language as a salesperson is important. If you’re too occupied and can’t attend to the prospect, request a colleague for the same. Taking in an unpleasant manner, being disrespectful and showing negativity in body language are signs of a bad salesperson. Keep your facial expressions, eye contact, and body posture positive and enduring. The prospect must feel warmth when talking to you.   

8. Know when to stop selling

The sales pipeline gets affected when you do not know when to stop. Keep a deadline in front of you to either convert the prospect into a customer or stop following up after that period. After the date has approached, if the prospect or customer hasn’t initiated contact to show interest, then stop selling to him. Maybe he/she is busy with other things at the moment, so not paying much attention to the pitch you’re giving. He/she may contact you later. These things are common in sales. 

The Top 10 Sales Mistakes Salespeople Make and How to Avoid Them | CIO Women Magazine

9. Being a narcissist

Not being able to understand the perspective of the prospect, is a big no-no. They will not be encouraged to understand the working of your product. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Understand what they need and expect from the product. See that their requirements and demands are fulfilled via your product and the brand too. A narcissist won’t be that good to conduct the sales pitch.      

10. Incomplete product knowledge

This is the last thing salespeople can do. Pitching the customer without any product knowledge will result in no confidence and a failed pitch. A lead will be wasted too. This will make a improper state of mind. You will be lost and not know what to do, how to and no establishing of targets.

It will deplete your performance. Direct effect on the performance isn’t a good thing. Assist your seniors to get a good knowledge of the product. Observe what your peers do, how they convince prospects and what strategies they use. Get to know the sales strategy formulated by the brand. 


These are some sales mistakes that a salesperson should avoid. If any of them are happening, he/she must try to rectify the same, and take adequate training or make changes in the pitching style. Make sure that the prospect is understanding the product well. Ask for any more clarifications or questions to be answered. Give assurance to contact later if any questions remain unanswered. All in all, try to make fewer mistakes as much as possible. Be error-free when working in sales.  

Also read: 7 Tools for Sales Every Salesperson Should Use



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