Seven Deadly Sins In Sales

By Scott Farrington

Here are seven sales habits that might be giving you a bad reputation.

  1. Batter up

Start pitching before the batter (client) is up to plate and you are wasting your time. The batter is also probably thinking: ‘Let me see how he throws’.

The vast majority of sales people pitch their product or service too soon and, as a result, they end up pitching the wrong solution or position. They have failed to do a thorough pre-discovery to determine if the prospect actually has a need for their product or solution. The idea is to pitch a solution the batter (client) can hit a home run with. Find out first which pitch is best for your batter.

  1. Talking about yourself or company

I’m amazed by the number of sales people (and company executives) who believe the best way to open a sales presentation is to talk about themselves or their company. They forget the WIFIM.

The what? The client only cares about the WIFIM. “What’s in it for me”. Forget about this and you might as well forget about the client.

You really only have about three minutes before the client starts looking at their e-mails, or their eyes start wondering around the room, or they start taking calls. If you do not grab their attention by showing them what is in it for them, you are done.

  1. The old saying “take the cotton out your ears and put it in your mouth”.

Simply put, shut up and listen. It sounds simple but is a common occurrence in the business world. One of the easiest ways to connect with a decision maker is to carefully listen to what they tell you.

  1. Not asking the right questions

How do you do this and listen? Simple: The WIFIM. If you have not done your homework to find out the benefits of your solution/products, then you will not be able to ask the right questions. Asking the right questions is an art, but if you stick to the WIFIM this will help tremendously.

  1. Understanding your client’s business.

In today’s highly competitive business world, sales people must have a strong grasp of issues that are affecting their prospect’s business, and be able to offer solutions. Bringing new insights can help you stand out from your competition and improve your reputation as a sales professional. This is where your homework comes into play.

  1. Delivering same old, same old

The purpose of a sales presentation is to demonstrate why your prospect should buy your product, service, solution.

Unfortunately, very few sales people custom craft a presentation that is tailored to each prospect. Instead, they use the same old boring presentation on each and every prospect. Yaaaaawwwwnnnn. I can see it now. Might as well show a slide show of sheep jumping over the moon.

  1. Follow through, follow through, and follow through

Not doing what you said you would do, or not doing something when you said you would do it. Yes, sometimes deadlines pass and you have mistakenly missed or forgotten it. Not good. In either case, this sends a bad message to the client.

If you have missed a deadline or forgotten, the best remedy is to pick up the phone, call, admit your mistake, but make sure you deliver what you have promised RIGHT away.

Selling is an honourable profession for honourable professionals. Make sure you have that reputation and gain your prospect’s trust and respect by avoiding these seven deadly sins.

All of these sales and marketing strategies are certain to keep your business on top during these challenging economic times. Have a productive and profitable week.


• NB: Scott Farrington is president of SunTee EmbroidMe, a promotional and marketing company specialising in uniforms, embroidery, silk screen printing and promotional products. Established over 27 years ago, SunTee EmbroidMe has assisted local businesses from various industries in marketing themselves. Readers can contact Mr. Farrington at SunTee EmbroidMe on East Shirley Street, by e-mail at scott@sun-tee.com or by telephone at 242-393-3104


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment