Top 10 Mistakes Salespeople Make That Cost Them Customers


April 6, 2015


10. Failure to keep promises
When you say “I’ll do my best to get it to you by Tuesday,” your customer hears, “I promise it will be here Tuesday.” Better to not say anything than to be perceived as someone who breaks a promise.

9. Lack of creativity
Customers are always seeking fresh thinking from a salesperson…new ideas, innovative approaches, leading-edge technologies. Put your creative energy to use and most people will respond positively.

8. Failure to make and keep appointments
With today’s vast array of instant communication options, there is no excuse for an inexcused absence. If an appointment absolutely must be rescheduled, do so with proper notice and sincere apologies.

7. Lack of awareness of the customer’s operation
Do your research before showing up at the customer’s doorstep. You should be proactively asking about their newest announcement or product launch, not waiting for them to educate you.

6. Taking the customer for granted
The Forum Corporation did a study of commercial customers that were lost by 14 major manufacturing and service companies. Here’s what they found:
• 15% of those customers found a better product
• 15% found a cheaper product
• 20% left because of a “lack of contact and individual attention” from the supplier
• 49% left because “contact from the supplier’s personnel was poor in quality”
Turns out, clients don’t leave suppliers, they leave salespeople!

5. Lack of follow-through
Do what you say and say what you do. Many salespeople do a great job for their clients, but their clients never know it. Communicate to the client what you are doing to help them or resolve their problem. If they hear nothing, that’s what they think you are doing.

4. Lack of product knowledge
Understand exactly what you are selling and why it matters to the buyer. Do the research, ask the right questions, find out what your product/service means to your current clients and how they are using it.

3. Over-aggressiveness and failure to listen
Over-aggressiveness comes from desperation. Failure to listen comes from being egocentric. Demonstrate genuine curiosity and authentic listening. You need to listen deeply and establish the value of your solution in prospects’ eyes.

2. Lack of interest or purpose
You never want to be the salesperson who is “just checking in.” Have an overarching goal and a prioritized list of what you want to accomplish before every meeting or sales call.

1. Lack of preparation
Every successful sales professional prepares, practices and “game plans” their presentation, including possible outcomes and their corresponding responses. This preparation should focus on where your prospect’s needs interact with your products.

At Turchette, we take great pride in the relationships that we build with our clients. In fact, our #1 source for new business is referrals from existing (and former) clients we have served. Our average client tenure is 15 years (5X the national average) and our entire team works hard to integrate themselves seamlessly into our client’s sales environment. We attend their trade shows, read their media, engage with their sales teams and collaborate with their senior management. To learn why our relationships last so long and why our clients continue to dominate their markets, click here.