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Sales and selling are always important – the selling effort is the beating heart that keeps successful business fit and healthy.  When the sales process goes wrong it is often because some simple but important aspects of the sales process have been allows to slip.

Ten Deadly Sales Sins - Year End is Nigh

The first step in stopping this sales-killing rot is awareness: be aware of the bad habits that can slip into your selling or that of your people.  The second step is auditing – keep your eyes open for signs of sinning and, when you spot them, nip them in the bud.

In the first post in this two-part series we looked at the first five of the ’10 deadly sales sins’.  Here are the last five.  If your sales go on the slide then, before you start to look at more elaborate reasons will inevitably be more expensive to address, ask yourself if you or your salespeople are guilt of any of these sales sins:

VI. Not winning the customer’s confidence

Prospects don’t completely believe in your PR, advertising, or product blurb – they believe in people. You are your product.  Fail to win their confidence and you’ll fail to sell. It’s that simple.

Look into your soul: Do I communicate an honest, professional, capable partner that my prospects can rely upon?

VII. Not selling the company

Even the most seasoned salesperson can sometimes forget that even when they have successfully sold the their own bona fides and those of their products the prospect is still going to be concerned about what’s behind the scenes supporting them. They’ll think: “what happens to me if this guy is gone tomorrow?”.  There are always three sales to be made – your products & services, the salesperson and the credibility & reliability of the company behind them.

Tell the truth: Do you always focus on making all three sales – Me, my products AND my company?

VIII. Not joining the customer’s team

It’s no longer enough to have good quality products and services – everyone has that.  Prospects today want knowledgeable, effective and consultative partners who will contribute some additional knowledge and expertise to their team. Helping customers to directly address business challenges is what makes the difference between peddler and consultant.

Meditate: If I were gone tomorrow would my customers miss my expertise in their business?

IX. Not creating a “benefits vision” for the customer

In order to buy we all need to have a clear picture of the many benefits that will accrue to us from anything we purchase.  The most successful salespeople work hard to build a clear compelling vision of the benefits of everything they sell in the minds of their customers – and the best way to do this is with a clear Return On Investment (ROI) analysis that clearly shows the impact your solution will have on the client’s bottom line.  This clear mental picture of a “happiest ever after” scenario is key to consistent sales success.

Search your heart: Do my presentations evoke both an emotional and a logical response – can my prospect clearly visualise, and quantify, the benefits of buying from me?

X. Not going that extra mile

Every one is at their best when they are on the brink of closing a deal with a prospect – especially the first deal with a new client.  We’ll all do our level best to ensure we satisfy every one of our prospect’s demands at this key stage.  That’s why no one is overly impressed by extra effort at sales time – it’s the norm for you and for all of your competitors.  What counts is how you behave when the sale is done.  Do you deliver?  Do you live up to expectations by keeping promises and ensuring your customer gets a return on whatever they buy from you?  Are you still around delivering real business value in-between sales?  If your follow-through is poor so will your follow-up sales.

Examine your conscience: Am I known for consistent world-class follow through?

Don’t end up in a sales hell

These ten deadly sales sins will condemn your business to a selling hell.  Keep the list somewhere handy and put a reminder in your idary to do a quick examination of your conscience and that of your salespeople – stop the rot BEFORE it becomes a problem.

Keep your conscience clear and your selling religiously free of these deadly sales sins and see your business soar to heavenly heights.


What other sales sins have you been guilty of – c’mon, be honest?!

Use the Comments feature below to share how you deal with them