📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

9 Rookie Sales Mistakes That Are Costing You Sales When trying to close a deal, it's not all about you.

By Marc Wayshak Edited by Dan Bova

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Maskot | Getty Images

There was a time when salespeople could close sale after sale with just a few tricks of the trade -- a smile, a nice suit and a persuasive pitch. Not anymore. Today, pitching your product can do more to sabotage your sales than to help them. And your ideal prospects won't be charmed by an enthusiastic grin these days; it will actually turn them off from buying from you.

So, how can you adapt to the times? There are nine common selling mistakes that you should learn to avoid altogether. Once you cut these rookie sales behaviors out of your sales approach, you'll notice a dramatic uptick in the number of sales you close. If you're ready to crush your sales goals, never commit the following sales blunders again:

1. Trying to fit in.

In a marketplace filled with other salespeople doing exactly what you do, blending into the crowd can be the kiss of death. When you try to fit in with other salespeople in your industry, you're effectively shooting yourself in the foot. Instead of imitating the tactics of your competitors, be unique. Look for creative ways to set yourself apart, and you'll be rewarded for it.

Related: 13 Characteristics of Successful Hustlers

2. Sounding "salesy."

What's the best voice to use in a conversation with any prospect? The answer is simple. Use anything but a salesy voice. It's time to reject the notion that salespeople should sound overly enthusiastic and loud to get prospects' attention. In reality, a low-key, friendly, genuine voice will help you connect more closely with prospects. To work on this, record your next sales call and listen to it later, paying close attention to the way you sound.

3. Making it all about you.

It might sound obvious that you should focus on your prospects, but the majority of salespeople spend most of their time focused on themselves, their products and their services. Instead, make it all about the prospect. Steer the conversation toward the prospect's goals, challenges, needs and wants. Once you do this, you'll be that much closer to closing the sale.

4. Failing to establish budget.

This is one of the biggest mistakes in sales. The word "budget" inspires dread for many salespeople. While it might feel uncomfortable at first, you must get in the habit of asking your prospects about budget. Every prospect has a budget to spend. You just need to discover what it is. You can't craft the right solution before knowing what they're willing to invest, so make this a top priority.

Related: 6 Ways To Be Better At Sales

5. Not following a script for calls.

Your sales calls should be carefully planned out, with contingencies in place for tough prospects you might encounter on the phone. A script will help you keep every call on track, so you can set more sales meetings over the phone. When you don't use a script, you're simply less prepared to state your case in 15 seconds or less -- which is exactly what you must do.

6. Qualifying every prospect.

Every salesperson has been in a selling situation where the prospect isn't a good fit for what's being sold -- but they just keep selling anyway. Not only is this a huge waste of time, but it also takes attention away from prospects who are actually qualified. Drop prospects who don't seem like a good fit for your product or service. This will allow you to close more sales with better customers.

7. Not listening enough.

There's a reason why salespeople are often told they have "the gift of gab." They tend to talk a lot. But listening is much more important when it comes to making sales. Ask insightful questions to get your prospects talking, so you can listen to what they have to say. You'll gather more information so you can craft the right solution for the prospect, making the conversation worthwhile for both of you.

8. Failing to schedule the next step.

You've had a positive sales phone call with a prospect. Now what? If you end the call with a vague, "Let's circle back around next week to talk next steps," you're missing a great opportunity. Instead, be clear about scheduling the next step. Take out your calendar while you're still on the phone, and agree to a date and time to follow up.

Related: How These 9 Top Sales Influencers Crush The Competition

9. Giving your presentation too soon.

If you present to prospects at the start of a sales meeting, you're likely to end up with this response: "I'll think it over and get back to you." Why? Because you gave your presentation too soon, before discovering the prospect's biggest frustrations and major goals. Wait until the end of your sales meeting before giving your presentation for better outcomes, every time.

Which of these 9 rookie mistakes are you ready to banish from your sales process? For more powerful sales advice, check out this free 9-Day Sales Intensive to transform the way you sell.

Marc Wayshak

Sales Strategist and Author

Marc Wayshak is the author of Game Plan Selling . As a sales strategist, he has created a system aimed at revolutionizing the way companies approach selling.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

These Coworkers-Turned-Friends Started a Side Hustle on Amazon — Now It's a 'Full Hustle' Earning Over $20 Million a Year: 'Jump in With Both Feet'

Achal Patel and Russell Gong met at a large consulting firm and "bonded over a shared vision to create a mission-led company."

Side Hustle

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Successful Business

A hobby, interest or charity project can turn into a money-making business if you know the right steps to take.


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.

Business News

These Are the 10 Most Profitable Cities for Airbnb Hosts, According to a New Report

Here's where Airbnb property owners and hosts are making the most money.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.