Three Ways Salespeople Sabotage Their Sales Success

Denver-Based Sales Leadership Development Available Nationwide

Posted: May 22, 2013

There is a lot of literature written about the fear of failure.  I contend there is just as much fear around succeeding.  When you succeed, you raise the bar for current and future success. You are leaving the comfort zone of mediocrity and higher expectations. 

Are you a salesperson that is fearful of success and as a result, not doing what you know you need to do to win business?  

Here are three sabotaging behaviors I have observed after working with thousands of salespeople: 

#1.  No plan. No sale.  This salesperson walks into the office on Monday morning, fires up their computer and starts working on organizing their week.  Too late---your competitor has already contacted your 25 best prospects by the time you have organized your to-do and target prospect list. 

I have preached the power of calendar blocking for years and heads nod up and down in agreement with this powerful time management principle.  And yet, when I ask the same group of salespeople to open up their calendars to share their proactive business plan for the week, there is more white space on the calendar than anything else.  Calendar blocking sounded like a good idea and it also sounds like work. 

Excuses abound for lack of planning.  I don’t have time to plan.  Hmmm….but you do have time to waste????  Research shows that one minute of planning saves 10 minutes of wasted time.  Do the math and see how much more you can accomplish in a week.   

#2.  Running their own sales playbook.  This salesperson is executing the Sales 2.0 version of winging it.  Instead of following a systematic and proven approach to opening and closing business, the self-sabotaging salesperson says something like, “Well, I am not comfortable doing it that way.”    

So they stick with their comfortable approach to sales and sound like every other comfortable salesperson.  “Hi, how are you today.  I was hoping I could….”  Or “Thanks so much for taking the time to see me today.”  (Translation:  I am just a lowly salesperson.) 

Instead of learning new ways to influence the educated, savvy buyers developed from the age of the internet, they run their own sales playbook.  And they run out of gas, business and commissions.

#3.  Not integrating something old and something new.  This salesperson is afflicted with shiny object syndrome.  Whenever the latest and greatest new social medial tool comes out, they are all over it.  Their hope and belief is that this new tool is the holy sales grail for closing more business. 

Now this new tool might be good, but they forget to incorporate some of the old tools that brought them to the sales dance—and can still win new dance partners.  Strategies such as building referral partners, effective involvement in the right associations and speaking engagements.

Are you sabotaging your sales success?  Get a plan, follow up playbook and combine something old and something new. 

Good Selling!

Colleen Stanley

Chief Selling Officer