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  • Writer's pictureTony Paul

4 Common Sales Mistakes Rookies Make – Startup Lessons

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

Note: 4 common sales mistakes beginners make – is a write-up based on the mistakes I made and observed in my career as a sales guy. If you have any different opinion please share your thoughts as comments, I’d be more than happy to discuss.

Here are the top four sales mistakes first times sales guys make:

1) Lack of preparation

Lack of preparation and not investing enough time to prepare is a big mistake sales guys make. They always rush to book more (20 +) appointments and calls failing to close them. Instead of booking more calls, make 5 calls a day after doing a proper preparation. Your pitch will look good and you will close more deals. Period!

Even with digital appointment scheduling, wires can get crossed. The first thing you should do is to confirm the meeting via a simple email. Meeting on your calendar doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s on your prospect’s calendar. Using tools like Calendly would help.

Study the prospects business and have a good understanding of the questions they might ask in the context of their business. A Good sales process involves asking good questions to understand what your prospect brings to the table. For example, if you are selling an HR software, use LinkedIn to understand the number of employees, organizational structure etc.

2) Not building rapport

Not building rapport is a terrible mistake because relationships drive sales and people buy from people they like. Some people are naturally skilled at building rapport but others have to learn the skill.

One way to quickly build rapport is to find common interests or asking things that are important for them. You can research an on LinkedIn and other social media sites to identify common interests. It is best to ask the opening question based on the common interests.

For example, if your prospect is from London, you can ask about her take on the influence of Brexit poll results in her industry.

3) Not listening

Talking too much without listening to the prospect is a big mistake rookie make. You sound pushy when talking too much and nobody likes being sold to. You need to listen to your customers to identify the real problem. They’ll tell you everything you need to know, listen and then ask questions based on what they say.

4) Not properly handling objections

Properly handling objections is a key part of sales negotiations. Beginners in sales tend to say

yes to everything client asks due to the fear of losing the deal. You shouldn’t be saying yes to everything clients asks. It is ok to say no but in a diplomatic way. A sales guy should be prepared for the most common sales objections. If you are not comfortable in a deal, walking away is just fine.

Founders are (should be) the first sales guys in a startup and they often comes with no sales background (I’m one of them ). Being able to sell the product or service is the benchmark of success in any startup. Avoiding this four sales mistakes can accelerate your startup’s growth.

Did I miss any points? What is your take on this topic? Share your view as comments.

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