1. They talk/write about selling. This is a big sales killer (and waste of time). Yet, I see it all the time. Seriously, unless you are a sales coach, trainer, or somehow make money from TEACHING sales—don’t do this. You annoying your prospects and educate your competitors.
2. They collect, friend, follow sales people. Goes hand and hand with number one. It’s okay to monitor and collect intelligence on your competitors, but don’t make this your audience.
3. They talk about their product. You’re customers don’t care about your product, even the ones that buy. They want to know about you (BTW, this doesn’t mean what you ate for dinner or did in Vegas). They want to know how you are helping people like them succeed. Talk about this.
4. They don’t prospect. Oh my gosh! This is a ridiculous, but consistent mistake. I make a lot of money off this mistake. People will come to me a say, “Bill I’m having a hard time prospecting.” I will open up a browser, go to Google.com, Twitter, or Linkedin.com (doesn’t matter which), and I can guarantee in 1-3 searches I can find 10+ people to call. Not anonymous names and phone numbers, but people that are in the market.
5. They don’t use what prospects give them. Social media it the world’s largest sales database. Everyday millions of people shout out in pain, reveal who they buy from, what they buy, what they need to buy next, and their preferred way to be pitched and contacted. Seriously, pay attention!
6. They don’t scout the competition. Social media is a double edged sword, but don’t worry about it your competition is lazy and won’t do this. Scout, snoop, collect information on your competitive sales people. Identify them, follow them, beat them!
7. They don’t reference the competition. If your competition is worth anything or your prospect is the least bit diligent, they are or will be talking to your competition. Acknowledge it. Set trap doors. Don’t talk bad about them, but you know where they are weak so make sure you emphasize your counter-strengths to each weakness. The next time your prospect talks to your competitor, you’re prospect will question your competitor into the hem and haw shuffle.
8. They don’t know about thought leaders. This is another big credibility killer. Your prospect is trying to make a decision about spending money, investing in you. Chances are good that they are doing a reasonable amount of due diligence. In this day and age that means a Google search. What will they find? Make sure you do this kind of search regularly. Who shows up? These are the thought leaders.
9. They don’t know thought leaders. Assuming these aren’t your competitors, and there is a very good chance they’re not, reach out to them. Read their stuff, analyze it, weave it into your sales pitch. If you really want to be powerful—meet them (in person). The jackpot? They might start referencing you.
10. They don’t cite thought leaders. See mistake #9. Weave these people and their perspective into your sales pitch. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but you do need to acknowledge it and reference it. It builds trust and reliance on you as the “big picture” expert.
Bonus: They aren’t thought leaders! The best sales people ARE the EXPERTS. Write, present, speak. Be the first person and the most frequent person your customers run into when they are doing due diligence.