5 dumb things sales people do

Selling can be fun, but it can also be infuriating, especially when you waste valuable time. The tips below will help you save time, make more money, and feel better about yourself.

The more deals you close the more money you’ll make. And when you make more money and feel better about yourself, your confidence increases. This leads to more friends, additional romantic interests, more warm and sunny days, and increased networking opportunities. In short, the lessons learned below will make you a cooler person.

That being said, let’s take a look at 5 dumb things sales people do.

1. Talk too much

There’s an old saying that you were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Translation: You should listen twice as much as you speak.

When you’re attempting to close a sale, try to imagine being a little kid and your grandmother waving her finger in your face saying, “Shush now!” When a prospective client is talking, they’re giving you information on the most important points to hit in your presentation. If you’re listening, your presentation becomes like an open-book test. If you ramble, the prospective client will likely tune you out. “Shush now!”

2. Persist with dead leads

If you can figure out a client’s needs and budget, then you won’t have to worry about dead leads. It’s either a qualified lead or it’s not. This will save you an enormous amount of time and improve your efficiency.

Throughout your sales career, think of all the people you’ve seen spending endless hours on the phone chasing dead leads. This can be hazardous to your health; often resulting in complaining and venting over numerous cigarette breaks, attracting negative energy, and hair loss. If you’re wise, you will maximize your time by spending it on newer, qualified leads.

3. Accept “Maybe”

When a prospective client says “maybe” or “I’ll think about it,” it almost always means, “no.” Sometimes it even means, “I hate you” or “stop bothering me.” Believe it or not, this is something you want to encounter in some situations. A good sales pro either gets the sale or gets the “no.” The latter is okay because it lets you know that it’s time to move on to the next lead.

4. Go with the flow

Going with the flow might work when your friend takes you out for pizza instead of Chinese, even though you were really pumped about Chinese food (especially the General Tso’s chicken), but this approach doesn’t work in the sales world.

Going with the flow when attempting to make a sale will cause the potential client to lead the direction of the conversation. Letting the client talk is a positive, but keep the conversation focused on what problems they need solved and their budget, not their favorite football team.

5. Not doing enough research on the prospective client

Some sales people spend an endless amount of time researching their product. Although this is valuable information, and knowing your product will definitely help close a sale, it shouldn’t take precedence over researching your prospective client. Having information on your prospective client can be much more valuable.

Think of it this way, if someone were attempting to sell you a vacuum cleaner and they were going over all its functions for an hour, you would likely get bored and probably would find watching The Weather Channel on a 30-minute loop a better use of your time.

However, if that vacuum cleaner salesperson spent an hour talking mostly about you and your needs related to keeping your retail store clean, you would remain engaged. In other words, the salesperson knew that you owned a retail store and could benefit from the high-powered and multi-functioning vacuum cleaner. This technique can increase the odds of a sale.


By avoiding the mistakes enumerated above and implementing the appropriate sales strategies, you will save a great deal of time and improve your efficiency. Strongly consider bookmarking this page for future reference and an improved sales ratio.

Bethany is the Senior Manager, Content Marketing at PandaDoc. She has over 10 years in the sales and marketing industry and loves crafting new stories and discovering new content distribution channels. Outside of the office, she spends her time reading, working out at Orangetheory or trying a new Brooklyn brewery with her husband and two French Bulldogs, Tater Tot and Pork Chop.

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