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4. Not asking for a referral because you are uncomfortable.

The top complaint I hear from salespeople is that they hate cold calling. If this is the case, get yourself out of the “cold-call” business and start asking for referrals. The two reasons why we your sales team doesn’t get more referrals are a) they don’t ask and b) they don’t ask properly!

Be specific about who and what you are looking for in a potential buyer. No one knows better then you what a good referral looks like.

3. Not setting an agenda for a sales call.

If you are calling on a potential new client and you go in with the attitude that you will “wing it” you are in trouble. No one respects your time if you don’t respect theirs.

Set an agenda, discuss it with them at the beginning of the meeting and get their agreement. Then they will be on the same page with you and not an adversary.

2. Not finding out what’s relevant to your prospect.

Never run through the “features and benefits” of your offering until you know they are relevant to your potential customer. Don’t assume they are because you know their industry. The most damaging sales mistake is not letting your prospect share their issues before you make recommendations. Even if you end up on the same page, people still need to be heard.

1) Not shutting up.

Self explanatory.

What are some other common sales mistakes that you’ve observed small businesses make? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Photo: Akris

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is Not to Sell.” Greta does corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies and she has an online training course for entrepreneurs.


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