Sales March 17, 2017 Last updated March 13th, 2017 3,186 Reads share

20 Mistakes To Avoid While Making A Sales Call

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Sales is the lifeblood of any business. No business can exist without sales, and mistakes are common in the business world. Needless to say when making a sales call, even experienced salespersons can fall victim to a few common mistakes.

Here are the 20 most common mistakes salespersons make while making a sales call, and easy ways for you to avoid them.

#1. Using Jargon

While making a sales call, be sure to use clear, understandable language. Business department heads may not be in the know of technical terms. So avoid using jargons. If they can’t understand what you’re saying, it may spell trouble for you. It is same the other way around as well. Before talking to the technical heads, it is in the fitness of things that you should consult your colleagues from technical departments so that you can use the required technical terms on the call. You must remember that it pays to be clear, direct and knowledgeable

#2. Being too aggressive

If you are too pushy, talking about yourself all the time, you run the risk of alienating a lot of people. In order to convert the prospects into clients, you should avoid being too aggressive or pushy. If your product or service is great there is no need for overselling. Your desperation to make sales may be construed as your weakness and insecurity. Desperation has the potential of turning a prospect off faster.

#3. Messing up prospect’s name

Not getting your prospect’s name correct is one of the biggest mistakes while making a sales call. Fumbling the name of the person you are pitching shows a lack of respect. You may lose your credibility in the eyes of your prospects. If your prospect’s name is unusual, be sure to practice their name before making the call.

#4. Jumping straight to the business

Do not rush directly to the sale. Take the time to educate your customers, and they will reward you with sales. Getting straight to the business should be avoided. Before doing that you should establish a relationship with the person at the other end of the call. However, trying to get overly familiar with them is not recommended.

#5. Interrupting your prospects

When you ask a question to your prospect, you should give your full attention to listening to their answer. It has been found that salespersons tend to sing paeans about their products without hearing what the prospect wants. Interrupting your prospect unless it’s to clarify something you don’t understand is a silly but costly mistake sales people often commit.

#6. Talking too much and not asking enough questions

Some salespeople are in the mistaken belief that the best salespeople are those who are great talkers. Many of them spend an excessive amount of time on irrelevant information. It is in the fitness of things that you should develop good listening skills. You’ll never be able to close a deal when you are overly talking. Listening to your customer gives them the impression of your interest in their business, which in turn also helps build relationship and trust.

#7. Badmouthing your competitors

There is a multitude of salespeople who badmouth their competitors while making a sales pitch. Speaking negatively about your competitors has the potential of hurting your sales prospects in several ways. By doing so you come across as a negative person whom nobody likes dealing with. Talking bad about your competitors also brings them to the forefront of attention and not your product. It also shows your desperation which has the potential of turning a potential customer off faster.

#8. Chasing the non-buyers

It’s an absolute must to research each company before you make a sales pitch. It is important to know whether it can afford your services or benefit from your products. The most effective salespeople are those who don’t waste their time dealing with Non-Buyers. They use qualifying questions and their responses to determine whether the person they are dealing with is worth their time. It is better to thank them and move on to your next call instead of wasting your time explaining your products and services to them.

#9. Not following up on sales

Follow-up is an intimate part of sales that you can neglect at your peril. Just because someone does not become a client or customer does not mean they will not be interested in your products or services at a later stage. Even after becoming successful in turning a prospect into a client, it is your responsibility to find out how the product or service is working. Lack of follow-up is one of the common mistakes committed by the salespeople.

#10. Multi-tasking during a sales call

One of the most frequent mistakes salespersons make when making a sales call is to multitask during the call. When you are making a phone call to the prospect, it is essential that you should concentrate on the conversation and give your full attention to the client’s needs. Many salespersons work on the computer while talking to a prospect. This shows their utter neglect for the client’s requirements.

#11. Not telling the truth

The salesperson needs, to be honest with their prospects. Honesty is an important trait that is appreciated by the prospects. You should not have any qualms in admitting when you are not in the know about something. It is not humanly possible to know everything. One of the mistakes many salespersons make is to put across their image as very knowledgeable. It is better to be honest when you are building a relationship with the prospect.

#12. Not asking for the sale

In most cases, the salespeople wait for the potential client to say that they are ready to purchase. This is because they are afraid of getting turned down. However, it makes sense that once you have provided your prospect with all the necessary information they need, you should ask for the sale. Sometimes asking for the sale stands you in good stead as it can lead the customer to make his/her decision quickly.

#13. Using a free trial to close the deal

Nothing in the world comes free. If you think that your prospect is not interested in your products, there is no point in giving free trials of something they won’t buy in the long run. Giving free trial will make a dent in your company’s resources. Rather, it is time to make your next sales call.

#14. Quoting price too early during the pitch

One of the first questions prospects ask is about pricing. However, it is a good idea to convey the value proposition before starting any pricing. If you do so, you run the risk of losing the sale. This is because when a prospect hears a price too early in the sales process, they will begin comparing and bifurcating the price of each and every feature. Hence it is necessary that you state the price only after you state the value your products provide.

#15. Attempting to close the deal too early

When you try to close the deal too early in the discussion with your prospects, chances are that you may lose the battle. This is because you may come across as a pushy salesperson. A forced sales pitch makes a customer less likely to purchase. Those who advocate the ABC rule (Always Be Closing) are often not able to clinch the deal.

#16. Not listening

It has been found that many salespeople talk when they should be listening. Instead of describing the features of your products, you should try to find out what your customers want. Listening is a great virtue. Salespeople should master the art of listening. This is one of the best ways to improve their sales performance. Hence it is an absolute must that sales reps should vastly develop their listening skills.

#17. Not knowing the problem of your prospect

Instead of rambling on about how great your product is, you should try to know the problems of your prospects. If you pay too much attention to your own offer, you run the risk of making your sales call too long. It must be borne in mind that prospects want to know whether your product or service will solve their specific problems. You should identify their issues and try to address them.

#18. Going off topic

Nothing good comes from going off topic. In a bid to impress the prospects, salespeople often talk about irrelevant things which have no connection with the sales process whatsoever. While you are trying to build a relationship with your customers by doing this, you should not get so far off topic. You should stick to solving the problems of your customers rather than being curious about their life story or world politics.

#19. Not showing confidence

There’s a difference between being pushy and being confident. A confident salesperson is of the firm belief that their products will help their customers fix their problems. Pushy people don’t necessarily believe in the product, they simply want the sale. The confidence comes from the knowledge which you acquire about your products.

#20. Being judgemental

Prejudging your prospects is one of the biggest mistakes committed by salespeople. It is in the fitness of things that you should treat all your prospects equally irrespective of their voice, caste, creed, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or appearance.


As a sales representative, you should reconcile yourself to the idea of being rejected sometimes. However, if rejections are the rule rather than the exception for you, you need to check your calling and sales pitch strategy. There are chances that there may be flaws in the way you do your sales call. If so, you should take corrective action as soon as possible by avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes. What is needed is regular practice on your part, as this will help you mend the mistakes and become the “Go-to” salesperson in your company!  

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Mehul Shah

Mehul Shah

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