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For the past 20 years I’ve bought technology products, so I experienced the other side of sales transactions in great depth. I come back with news from the other side of what not to do when contacting your clients. Throughout that time, here are 5 bad sales habits I absolutely could not stand that I saw in many different sales guys.

(And one thing I do recommend is using a sales automation CRM, like Spiro)

Not Knowing Who You Are Calling

If you are going to attempt to sell your product to a person, or his/her company, you need to make sure you are contacting the right person. Find the contact who is in the proper position to make the purchase.

I got calls from salespeople all the time whom had done little to no research, and who were trying to sell something totally irrelevant to me. With resources like LinkedIn — and hopefully you sales guys are using LinkedIn — a little background research can be easily done to make sure you are reaching out to the right person in the first place.

Not Performing Company Research

How can you possibly offer a real solution to a buyer without understanding their business? You can’t and are unprepared if you call without researching the company’s website, at the very least. Make contact armed with an understanding of their business, their competition, potential pain points and how you can offer a solution.

Blabbering Sales Calls

Third, a sure sign that you have no regard for your potential customer, is by going on and on about your product or service as soon as you have their ear. Remember, sales is about finding a solution for the customer, so you need to focus on them first. Instead of jumping into your sales presentation, show consideration by beginning with questions. Initially, ask if they have time to talk now.  If not, you can ask for a better time to schedule a follow up, when they will be able to focus on the conversation. I had people call and not even let me get a word in, which would typically end with me just hanging up. File that under what not to do on a sales call.

Not Following Up

The next sign of inconsideration is not following up when you say you will. This tells me that I am not important and also that you aren’t good for your word. Once you lose that trust, chances of closing the sale are massively reduced. Whether it be a phone call, email or meeting, follow ups should be a priority. Buyers want to feel valued and that they can trust you, especially when investing their money with you!

Being Late or Too Early

Lastly, if you do land a meeting, be on time for god’s sake. I hate sales guys that are late, or even super early, to meetings. Not only is it disrespectful to my time, again you are not doing what you say. Make sure you’re always on time, and no more than 5 minutes early – 10 tops. And you might want to confirm our sales meeting just in case my schedule has changed.

Final Thoughts

Keep these 5 bad sales habits in mind when picking up the phone to perform sales call, or heading out to meet your buyers. Show some respect and professionalism by researching your potential clients and their business, asking if it is a good time to talk, following up when you say you will, and showing up on time.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user David Wilson.

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About the Author Andy Levi

Andy Levi is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Spiro Technologies. Andy is a technologist with a background in sales and was originally from Venezuela although many people can’t place his accent. He focused on CRM technologies for the past 20 years and built mission critical applications used by over 100,000 sales people.

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