Do You Make These 13 Sales Mistakes During Your Sales Conversations?

During your sales conversations, you might make sales mistakes that cost deals and doesn’t make sales happen.

Buyers have more choices than ever and they are constantly on the lookout for a better deal.

You can’t afford to make a single mistake during sales conversations.

Your buyers won’t have it.

They can easily switch to another vendor and leave you with no customers.

It’s helpful to know what sales mistakes people often make so that you don’t have to go through the same learning process.

Our data science team has been analyzing sales conversations for nearly two years.

We collected over one million sales call recordings and analyzed what was working or not, based on the data we collected.

We used conversation intelligence technology to listen to calls and see what was working for them. We also saw where they were struggling.

Here are the top 13 sales mistakes that below-quota salespeople make. Don’t be one of them!


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Top 13 Sales Mistakes That Occurs During Your Sales Conversation

  • When I speak, it is about 46% of the time.
  • Discussing pricing too soon
  • I often talk about the features and technology of our products, but I find that this doesn’t help me with sales.
  • Using the sale-killing words
  • Mirroring your buyers
  • When I don’t have enough time to discuss next steps, it’s difficult for my employees.
  • Asking too few questions can make you seem like a pushover, and asking too many questions may turn the interviewee off.
  • When I have a question, instead of just asking it outright, I ask myself what the answer might be before deciding to ask or not.
  • When I have to pitch an idea, the conversation is usually more of a monologue than it should be.
  • The competition should be a concern early in the sales process.
  • Using filler words
  • Providing too much information about the company during job interviews can be overwhelming. It’s best to provide a short overview and then ask questions.
  • Selling alone

1. Talking 46% of the time, or more.

Let’s start with listen-to-talk ratios.

Top sales reps talk for 46% of the time, while poor-performing ones speak up to 68%. This means that they are listening 54%.

2. You talk about the pricing too soon

Don’t talk about pricing until the customer is ready for it. Our data shows that this is when they are most interested in hearing more.

The top-performing reps talk about pricing for the first 38 minutes of their sales calls. The others who mention it in less than 15 minutes are not as successful.

3. Discussing technology instead of business and value

Focus on the results a product will provide rather than how it works.

Here are two reasons why you should adopt this approach:

  • The most successful reps spend a lot more time talking about the benefits of their product.
  • They spend up to 39% less time on the technical aspects of their jobs than those same peers.

4. Saying these 13 sale-killing words

If you’ve ever said “we provide” or “it’s on the road map,” then your sales pitch is a no-go. Those phrases are guaranteed to kill any sale.

You need to stop using them, and I would recommend discontinuing their use ASAP.

The word “discount” can decrease your chance of a sale by 17%. And saying “absolutely” or “perfect” more than four times on a call drops your chances of a sale by 16%.

I’ll list the other words our analysis uncovered, so you know these are off-limits.

  • Competitor
  • Billion
  • Roadmap
  • Contract
  • Free trial
  • Implement/implementation
  • Payment
  • However
  • For example

Bonus stat:

Mentioning your company’s name six or more times on a call drops your chances of success by 19%.

5. Mirroring the buyers

Mirroring is a behavior that can be unattractive to both the person you’re trying to sell and yourself. It comes across as needy, which is an unappealing quality for salespeople.

Our data has shown that two to three minutes into a call, sales reps and buyers start talking in similar patterns. They use the same rate of speech, frequency of pauses, and amount of positive or negative words.

Here’s the surprise “

Average reps are not very different from their buyers, but top salespeople stand out in some way.

They make the buyer feel as though they are on their side.

The best salespeople let the buyer mirror their speech and they led in this area. You should be calm, positive, and charismatic.

I had noticed that most of my salespeople spent a lot more time with their buyers than they did on other potential clients.

And successful reps have a natural way of drawing the buyer into their speech patterns.

6. Leaving little time to talk about next steps

Winning salespeople devote more time at the end of their demos to discussing “next steps.” They want to make sure they’ve confirmed buy-in with potential customers.

If you don’t confirm next steps and buy-in, then your marketing is just talking.

7. Asking only few questions

As you get to know the buyer and their business, what’s your goal? Do you want them to share all of their pain points right away or do a little discovery first?

As a general rule, the more questions you ask during your sales call, the better. Average reps ask six to eight questions and top performers usually ask 10 or so but be careful! There’s an inverse relationship between question number and quality of information received.

8. Asking in a “checklist style”

Don’t do what many people call “grilling buyers,’ which is to bombard them with rapid-fire questions.

You want to make sure that you ask your questions in a natural way throughout the conversation. If you only have one or two, then it will be seen as scripted and impersonal.

The graphs below show that the average salesperson asks lots of questions at the start, but top salespeople ask them evenly throughout.

9. Pitching rather than conversing

Take turns. It’s a more natural way for everyone to feel engaged, and it will increase your chances of success.

Switching speakers more often means you’re likely to have a second meeting and establish a strong connection with the person.

You don’t want to just hold onto the ball. You should think about it like tennis, where you have a short period of time with possession before passing.

10. Bringing up the competition too late

If you address the competition early on in the sales process, your chances of closing a deal increase by 49%.

It is best to mention your competitor early in the sales process.

It’s hard to get a competitive deal if you’re not willing to start early. In order for the company who gets it, they have stay on top of it until the end.

11. Using filler words

One of the most common pieces of advice for salespeople is to avoid filler words. But it turns out that top, mid and low-performers use them at about the same rate.

So, they have no impact on anything.

However, this is still a problem.

It’s worth keeping that in mind, even if it just to hold yourself accountable for making good communication choices.

The most common filler words are “so.” It takes up 33% of all the filler words.

12. Giving long company overview

Too much talking about yourself during the interview will turn off recruiters and make it less likely you’ll be given a job offer.

The average length of a successful interview is two minutes or less.

13. Selling alone

One way to avoid sales mistakes is to work in a diverse workplace. There are many benefits to working in a diverse workplace, such as increased productivity and better knowledge of the market.

Ensure that you have at least one call during your sales cycle where other people from the company are present.

The person who sells your product can be your sales manager, a product engineer explaining the benefits of that specific item or even just another salesman.

The more people on a call, the higher chance of closing deals.

Bring peers or managers into the hiring process and you will see your numbers grow. Article: I’ve always loved to read, but didn’t think it would be possible with my busy schedule.

Make changes.

Be mindful of what you say to others, and your tone.

When it comes to improving sales, many people make too many changes at once. Instead of making a lot of big changes all in one go, try adding new approaches or two into your next few conversations. When you’re comfortable with those additions and they become second nature, add another until you’ve mastered them all – that way by the end of 2018 your numbers will be on the rise.

In order to avoid these sales mistakes, what are the habits of success?


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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