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5 more things salespeople do that irk decision-makers

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Last week I introduced five irksome things salespeople do when meeting with decision-makers. Here are five more.

1. Delivering a canned pitch, presentation or proposal. I still can’t believe how many reps launch into a canned pitch, instead of adapting and tailoring their presentation to each prospect’s situation. This is usually a result of doing little or no research prior to the meeting.

2. Leaving a long and rambling voicemail. “Hi, Mr. Prospect, it’s Derek with No Claim Insurance. We specialize in helping businesses like yours reduce their insurance premiums. We have been doing this since 1978, and our client list includes companies like …” You get the idea. A voicemail with little or no value will be deleted within seconds.

3. Claiming their solution is “easy” to implement. It is far more effective to tell people up front what will be required and follow that up with exactly how you will help them integrate your solution.

4. Wasting time trying to “build rapport.” “Hey, I see you fish; I fish too. Where do you like to fish?” Do you really think a busy decision-maker wants to talk about his fishing excursions? It’s more likely they want you to get to the point of the meeting. True rapport happens when you demonstrate you respect their time, understand their business issues and can offer a solution to those problems.

5. Misrepresenting their offering. If you took everything people said at face value, their product could cure all of life’s miseries. But we know that isn’t reality. Unfortunately, many sales people still feel compelled to overstate the capabilities of their solution in an effort to capture the deal.

Hopefully, you aren’t guilty of irking your prospects with these. Once you instigate the irk factor, it becomes much more difficult to move the sales process forward, and you risk losing valuable sales opportunities.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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