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Life Health > Running Your Business > Marketing and Lead Generation

10 ways to kill your deal

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Here are ten mistakes you can make that will cost you a deal.

1. Taking shortcuts. Anything you believe leads to a faster deal leads to no deal. You can’t rush your buyer through the process because you are in a hurry or because you are behind on your numbers.

2. Asking for unearned commitments. You can’t ask for commitments you haven’t earned. If you haven’t created the value required to deserve a commitment, pressing for that commitment will only shut down your deal.

3. Not following up. Failing to follow up on the little commitments you make demonstrates that you don’t care, that you aren’t detail-oriented and that you can’t be counted on. Big deal-breakers.

4. Selling without dissatisfaction. If you can’t find or create a compelling reason for your prospects to change, sales will slip through your fingers.

5. Not doing discovery. If you don’t do the discovery work necessary to know exactly how to help your prospect, you aren’t going to create or win an opportunity.

6. Not building consensus. You have to believe me here: You aren’t going to win with a single stakeholder. You will lose if you can’t help your client build consensus.

7. Failing to make “the ask.” If you don’t ask for access to the people and information you need to win a deal, you will lose it. You must not fear “the ask.” Not asking is the same as hearing “no.”

8. An inability to articulate value. You must be able to articulate the value your solution creates. If can’t tell your client how she will be made better, you have no deal.

9. Failure to provide proof. Your prospect is going to want some proof that you are who you say you are, that you will come through for him. Maybe you need a fancy ROI calculator. Or maybe you just need a reference.

10. Being transactional. Treating your prospect as a means to an end is the fastest way to alienate her. And it’s a surefire way to lose.

Keep these errors foremost in your mind when you approach your next prospect so that you can skip through the minefield on your way to “yes.”

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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