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Top 10 Mistakes That Salespeople Make Or . . . Do anything but this!

  1. Don't let objections throw you. It's about them, not about you. I'll repeat: It's about them, not about you. Your prospect may be running out to a meeting or just spilled a cup of coffee on her desk. Don't take it personally.

  2. Don't make calls when you're down in the dumps. We all have off days when it's difficult to sway prospects. Your anxiety will be detected, and you'll only be wasting your time. Save your energy for another day.

  3. Don't debate with your prospect. If she won't take an appointment, end the call on a good note so that your next call will be welcome. Make a point of asking when it would be a good time to call back. Your consideration will be appreciated, and most likely remembered when you call back.

  4. Don't leave messages. Never leave messages! Why? Simply because almost no one calls you back, unless they want something from you. Why waste time talking to a machine when you can be on to the next call. This is a hard lesson to learn because it seems much easier to have your prospect call back.

  5. Don't make small talk or ask if it's a good time to call. Especially in New York, prospects don't have time to chat with you. No need to ask, "How're you doing today?" You should get to the point within 30 to 60 seconds, or you've lost them.

  6. Don't confirm meetings. It gives your prospect a chance to cancel. This may vary according to industry; if you're calling on unsophisticated businesses, it may be necessary to confirm.

  7. Don't close a sale on the phone. A meeting should be your only goal on the telephone. When you're face to face, it's harder for the prospect to say "no," and it gives you a chance to give all your beneficial information. Focus for the appointment.

  8. Don't send material before the appointment is set. It will most likely get filed in a wastebasket and won't be remembered when you call to follow up; it's usually an excuse to get you off the phone, and is a waste of time and money.

  9. Don't - No, NEVER put your prospect on hold. You will lose her quickly. No one likes to be put on hold, do you?

  10. Don't tell the secretary or receptionist why you are calling. Your business is with the decision maker. You need to disguise the fact that your selling, or you won't be put through. Keep the authority in your voice, and use your first name only; letting it appear that the prospect knows you. The screen is concerned about offending either her boss or you.