In past blogs, we’ve looked at different ways of improving the chances for success in a sales deal. But, by the time you get in front of a client or prospect, you’ve already spent time and money on things like travelling and marketing etc. And lets not forget, the Prospect is also investing time in meeting with you.

So why is it then, that many sales people actually have a plan to fail, not a plan to win? More accurately, why don’t they have a plan at all? The result is that the experience of the customer or prospect is often a negative one and all that valuable time and money has gone down the drain.

So, here’s our 4 toxic sales habits that we’ve encountered over many (many!) years, to avoid at all costs!

  1. Spending the valuable first few minutes or more talking about your company and how great it is.
  2. Going on and on about the product or service, without actually knowing whether the client wants or needs it in the first place.
  3. Filling silences with needless chatter
  4. Not listening to the customer.

I know, these are obvious right?

So why do they still happen in so many sales meetings?

The simple answer….

Lack of any sales planning or objective setting.

Busy sales people aren’t necessarily the most successful, but those who spend time preparing and planning are.


Try using these 4 fail-proof habits to help move that Sales Deal forward…

  1. Set key objectives
    Whether they’re for a meeting or call, they have to actually be able to move the sales deal forwards. For example, can you get an introduction to other influential people in the business? Can you drill into the issues more with the client and understand the benefits of a solution better? Is it appropriate to ask for the order at this meeting?
  2. Set objectives and measure the success of the meeting.

  3. Plan the opening dialogue

    Allow the focus to be on the customer not you.

    Too many sales presentations start off with descriptions of how good the Vendor or the product is. In the first 5-10 minutes, maybe even less, you’ve just put the key audience to sleep. Ask questions about the customer’s business, about peoples roles and what they want to gain from a project. How will they measure the success of the project? What will it do for them personally? Not only are you building a rapport with them, but you’re also gaining an understanding of how to position any demonstration of product that may be needed.

  4. Once you’ve establish a rapport, you can update them on your business at the end of the meeting.

  5. Plan questions that challenge the customer

    Get them to think about the benefits of solving the problems they’ve identified. If the customer can articulate the problems and see a solution, you can then position yourself as a benefit, not a product sales person.

  6. A notebook is a far more useful tool in a sales meeting than a powerpoint.

  7. Leave Silences!

    Someone will fill them, and the chances are the customer will reveal something or expand on something.


    Adopting winning habits is a key part of developing a sustainable, successful sales team, even if it’s just you.

    One of the best ways to help teams acquire this is to have a CRM solution that encourages Sales people to work within a structured system, that allows creativity. Your CRM should capture the keys elements of every sales meeting. For example, what are the customer’s objectives? What roles do the various contacts have in the decision process? Who are we competing against? Etc etc

    Zoho CRM is a flexible adaptable and easy to use solution that helps you close more valuable deals in less time.

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