16 Bad Sales Habits Customers Want You to Stop

What would your customers tell you about your sales people’s worst habits? Here are 16 bad sales habits that creep into conversations with customers.

I came across this in an interesting book this week – a revised version of Marshall Goldsmith‘s best-selling leadership book specifically addressing the changing issues of sales: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There… in Sales, by  Goldsmith, Don Brown and Bill Hawkins.

16 Bad Sales Habits

The book’s message follows the same principle of Goldsmith’s first book – that it’s far easier to stop doing bad habits than to form new ones. What’s great is the list of 16 bad sales habits your customers want you to stop doing. Recognize any of these?

  1. Failure to be present
  2. Vocal filler
  3. Selling past the close
  4. Selective hearing
  5. Contact without purpose
  6. Curb qualifying
  7. Using tension as a tool
  8. One-Upping
  9. Over familiarity
  10. Withholding passion and energy
  11. Explaining failure
  12. Never having to say you’re sorry
  13. Throwing others under the bus
  14. Propagandizing
  15. Wasting energy
  16. Obsessing over the numbers

According to the authors, these 16 most common sales habits are ones that damage customer relationships. The authors believe that maintaining and leveraging quality personal connections is accomplished by doing something much easier than learning new behaviors: simply stopping bad ones.

I think they’re on to something. In the past, sales people have been selected for their strong egos combined with a love for connecting with people. But more and more we recognize that sales skills are required for everyone, i.e., customer service reps and consultants. In general it’s safe to say everyone needs to learn better selling habits. Being a natural-born sales person is neither here nor there. It’s all about better communications to build better relationships.

Sales techniques are evolving and have been with the advent of the Internet. Customers are better informed. Products and services are becoming commoditized. What’s left that makes a difference in sales, upsales and cross sales, are quality personal connections.

Quality Personal Connections

How good are your people at connecting with customers? On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate their empathy skills? How would your customers rate your staff?

From small businesses to large corporations, everyone is in sales. Yet when was the last time you upgraded the sales skills of your staff? Their empathy skills? Sales and marketing isn’t what it used to be, but even with the Internet, social media sites, and sophisticated customer management tools, one skill reigns supreme: Quality customer relationships.

If you’ve got concerns or questions, give me a call, Ariad Partners can help. Skype: Brenda_Stoltz, or phone: 703-728-1336.