Destructive Sales Habits

  • 1 min read

Goldsmith, Brown and Hawkins in , (McGraw-Hill, 2011), identify 16 negative habits that severely damage a customer’s sales experience. Eliminating even one or two can profoundly improve your sales and influencing abilities.

  1. Failure to be present: repeated and annoying displays of behavior that indicate we’d rather be somewhere else, – some when – else or with someone else
  2. Vocal filler: the overuse of unnecessary and meaningless verbal qualifiers
  3. Selling past the close: the irresistible urge to verbalize and execute every possible step in the sales process
  4. Selective hearing: the absence of listening in the presence of a customer
  5. Contact without purpose: repeated, deliberate communication for no valid business reason (other than wanting to sell something)
  6. Curb qualifying: the tendency to judge a prospect’s means and motive superficially, from a distance
  7. Using tension as a tool: also known as “sale ends Saturday”
  8. One-upping: the constant need to top your conversational partner in an effort to show the world just how smart you are
  9. Over familiarity: the use of inappropriately intimate gestures
  10. Withholding passion and energy: the tendency to forget that people make decisions on the basis of emotion and later justify them with logic
  11. Explaining failure: behaving under the erroneous belief that simply assigning blame, fault or guilt is enough to satisfy the customer
  12. Never having to say you’re sorry: an inability to apologize or accept responsibility for personal or organizational errors/injuries
  13. Throwing others under the bus: sacrificing a colleague – often anonymous, often vulnerable and usually innocent – to cover up a functional failure
  14. Propagandizing: overreliance on organizational rhetoric and themes
  15. Wasting energy: taking part in organizational blame-storming and pity parties
  16. Obsessing over the numbers: achieving revenue, profit or productivity targets at the expense of metrics of a higher calling

By now, after reading this list, you may recognize a few of your own bad habits yourself. Whether you’re in sales or not, everyone can improve their communications skills.
What can you do about them? That’s for my next post. Tune in.

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