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.
- 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
- Vocal filler: the overuse of unnecessary and meaningless verbal qualifiers
- Selling past the close: the irresistible urge to verbalize and execute every possible step in the sales process
- Selective hearing: the absence of listening in the presence of a customer
- Contact without purpose: repeated, deliberate communication for no valid business reason (other than wanting to sell something)
- Curb qualifying: the tendency to judge a prospect’s means and motive superficially, from a distance
- Using tension as a tool: also known as “sale ends Saturday”
- One-upping: the constant need to top your conversational partner in an effort to show the world just how smart you are
- Over familiarity: the use of inappropriately intimate gestures
- Withholding passion and energy: the tendency to forget that people make decisions on the basis of emotion and later justify them with logic
- Explaining failure: behaving under the erroneous belief that simply assigning blame, fault or guilt is enough to satisfy the customer
- Never having to say you’re sorry: an inability to apologize or accept responsibility for personal or organizational errors/injuries
- Throwing others under the bus: sacrificing a colleague – often anonymous, often vulnerable and usually innocent – to cover up a functional failure
- Propagandizing: overreliance on organizational rhetoric and themes
- Wasting energy: taking part in organizational blame-storming and pity parties
- 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.
Creator of the KASHBOX: Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, Habits
Helping You Realize Your Potential
I help people discover their potential, expand and develop the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve a higher degree of personal and professional success and create a plan that enables them to balance the profit motives of their business with the personal motives of their lives.