Sales Coach Christine Harrington
How to Avoid Three Common Mistakes Made By Salespeople

How to Avoid Three Common Mistakes Made By Salespeople

Do you feel all alone in this big world of selling? Do you have moments of confusion wondering what you should do different to produce more sales? Are you looking for tips that can make a difference in selling? Read on for the 3 Common Mistakes Made By Salespeople …..Consistently!

Sales leaders ask me the same question but in different ways.

  • If there were three things you’d instill in my sales team, what would that be?
  • What 2 tips can you give me that can make a difference in my sales now?
  • If you managed my sales team what kind of action steps could you incorporate immediately?

All great questions. I gave each person the same answer:

‘I’ll answer your question this way… Here are the three common mistakes sales people make…. consistently.’


Selling Actions



BELIEF (First Common Mistake Salespeople Make…Consistently)

The first coaching session I do with a new client is about belief.  Your personal beliefs about success, money and selling have a direct effect on building a weak or strong selling foundation. That’s the power of your beliefs. Without a strong foundation of belief, you’ll suffer stress fractures in your confidence when selling gets hard. And let’s be honest, selling does get hard many times in a sales person’s career, even for the seasoned sales professional.

Attitude and Beliefs are completely different. Your beliefs can alter your attitude in a positive or negative way. Beliefs are opinions, convictions, confidence, faith and trust while Attitudes are your feelings, emotions, and tendencies of the mind.

About every 3-5 years it’s a good practice to examine your beliefs and determine if they need to be replaced with a more empowering one.

How are beliefs developed?

As children, we adopt the belief systems of those that influence us. Parents, teachers, friends, religious, coaches, to name a few.

Example of old belief:

It’s my belief that to be successful, I need to give up too much in order to gain success. It’s not worth it.

Example of new empowering belief:

It’s my belief that I can be successful without sacrificing my personal life and family. All I need to do is schedule my day that produces a better use of my time.


Ask yourself the tough questions. What do you really believe about selling, money and success? Uncover your core beliefs and identify those that need a more empowering replacement.

Next, our mindset is formed on our beliefs. Most people move from childhood, to the teenage years, to adulthood with the same belief system, never examining whether their beliefs are true or accurate. The fixed mindset is formed and it looks like this.

Fixed Mindset:

“This is the 5th no I’ve received this week. I’m no good at sales.” 

The belief is that a no means failure, which is inaccurate.

Here’s how a growth mindset person with the same rejection rate believes:

Growth Mindset:

“This is the 5th no I’ve received this week. It’s time to examine what I can improve. Perhaps I’m not qualifying the prospect deep enough.” 

The belief is the person hasn’t failed, he just needs to learn what didn’t work and improve upon his process. Developing a growth mindset is something elite athletes have been doing for decades. To learn how click here. 

SELLING ACTIONS (Second Common Mistake Salespeople Make Consistently)

 What activities are filling up your day? Are they selling actions or busy work?

Sit down today, and seriously think about all the activities you do through out your day and week. So many times when reviewing client’s daily activities 80% of their day is spent on action items that will never produce sales. Think about that. Only 20% of the day is spent on action items that can lead to sales. Why?

We have a natural tendency to do the things we like first and put off those tasks we avoid like the plague!

Example: You may hate doing research on a potential client. You’d rather be talking to him face to face. So your lack of research may weaken your outcome with the face-to-face meeting because you didn’t thoroughly prepare. You tell yourself, ‘it won’t matter, and I have enough to go on.’ In your heart, you know you didn’t do enough research.

Example: You know your pipeline is weak. Sales are declining. Your priority should be doing all the action steps to get your pipeline full again. Instead you’re chasing dead prospects that will never buy, which fuels the false evidence into a belief that you can’t sell.

Challenge: Take one day this week and keep a list of every activity you do through out the day. If you’re surfing the web shopping, or watching movie trailers, instead of working, write it down. Be aware of how much time you spend on each activity whether it’s work related or mindless activities like computer Solitaire!

Examine the activities and categorize them into selling activities or time wasters.

Here are a few examples of selling activities:

-Research on a potential client

-Prospecting activities such as networking, cold calling, giving and asking for referrals

-Email campaigns

-Follow-up phone calls

-Meeting with clients and potential clients

-Lunch and learns

And there are many, many more! You get the idea.


Structure your day in 30-minute intervals with activities that are centered on selling. This will keep you focused and on track. Put all your activities into your cell phone calendar. Set an alarm with each activity to keep you moving forward. You’ll be surprised how much more you’ll accomplish. This will stop the time wasters too.

CONSISTENCY (Third Common Mistake Salespeople Make Consistently)

This is the single BIGGEST problem I find with sales people…. staying consistent.

Oh, you might start off great with that email campaign. You might even receive comments of appreciate from your clients on the articles you send. After about 3 months, though, it starts to become a hassle, and your enthusiasm to provide valuable content to your clients begin to wane. Before you know it, you stop. And you tell yourself it’s not working or it doesn’t bring any value …to you!

So many times, people stop waaayyyy too soon instead of being patient and allowing the seed you’ve planted to grow

Be Consistent…

  • With patience. Trust. Give freely without any expectations in return and ….
  • About giving.
  • About follow-up.
  • At networking.
  • With selling activities
  • In your branding message.
  • With your schedule each day.
The consequence of being consistent is establishing great selling habits.
The consequence of being consistent is establishing great selling habits.

Consistency instills trust, confidence, being reliable, competent and professional. The consequence of being consistent is establishing great selling habits.    

Challenge: Take a hard look and determine what activities you need to be consistent in that can produce sales and give value.

I can’t stress enough the value of being consistent. If you find yourself overwhelmed, then drill down on the selling activities that will truly bring you and your clients/prospects the most value. Make a plan to be consistent in those activities and then be 100% committed. If you do nothing else in this article….commit to being consistent. Few are consistent. So be different. Be consistent and you’ll stand out from the competition!

Now that you know how to avoid three common mistakes of salespeople, twinkle your fingers over your keyboard and leave a comment below which one of these mistakes you’re going to work on immediately!

Here’s an idea for you…how about 30 prospects in 30 days? Are you down?   Click Here!

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