When it comes to mastering the art of sales, sometimes it can be more important to understand
what not to do when trying to get the sale. Sales is one business where you cannot fake
success. Your numbers, your goals and your bottom line results will always reveal your sales
skills or lack there of!

You can learn a lot from watching what sales professionals do to get the sale, but even more so
from what they don’t do. You’ll learn what not to do so you don’t lose the deal.

Here are six must-know things to have at the top of your “no do” sales list:

Mistake # 1 Focus On The Market Vs Customer – understanding your best and most
profitable markets is just the first step in achieving your sales goal To sell more you have to
stop focusing so much on the market, and focus more in the individual customer. Within every
market, every target that you choose to sell are customers that will be great to do business
with, and customers that won’t be so great to do business with. You need to invest the time
and understand the difference.

It is a sales mistake to just focus on a market, and call on any and all customers in that market.
Finding those customers that fit your niche, you enjoy working with, and are most likely to buy
your products is your best strategy for selling more and closing more deals. You have to focus
on the right customer vs focusing on the right market.

Mistake # 2 Forget About Digital – the majority of your customers are right now, at this
moment, while you are reading this article, they are online getting information, learning about a
new piece of machinery, or googling for product details and ideas. If your website, if your
name, or information about your products and services is not popping up, then you are already
behind the sale. In today’s marketplace you cannot forget about Digital. To sell successfully
into any market you have to not forget about digital. You need a great website, a strong blog,
and an active social media presence. Remember your future customers will look for you online
before they meet you in person.

Mistake #3 Don’t Implement the Pareto Principle – This rule is true in most areas of life,
and especially when it comes to sales. The Pareto Principle is the old 80/20 rule. Eighty percent
of your business will come from 20 percent of your top clients. If you want to increase your
sales, then stop trying to treat all your customers the same. Get a solid understanding of who
your top twenty customer’s are, and put more of your time and attention there. It is a mistake
to forget to take great care of your top clients, and to forget to implement the Pareto Principle.

Mistake #4 Gloss Over The Small Opportunities – selling is a long-game, it takes time to
establish trust, build relationships and get good at proactively recognizing and understanding
your customer’s need. And while looking for the big opportunities, or the large sales is always
top of mind, you have to remember not to gloss over the small opportunities. Just getting in
the door, or making a small sale is a start, and if you treat every small opportunity as a step in
the right direction, then you will be well on your way to surpassing your sales goals..

Mistake #5 Never Give Up – here is a news flash not everyone wants to do business with
you, and here is another news flash, you don’t want to do business with everyone. Sometimes
the best sales strategy you can have when selling into manufacturing is to give up. Because
trying like crazy to make a sale to a difficult customer is time spent away from calling on better
prospects.

Mistake #6 Keep Talking – and last but not least, and probably most important is the worst
thing a manufacturing sales rep can do is to keep talking. Listening is one of the most valuable
sales skills we have, and the only way to listen is to actually just stop stalking.
When it comes to sales you can learn a lot from observing what works, but you can learn so
much more from paying attention to sales people who struggle to win a sale or to do a quick
review when a sale you were working on goes south!


Meridith Powell

High energy and highly interactive, Business Growth Strategist Meridith Elliott Powell’s keynotesworkshops and innovative coaching programs help leaders and business owners learn the new rules of success today, including how today’s economy has changed, how that has changed today’s customers and employees, and specifically how that impacts your business.