Sales Training Mistakes 

Sales Training Mistakes 

Sales Training Tips

Sales Training Mistakes

Buyers in today’s world—especially those with access to the internet—have lots of alternative buying choices. To have successful sales, you need to learn the art of successful sales calls. Even seasoned sales reps sometimes make mistakes in communication with their customers. Being aware of some of the common pitfalls in client calls will help increase your chances of profitable sales.


1. Talking About You

Think of a client meeting as a first date. Would you go out on a first date and proceed to dominate the evening telling the other person about you? If you did, not only would it be a first date, it would be a last date, as well.

Your goal for client meetings should be to learn what is going on with your customers, their organization, their jobs, and their personal lives. Do not begin the conversation by telling the client of recent news releases about your company, changes in senior management, or other things that have little or no value to the customer.

Only after you have given your clients the opportunity to speak should you provide them with an annotated outline of what is going on within your organization and the products and services you offer. Once you have done that, then ask about opportunities to help with any needs the client may have.

2. Not Listening to the Client

Instead of focusing on the customer’s statement of needs, you might be thinking about what you want to say when you have an opening. By focusing on your own punch line, you might miss valuable information about the customer’s needs and issues. One tip is to keep a notepad handy for jotting down your thoughts throughout the conversation. In this way, you can concentrate more on what the client is saying.

3. Dominating Airtime

Many sales people dominate conversations because they think they need to be interesting to the client. In reality, your customers may think the sale person is not interested in what they have to say. The best sales reps know that they can be much more successful if they remain quiet and attentive, showing a genuine interest in what the client has to say.

4. Over-Promising and Under-Delivering

Exaggerated claims for products and services will ultimately result in lost credibility. Make sure you are honest about what your product can or cannot do. It is much better to lose a sale than to sell something that will most likely not meet the needs of the client. It is impossible to maintain long-term relationships when you over-promise or under-deliver.

5. Lacking Confidence in Your Product or Service

Sometimes, sales reps use hedge phrases in case their product or service won’t meet the customer’s needs—

“It should be here right on time.”

“We hope it meets your needs.”

“Most of our customers like our service.”

“The service I am proposing kind of fits what you are looking for.”

When sales reps use phrases like this, they are often unaware they are making noncommittal statements. When you recommend your product or service, leave no doubt about its ability to meet or exceed the client’s expectations.

To be a successful sales rep, it is imperative that you avoid the above mistakes. Instead of dominating conversations and over-promising on your product, listen carefully to clients and exhibit genuine interest in their needs and issues. Offer products or services that can meet those needs and leave no doubt that what you sell will be delivered as promised.

Avoiding sales-call mistakes will award you many opportunities for future sales.

Author: James A. (Jim) Baker
James A. Baker is the Chairman and Founder of Baker Communications. Baker is a sales training and development company specializing in helping client companies increase their sales and profits. He can be reached at 713-627-7700 or

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