7 Sales Mistakes That Lose Deals: Part II

This is the second in a three-part series that outlines the seven most common sales mistakes you may be making and – most importantly, what you can do to avoid them.

Part I addressed Mistakes #1 & 2: letting leads go “cold” and failing to create urgency.

This post addresses Mistakes #3 – #5: Failing to “trial balloon” price in the first meeting, not talking directly with the true economic buyer, and taking too long to write the proposal.

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7 Sales Mistakes that Lose Deals: Part I

As a coach for professional service executives and consultants, one of more frequent concerns I hear about is the daunting challenge of continually seeking and expanding new business leads.

So it may be surprising to hear that the fastest way to boost sales and grow revenue isn’t to generate more leads. Most professionals can get a 10-20% increase just by quickly and successfully working more of the leads they already have, and increasing the close rate for proposals. The best consultants and executives have an 80 to 90 percent close rate on the proposals they submit. And it turns out the real key to their success is that they avoid the most common mistakes people make that cost them business.

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Trying Easy

“Be not afraid of going slowly. Be only afraid of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

“To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.”  – Confuscius

In his book is called “Try Easy.” Robert Kriegel tells a great story a “mental coach”, who was working with a group of sprinters training for the Olympic Trials. One day during a practice run when he found his runners to be “tense and tight”, he had an idea. Rather than asking them to run harder, he asked them to relax their efforts, and run with about nine-tenths of their normal intensity. Of this second attempt, he writes:

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Inspired Action

“It’s vain to do more with what can be done with less.” ~ William Occam

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can let alone.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Procrastination. Just the word itself inspires dread. Most of us view procrastination as something that prevents us from reaching our highest potential. But is it?

Lola Jones, author of Things are Going Great in my Absence, argues that when you procrastinate, it’s a signal to do something else, something that interests and inspires you. This concept is known as inspired action:

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Decision Making and the Rule of 7

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire.” ~ Aristotle

What is it about SEVEN? The 7-year itch. The seven dwarfs. Seven days of creation. James Bond 007. Almost all animals have 7 cervical vertebrae. 7 is the number of stellar objects in the solar system visible to the naked eye (Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Saturn.) 7 inches – the original diameter of the 45rpm gramophone record.

For anyone who spends time in corporate meetings, it won’t come as a surprise that decision making effectiveness declines as the size of the group grows. But is there really a magic number? The answer is YES, and the number is 7.

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