8 Common Sales Mistakes To Avoid In The Early Stage Of Your Sales Funnel


Are you making some drastic mistakes in your sales process without even realising it? Deny all you want, but we have seen a fair share of sales blunders over the years to believe otherwise.

However, making the said common sales mistakes is not the worst thing that can happen to your sales process. No, the worst thing would be to not even realising these common sales mistakes that you might be guilty of.

For one, it is very important to learn from the common sales mistakes that you might be guilty of and then prevent them from happening again.

These common sales mistakes might not look like a big deal, but they have a major negative effect, so much so that they might be chaffing away at your sales.

Do you ever wonder that what is hindering your growth? What are the reasons that it is taking you so long to acquire the first 100 customers for your startup?

Who knows you might be guilty of the same common sales mistakes that we will discuss in this post?

So sit tight and have a look at these common sales mistakes – the absolute No Nos in the game of sales.

common sales mistakes infographics

1. Not Balancing Your Talk-To-Listen Ratio

Selling is like a game.

You have to meet your targets and convince your potential customer to turn into a permanent one.

However, one thing you cannot afford in the sales game is the mistake of talking too much.

Now you might think that to excel at sales you have to talk expansively, right?


To excel at sales you have to hone your listening skills more than your speaking skills.

And one of the most common sales mistakes that salespeople make is talking too much without listening to what the prospect has to say.

Let’s have a look at the ideal talk-to-listen ratio.

As is discernible from the graph above, the ideal talk-to-listen ratio overs somewhere around 43:57.

Peppering your customers with an endless stream of questions or spewing empty rhetoric and exaggerated claims are not going to help you when it comes to closing the sales.

You have to strike a perfect balance between the talk-to-listen ratio, with the empty “talks” taking a backseat.

Listen to your potential customers and their problems closely. You will be surprised to know that not many salespeople make the effort to listen and understand the prospect’s problems.

You can stand out from the norm and “In the land of the blind, you will be the oneeyed man”

2. Did You Qualify Your Leads?

How do you start your selling process?

Do you start calling and emailing your leads straight away without even analysing whether they need your product or service or not?

If you are following this pattern then you are committing a drastic mistake by wasting your time and resources.

“67% of lost sales are as a result of sales reps not properly qualifying their potential customers before taking them through the full sales process.”

To avoid this one of the most common sales mistakes, the way to go about it is by qualifying your potential customers.

Once you qualify your leads you will get a better understanding of your targeted customers. Above everything, it will help you discern whether you are prospecting the right person or not.

Have a look at these common questions that should help you qualify your leads:

i. Is the prospect facing a problem that aligns with your services?

ii. What is their budget?

iii. When are they looking to start?

3. Don’t Lie To Your Prospects… Ever

Go by this caveat when you are trying to close a sale and we can vouch that you would never regret it.

For starters, every symbiotic and long-term relationship is built on trust. Thus, a petty lie can harm your long-term relationship with the prospect. So the best way to go about closing a deal is by being forthright about what you can do for your prospect and what you cannot do.

Here’s another important thing that salespeople forget before lying to their prospects – today, when the internet is inundated with every information possible, the prospects do their research beforehand.

So the chances are that you will be easily caught in the lie and it doesn’t bode well for your reputation, in fact, it might end up having some drastic repercussions in the market.

There’s another reason why lying to your prospects is one of the most drastic, not to say common sales mistakes.

Say, for example, your customer continues dealing with you even after you are caught in a lie, albeit a small one. However, now handling the customer wouldn’t be easy as he/she will always be sceptical of your intentions and the veracity of your word.

4. Don’t just say “Yes” to everything

Do you know which mistake stands out the most amid the most common sales mistakes?

It’s the tendency of saying “yes” mindlessly to everything your prospect says.

Your prospect is making an unconventional request and you are itching to say “Yes”. We know how familiar situation is because every salesperson is naturally included to give a nod to everything that the prospect requests.

But you will soon realize why saying “No” the first time was important. Because, before you know, this will become a pattern and you are giving a free pass to the customer to walk all over you.

Now by saying “No” to the customer, we don’t mean that you lose your customer.

So here’s the deal…

If the request made by the customer is conventional, profitable to you and is within your limits, then go ahead and say “Yes”. However, if the request is of little to no profit to you and is unreasonable, then don’t hesitate to say “No”.

Set this precedent early on so that you don’t struggle down the lane.

5. Don’t Sell Your Product/Service, Sell The “Benefits”

People love to buy but hate to be sold to.

The phrase seems paradoxical but makes perfect sense.

One of the most common sales mistakes that sales professional makes is being pushy in their quest to sell their product. Meanwhile, they overlook the most important aspect of sales, that is talking about the benefits that their product has and how these benefits can help the prospect.

If you start with the final goal of just selling the product rather than helping the customer, then you are going to come across as pushy. Ironically, many sales professionals even fail to realize when they are coming across as pushy.

In fact, only 17% of salespeople think that they are pushy, juxtaposed 50% of prospects.

If you fail to tone it down and don’t come across as helpful or someone trustworthy, then you are going to lose the chance of acquiring the prospect.

6. Taking Too Long To Follow-Up

You are probably thinking that you are giving your prospects’ enough space before contacting them with your offer. Think again!

According to a research by Harvard Business Review, the companies that reach out to the leads within an hour are seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations as compared to those who wait more than 60 minutes.

Why do you think that following-up too late is termed under one of the most drastic and common sales mistakes? Why does it even make a difference?

For one, it is best to follow-up while you are fresh in your lead’s mind, otherwise, the lead is likely to turn cold. Secondly, it is highly likely that as soon as your lead exit your website, they will turn to one of your competitors. Thus, if you are not following-up soon after the lead shows interest in your product or services, your competitor might get an edge over you.

Notwithstanding the downsides of following-up too late, unfortunately, many firms are still slow to respond.

However, this can turn out to be a good news for you. You can grab the chance to engage your lead way before any of your competitors.

7. Writing Emails At A College Reading Level

Okay, writing like a 3rd grade student isn’t something to be proud of especially when you are way past your university days.

However, when it comes to sending emails to your leads, this is what you have to do. Yes, you have to write in the simplest way possible, almost like a 3rd grader.

What? Don’t believe us?

Have a look at this statistic:
According to a report by Boomerang team, messages written at a third-grade reading level are 36% more likely to get a reply than those written at the college reading level.

And when it comes to acquiring the leads, 36% is a life altering metric.

I am sure, you want to show off your literature skills, but an email to your leads is not the right platform to unleash the Shakespeare in you.

Your emails matter a lot. It is not only about simpler words, you have to make sure that you use shorter sentences as well. All in all, don’t leave any stone unturned to make it as simple as possible.

8. Making Your Emails Too Lengthy

I know it is easy to get carried away while pitching your product through an email.

You want to tell your leads everything about your wonderful product or services – from benefits to features and from your customer service to high-profile clients.

But here’s a catch – no one wants to read lengthy emails and no one really does. If you are guilty of writing super lengthy emails, then you are hurting your email marketing efforts big time.
In fact, a research report by Boomerang app reveals, “Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply.” Now if you write a succinct, yet informative and engaging email of around 50 and 125 words, the response rate climbs up to more than 50%

Concluding Words..

So these were the top 8 absolute No nos in the game of sales.

Hopefully, now you will steer clear of these common sales mistakes that might turn out to be an anathema to your prospecting process.

Always have one motto in mind – your services should help the customer and the success will automatically come to you.

However, notwithstanding your efforts, if you are still unable to generate desirable results, then maybe now is the time to avail the services of a professional.

These professional sales consulting firms can sense what your customer wants and the things that are likely to repel them.

So which common sales mistakes do you think are absolute no nos in the game of sales?