Find out how to avoid the 5 most common sales mistakes, so you know how to walk your leads through the sales process and become a coffee-drinking closer.

With the reach of technology today, you are at a major advantage to reach out to potential clients. There are literally leads everywhere, no matter what you’re selling. The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs today is how to make sales. 

If there is 1 skill that has allowed me to reach the highest level of financial success, launch numerous multi-million dollar revenue generating companies, acquire over $1 billion dollars worth of real estate and continue to create new profitable ventures, I would say it’s my ability to sell. 

Selling is the most important skill you can have, no matter what business you’re in. 

A common misconception in sales is that it’s “all about closing”.

Closing is great, I’m a closer, but before you even get to the close, you need to know how to warm up your leads so you can walk them through the sales process.

Too many “sales-y” tactics push your leads away, too little follow up and you’ll miss out on countless opportunities. It’s when you strike that balance between selling and making connections that you truly make the most of your leads to boost your sales.

Here are the 5 most common sales mistakes so you know how to avoid these sales blunders so you can become a closer.

5 Mistakes That Cost You Sales

1) You’re too slow with your initial follow up.

Just how important is your follow up? 

The initial follow up is where you go from being a forgettable passing thought into a viable option.

You want to strike while the iron is hot. 

Research shows that you’re 100 times more likely to connect with a lead if you follow up in the first 5 minutes, versus if you wait 30 minutes.  That’s right, 100 times more likely. 

This means that if you’ve got online forms or social media driving prospects to reach out to you, you need to follow-up within 5 minutes to make the most of it. Depending on the size of your organization, target market and process, you might want to automate that follow-up and give your prospects clear ways to set up a meeting.

2) You don’t give anything of value.

Be sure to provide value from day 1.

Your free content, your strategy sessions, any meetings or calls – these are all representative of your business and your services, so be sure to give true value. Even if a lead never buys from you, they are much more likely to recommend you when you deliver value.

Your expertise is not your ability to list features and benefits, it’s your ability to effectively evaluate needs and match those challenges with expert solutions. Your leads know how to compare pricing models and features, what you bring to the table is how that data becomes business solutions.

This also means that you don’t waste anybody’s time. 

You should know who your target market is and how to qualify leads to avoid a long-drawn process that wastes everyone’s time. If your prospect really isn’t a good fit, recommend another solution and let it go.

3) You’re using a lame script.

For the love of God, don’t follow a script verbatim on a sales meeting or call – ever. I don’t care if you have a script, you need to use that like a template.

The difference between using a script and using a template is the difference between a prospect and a client.

Why? Because when you use a script, your prospect is nothing more than a number. When you use a template, you have talking points and a general idea of how to qualify leads. This way, you have a strategy in place, yet you’re actively listening. Your prospects know the difference, and your profits will too.

Yes, you should definitely use templates, They save countless hours and make your sales process consistent and easy. Do not, however, read off a script because you’ll chase away any chance you have of connecting with your prospect.

Besides, 80% of the time, you should be listening. The other 20% of the time, use your template to ask questions.

4) You didn’t follow up again… and again… and again… and again...

Look, 80% of all sales require 5 or more follow-ups to close.

Your follow-up should not only remind a prospect of who you are, it more importantly creates meaningful connections – there’s legwork involved in this follow up process,  which is why you should never be scared to ask tough questions that weed out “tire-kickers” in that initial follow up. 

Don’t just “follow-up” with nothing new to say!

Take a moment to do some research and create a follow up strategy that delivers value.

If you did it right, you already should have a clear idea of your prospects challenges from your initial meeting or call, so be sure to deliver meaningful content based on your initial intel.

5) You try to close when you should be warming people up.

The initial follow-up is an opportunity for you to get a better idea of whether your lead is a qualified prospect or not. This isn’t the time to start listing off product features (don’t ever do that!), it’s time for you to listen and get a clear idea of the challenges and solutions he/she truly needs. 

Once your prospect has moved from lead into a qualified lead, it’s a better time for you to give some follow-up that delivers tailored information for them. You decided it’s a good fit, so now you put your best foot forward to explain why.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t close immediately, it takes an average of 5 follow ups to close. 

A good idea in this follow up process is to create canned responses and folders that you use as a quick go-to for different services or products you offer, so that you have a template that you tailor for prospects. 

Don’t rush the close because you’ll wind up making your leads uncomfortable before you even get to the decision stage of the process. Instead, build your process around your customer from so you create an unforgettable experience to boost your sales.