10 Habits of the Worst Salesperson that will Plummet Yourself Straight to the Bottom of the Leaderboard

Posted on December 21, 2020

Ryan Stewman



Being the best salesperson in your group or company requires dedication, focus, and hard work. But being the absolute worst is an accomplishment that anyone can achieve. You have been watching the top-dog like a hawk to learn what it takes to be the best, but have you ever looked at the folks on the bottom? There are many lessons to learn by taking a good & long look at the ones bringing up the rear. Every sales team has that one guy or gal who never gets their act together. But just as success requires habits and leaves clues, so does ineptitude. Here are 10 tips to become the caboose of your sales team:

1: Having a Bad Attitude

Rudeness and unprofessional behavior are unacceptable under any circumstances. Yet surprisingly, you will meet some salespeople who act plain rude with leads & clients, as well as their coworkers and leadership in the company. This type of behavior gives the prospect the wrong impression about your company. The potential buyer does not get a proper picture of the offer, as they will probably not even wait for the sales call to end. You will lose many sales like this. Plus being a shithead to the other salespeople on your team will get you no support in your organization.

Do this instead: There is power in being liked. Be yourself, but as the attractive character. The guy 0r gal everyone wants to be around.

2: Being Late to Everything

Being on time is not only important to a customer, but also important to EVERYONE! No one would be happy if their food delivery were late, or the cable guy says he is running 2 hours behind. That would make you angry! The salespeople represent the first contact customers have with your company. First impressions are not set-in stone, but they give a lasting view. Being on time for your appointment is the first chance to make a good impression on the client and increase their confidence in your company.

Do this instead: Use a digital calendar with reminders setup. Integrate this into your email calendar as well.

3: Not Listening to the Customer

In order to present the proper solution to a prospect, you need to listen & observe with great focus so that you pick up on what’s most important to your client. Let them tell their story. Within their narrative you will hear a pain-point, also called the “Hot Button.” Your solution should be geared toward eliminating that pain. If you do not give the potential customer time to explain the problem they are having, then you risk the sale by missing their “hot button.”

Do this instead: Listen with intent, and pickup on what their true pain points are. What solution will relieve the pain.

4: You Are Not Even Trying to Articulate Yourself

Have you ever heard a recording of your sales process? Would you be willing to put $5 on the line for every “Uh…” that was uttered in your sales call? Every salesperson must know how to articulate themselves clearly & confidently. That starts from the greeting, then in qualifying the clients with simple questions. When asked a question by the prospect, your answers should also be clear and concise. If you cannot do this, you come across uneducated on what you’re selling.

Do this instead: Communicate clearly with simple language. Clarity trumps complication every time.

5: Being Rigid & Inflexible

A poor salesperson will force all their clients into the same rigid process each time. Every client has their own style, pace, and tone. A great salesperson should be aware of different personalities and various situations. You must be flexible and able to adapt to different circumstances. It’s great to dial in your presentation to be the same content, but the buyers are rarely the same. Each buyer wants to feel special and expects the salesperson to understand his circumstances. Being unable to match your prospect will cost you many sales.

Do this instead: Adapt to each client’s pace and understanding.

6: Delivering a Poor Pitch

A great way to blow a deal on an interested buyer is to fumble through your presentation. Better yet, you can diminish nearly all your chances by trying to wing it! The presentation may be (or highly likely to be) the first time a prospect will get the full details about your product. If your product is not shown correctly to the customer, he is very unlikely to buy. Practice your presentation over & over until it becomes ingrained in your mind. Use product literature, if possible, to keep you on track.

Do this instead: Have your presentation down cold so you can deliver with confidence, and not get derailed.

7: Talking Only About Price

Poor salespeople will attempt to justify their price, but the most effective way to earn a client is to build value. It is less likely for a deal to close when the salesperson depends on price to close the sales. The prospective buyer will be quick to take advantage when he sees that the deal depends on the cost of the product. The prospect will drive the price as low as they can. The buyer may even hold off, and then not even buy, until they get a deep discount. Relying on price alone is just asking to take a heavy cut in profits in order to close sales.

Do this instead: Build value in your product or service by tying a benefit you offer to a pain-point it solves.

8: Not Asking for the Sale

You cannot get what you don’t ask for. This is a common fault of the salespeople that make up the bottom, but a lethal one. The part of the sale that separates the professional from the amateurs is the close. Getting them to make a buying decision is a result of all the other parts for your sales process falling in line. Many sales have been lost because the salesperson did not know when to close the sale. A good salesperson is in tune with the prospective buyer and knows instinctively when to move to close the sale. If you did all the other parts of your process correctly, you have earned the right to ask for the business. You cannot wait for the client to say, “I’ll take it!” Many times, a simple question is all it takes.

Do this instead: Forget learning 50+ ways to close the sale. Look for a signal that they are digging your product and move them to the next step.

9: Hard Selling and Pressuring the Prospect

A “hard sell” is when salespeople try to push the sale on the prospective customer. Badgering someone to buy your stuff will just give you a poor market reputation. Pressing a buyer will only make them aggressive, and they will try to get rid of that salesperson as soon as possible. It is a proven fact that people love to buy, but nobody likes to be sold. We are in a modern age with choices like we have never had before. The old tricks of sales are very seldom effective. A powerful presentation and asking for sales at the appropriate time is how business is done in the 2020’s.

Do this instead: Make your process as easy as possible, and that will make closing the sale smoother.

10: Never Following Up

You had a great sales call, but they did not buy. If they really wanted your stuff, they would call you back. So, I guess we should never try to talk to them again, right? No! Follow up with the prospect until they tell you not to anymore. I’m not talking about pressuring them. A great salesperson will contact the prospect on a regular basis until they buy or tell him or her to buzz off. Follow up is especially important, and in reality, it’s just good manners. If a salesperson does not know how to properly and professionally follow up, they will end up losing valuable customers and sales. 80% off all sales are closed after the first meeting.

Do this instead: Follow up via text and/or email can be built into your CRM. Regular follow ups by phone should be set up as reminders.

Remember to keep things simple. #thisaintrocketsurgery

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