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How to Ruin a Big Sale

Here’s another issue from our “Don’t Do This” files! We’ve assembled some sure fire ways to botch your next big lead, collected from years of working with sales teams and from witnessing more zombie pitches and lame sales emails than you can count. Maybe you’re doing some of these now and didn’t realize it! No worries, we all need to recalibrate our sales approach from time to time.

Save the magic for the next call

Hey, no sense working too hard on this conversation, right? “The next talk I have with the prospect is the important one…” News flash – all pre-sales contacts are important! If you don’t treat each email, phone call, or IM like an audition, you probably won’t get the next call.

Assume your Proposal will close the deal for you

It’s great to have confidence in your sales collateral and your proposals should gleam with brilliance, but they won’t sell for you. So common is it for a sales rep to quickly sling a written quote to a prospect and then let the case rest there. That assumes a few things:

  • Your prospect is going to understand the whole bloody document on his


  • Your proposal can come to life and overcome your prospect’s 

        objections with engaging dialog

Likewise, you may have built a magnificent website with Blockity that includes all manner of useful information for your prospective customers – but it doesn’t mean they’ll take the time to read it all. 


Tip: use the Blockity platform to create a conversion-focused micro-site just geared towards bringing your prospects through the sales process. Keep it lightweight with just the essentials that will help them make an educated decision.

Discover nothing during discovery process

How many times did you check your Facebook while the lead was talking to you about his business? The whole purpose of the discovery call is basically for the lead to tell you “This is how to sell me.” It won’t bode well if you’re not learning their pain points, business goals, and how they would measure a successful engagement with your company – that info is there just waiting for you to ask, and it should define the next moves in your sales process.

Pitch the wrong guy

We’ve all done it – spent our time wooing a non-decision maker, or even worse: a looky-loo! There’s a time to deal with gate-keepers especially with larger companies, but always ask “Is there anyone else I should include on our next call? Is anyone else involved in the decision-making process?” This not only saves you a lot of would-be wasted time, but you come off more like the professional you are – and you’ll be taken more seriously.

Promise to send it Friday, then send it Monday

It may seem like a little thing, but that customer success story you promised to send is your company’s goodwill on the line. Break your word this early on and that tells a prospect what he should expect as a client.  

Ignore the deal-breakers

This ties in with the discovery call, but during your dance with this prospect if you’re asking the right questions you’re going to find out what lines cannot be crossed. It may be a certain maximum price, the length of the contract, the must-have features that can’t be left out, or the need for them to speak with your current customers for references. Don’t blow these important details off or skip them altogether when building out your quote – the prospect will realize that you’re not listening or you’re not capable of meeting their needs. Either way it’s a losing proposition.

Any of this sound familiar? Please tell us about the less-than-stellar courting you’ve encountered when someone was trying to “earn” your business.  

By Mark Holland exclusively for blockity.co

Business Writer - SEO & Marketing

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