Skip to content
All posts

5 Ways You Can Quickly Derail a Sale

Over the past month, the CONNECT2Sell blog has focused on how and why to inspire your buyers. As we wrap up this series, consider the opposites of inspiring... If you are not inspiring your buyers, chances are that you're making one of these five mistakes that derail sales.

The antonyms of inspire include bore, deaden, depress, discourage, dissuade, and stop. These words are cues about how sellers derail sales when they fail to inspire their buyers. Are you making any of these mistakes?

1. You bore your buyer with irrelevant data. You recite a canned product pitch and load up your presentations with lots of features just to be sure you "cover all the bases." You rely heavily on market research and analysis to prove your case for a buy. You drone on and on, aiming to include everything you know. You don't customize every presentation to laser in on what a specific buyer values. You don't edit to omit what the buyer already knows or has no interest in knowing. Instead of galvanizing your buyers to act, you put your buyers to sleep.

2. You discourage your buyer by offering too many choices. We all get inspired by what is clear and simple. We can respond readily when the path is straight forward. That's why buyers get confused and annoyed by too many choices or too many open-ended variables. You discourage a buyer -- meaning you deprive your buyer of courage -- if you make the choice too daunting, too difficult or too fraught with uncertainties.

3. You stop your buyer from saying "yes" by offering a continuance. You do not need to offer a buyer time to "think about it." Buyers who need time will ask for it. When you respond to a buyer's silence, fearing that a "no" is about to be uttered, do not try to buy time by offering a continuance. Chances are that the buyer was about to say "yes" and  now has second thoughts because you were not confident enough to close the sale. In addition to adding to your own workload (checking back, rebuilding the awareness of benefits, etc.), diminishing the likelihood of a sale and looking unprofessional, you just confused your buyer. Never, ever stop a sale in progress. A "no" is actually better than a continuance. Inspiring a buyer includes mobilizing the buyer to act, not stalling or stopping the purchase.

4. You dissuade your buyer by demonstrating a lack of credibility or trustworthiness. Your actions speak louder than your words. No matter how much persuading you do verbally, your behaviors will dissuade your buyer if you don't deliver what you say you will deliver. That's why even the little things matter. You said you'd call back on Friday morning? Then call back on Friday morning. Not Friday afternoon and not Monday morning. You said you'd make sure the credit went through as promised? Then check and check again if needed to be sure it happens. You said you'd get an answer to a buyer's question? Do it right away. Your credibility is vitally important to your long-term success. Don't let it get damaged by carelessness.

5. You deaden or dull the impact of what you're saying because you are not dynamic or enthusiastic in your delivery. If you aren't excited about the solutions you offer, why should anyone else be? Your buyer doesn't care if you've recited the same information 12 times already today. You have to make sure you are fully engaged in every conversation, keeping it fresh and genuinely caring enough about each buyer to muster contagious enthusiasm. Your words need to spark interest and spur action. They won't if delivered in a monotone fashion.

To inspire means you are breathing life into your buyer. To inspire you need to be activating, energizing, mobilizing, motivating and stimulating. Check your sales presentations and customer-facing meetings against these five mistakes so you won't derail a sale by failing to inspire.

The CONNECT2Sell Blog has been discontinued as our focus has shifted to leadership at every level. Research with buyers demonstrates that buyers respond favorably when sellers show up as leaders. If you'd like to step into your full potential as a leader (and boost sales!), take a look at our free and affordable courses on