The #1 Reason Salespeople Fail

In sales, there is a multitude of reasons you can fail. The timing is terrible, the status quo won, or maybe you were outsold by the competition. What can you do with so many variables at play? You can work on things you can control that contribute to the success or failure of any sale.

I have enjoyed personal success in the sales in both B2B and B2C industries and have coached and trained sales teams from every sector. The failure to advance the ball is the most common reason salespeople fail. The following are the reasons this happens and ways you can start changing the way you sell today.

Lack of Follow Up

How many times do you follow up before calling it quits? Two, four or maybe six times? The average salesperson quits after two attempts to make contact.The average sale does not begin until the fifth effort to connect. Only 20% of salespeople will stay with it for 5–8 attempts to connect. If you are in top 10%, you are reaching out 8–10 times, and the top 3%of salespeople do not stop until they hear no according to the industry average.

Time Between Follow Up

How long are you taking between each attempt to connect? I often hear anywhere from two weeks to six months! If you are waiting for any longer than three days, you are missing the opportunity for your buyer to connect the dots. In the fast-moving digital world, you are out of sight, out of mind.

Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection is another compelling reason salespeople do not continue to follow up. I have two things to say about the fear of rejection. One- ask yourself; “what’s the worst that could happen?’ If you can live with that, make the call! Two- Most people are friendly, even if they reject you it will be in the nicest possible way. This lack of directness between the buyer and the seller is a big problem in sales. Buyers do not like to say no, so they say nothing at all and the chase is on to get them to return our calls and messages.

Poor Planning

Salespeople who plan — succeed. It is simple, make a plan to prospect, block time to do it first in your day, and figure out what you want to happen next in the sales process. Plan your calls, meetings and the questions you will ask at each stage of the sales process. If you want to win you have to plan. Practice the three P’s of sales, Prethink,

Prepare, and Practice.


What you don’t know in sales will hurt you. If you don’t do the research before you reach out, you risk not having the information to build rapport, ask relevant questions, do great discovery and find the real decision maker. It takes ten minutes to do enough research to determine the who, what, where and why of your call. It only takes ten minutes, just do it!

If you want to start selling more today make a prospecting calendar and follow it. Every one to three days trying a different way to reach out. Quit asking buyers to call back, the chance they will return your call is slim to never. Instead, tell them not to worry about calling back and tell them what time and date you will be trying to reach them again. If you do this, make sure you follow up at this time. Do not ask every time you reach out, add something of intrinsic value to the message. An article, press release, congratulations, etc. An example might look like this:


I am _____ from_______. Sometimes clients tell me they have problems with______,______ and ______. I help _______ resulting in ________ for these companies. I would like to share a call/meeting to see if I can be of service. Don’t worry about getting back to me, I will call you on_____ at ____. I will also send an email to confirm; sometimes it’s easier to connect this way. If this time doesn’t work, let me know, and we can schedule another time.

Best Regards,


P.S. Great article in______ featuring your company!( insert article)

If you don’t ask, you will not get. Start by performing research. Setting up a prospecting calendar, doing great discovery, adding value and charting a path to advance the sale, and keep filling the sales funnel by continuing to prospect even when you start to sell.

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