5 Toxic Behaviors that Kill Sales

by Jacques Werth

1. Assume the Sale.  Treat everyone who might buy from you as if they will.  Persuade and convince them.

People who are that easy to convince are probably unwilling or unable to buy.  Many more people will resent you making assumptions about what is theirs to decide.
2. Get Out There and Sell.  You can’t sell ’em if you don’t meet ’em.
You will waste a lot of time that way, yours and theirs.  That will probably be the last time you get to meet them.
3. Act Like a Consultant.  Present yourself as an expert and trusted advisor about what they need.
Most prospects know better than to believe that a salesperson can be an objective advisor.  Salespeople who pretend to be consultants are trusted even less.
4. Find Problems and Solve Them.  Uncover the prospect’s needs and persuade them that you have the solutions.
Most prospects have more problems than they can ever get handled.  If it’s not a top priority for them when you call, they will not buy.
5. Overcome Objections and Close the Sale.  Convince prospects that their objections are wrong, or are actually benefits.
Objections are usually caused by the salesperson’s lack of authentic disclosure or by the prospect’s lack of a commitment to buy.


Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

6 thoughts on “5 Toxic Behaviors that Kill Sales”

  1. Item 3 confuses me, I am a consultant. I can’t help but act like a consultant because that is what I do. Maybe that makes sense to a sales person who does nothing but selling, but part of establishing credibility for me as a consultant is to act like a consultant.


    1. Michael,

      Acting like a consultant can mean very different things to different people with different experience. If you’ve been a consultant for a while, you have probably learned a lot of things about consulting, and the experience has probably changed what it means for you to act like a consultant. It’s probably different from when you started, and it’s probably very different from what a salesperson does when acting like a consultant.

      If you make money only by selling your advice, and none at all from what your client may purchase by following your advice, then you are what I would call a pure consultant. This is very different from the person who advises a client about what to buy, and then makes money when the client makes a purchase.

      There are two problems with a salesperson who “acts like a consultant”. First, he or she probably doesn’t have enough experience as a real consultant to have a good understanding about what that actually means. Second, the salesperson believes that giving away advice is a good way to gain credibility and trust, without realizing that this can damage both. Even novice consultants frequently make that mistake.

      What they don’t realize is this:
      Successful consultants do not give advice. They sell it.

      Carl Ingalls


  2. When someone tries to do those five things to me I immediately recognize their tactics and know they’re not concerned with my best interest but theirs. Or they have some misguided principles they think are the right thing to do. Don’t second guess or patronize me.

    Find out if I want something – or mignt consider something – by being direct, honest, and showing me you care about my best interest,. The sale is always about me the buyer, not you the seller. When it’s about you finding out about me then you become a Seller.



  3. Like @Michael Moore, I too am confused by #3. Posting to a blog, making a podcast, writing a book, could all fall within the category of positioning oneself as an expert. Is there a difference to you? This is one of the questions I wrestle with. Blogging, for example, keeps me in tune with my industry and product viability, but is different from making a “sales call” but instead of “selling”, spending 45 min. “consulting” (giving the same advice I’d give a client because I knew their business so well) with a prospect in hopes of making a sale.

    The others, I’m probably more in line with although there may be shades of understanding which I might not have.


    1. Bobby –

      Blogs, Podcasts. articles, and books are all considered *marketing* – not sales. Those types of communications are often good marketing if easily understood.

      In this case, I should have made the distinction between marketing and sales.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: