Top 10 Reasons Salespeople Fail

by Jacques Werth, © 2006

We studied how the Top One Percent of Salespeople in 23 industries actually sell.  They earn more than the average CEO, yet they seldom work as long, nor as hard.  Almost all of the Top 1% utilize a consistent sales process with all their prospects and customers.  Most of them print out their sales process in questionnaire format so that they do not have to memorize anything.  That way, they can focus all of their attention on their prospects, rather than thinking about their next question or the next step in their sales process.

We have also studied how most of the other 99% of salespeople actually sell.  Most of what they do is in direct opposition to how the Top 1% sell.

  1. Most salespeople don’t prospect efficiently, effectively and enjoyably.  (See my previous article, “Top 10 Tips for Prospecting Success”.)  Therefore, they spend most of their selling time with prospects who will not buy.
  2. Most salespeople do not utilize a consistently effective sales process.  Therefore, each sales opportunity is handled differently, based on what they are comfortable doing.  Their results are hit or miss.  The Top 1% consistently do what has the highest probability of producing high closing rates.
  3. Most salespeople believe that their primary function is to persuade and convince prospects to buy their products and services.  Therefore, they utilize manipulative persuasion tactics, which most prospects resent.  That creates sales resistance and results in low closing rates.  The Top 1% know that persuasion and convincing are obsolete sales tactics.  They utilize selling tactics that are compatible with the way the human mind works.
  4. Most salespeople fail to get a conditional commitment to do business at the beginning of the sales process.  Therefore, they waste too much time with prospects that have no commitment to buy.
  5. Most salespeople neglect to determine the exact buying intentions of their prospects, including what their financial capacity is, when the purchase will occur, who makes the final decisions, etc.  Therefore, they spend too much time and resources on low probability prospects.
  6. Most salespeople attempt to do what they call “building rapport.”  However, what they are really doing is trying to get the prospects to like them, which is an inherently manipulative process.  Most prospects are far more concerned about whether they can trust and respect you.  Therefore, you must learn how to immediately develop that kind of a relationship.
  7. Most salespeople do “sales presentations,” rather than determining what their prospect wants, and why.  Therefore, their prospects feel neglected and disrespected.
  8. Most salespeople close at the end of their sales process.  Top salespeople start closing at the beginning of their sales process – as in item 4 above – and continue to close throughout the process, as many as thirty times.  The sum of all those commitments adds up to a relaxed, no-pressure close.
  9. Most salespeople learn a few techniques for “overcoming objections” which are largely Manipulative Rhetoric.  Top salespeople eliminate almost all objections with their sales process.
  10. Most salespeople are locked into old beliefs about selling.  Therefore, when they try to improve, they only improve on what they already know.  That can only result in small incremental improvements.  Top salespeople look to make dramatic changes in their sales process in order to get major increases in their sales productivity.

Page updated
2017-07-07
by Carl Ingalls

High Probability Consulting
4 Leslie Lane  (attn Ingalls)
Wallingford, PA 19086    USA

Carl Ingalls
Tel:  +1 610-627-9030
info@HighProbSell.com