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In today’s economy many companies are working harder than ever to turn prospects into customers and leads into sales. Unfortunately, many are also making a lot of mistakes along the way. This month’s article examines five surprisingly common ways in which companies decrease their sales and profits. 


Does your company have a “Sales Prevention Department”? Even if you don’t have a formal department with this name, if your organization’s actions are preventing sales then the net effect is the same. Here are 5 easy ways to sabotage your sales efforts:

  1. Be Rude and Unprofessional. This is probably the easiest, most sure-fire way to prevent sales. Have you ever walked out of a store (or hung up the phone) because the sales staff was obnoxious? I have. And so will your potential customers.
  1. Avoid Marketing. A successful marketing program will introduce potential customers to the benefits of doing business with you and produce a steady stream of qualified leads. If you’re not marketing, your sales pipeline will dry up.
  1. Waste Sales Leads. Once you get these precious leads, what do you do with them? I’m amazed that companies will go to trade shows, run ads, attend networking events, entice people to join their email mailing lists, etc. –and then drop the ball once the leads come in. What a waste of time, money, and effort! All leads should be followed up as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours.
  1. Ignore Your Customers’ Needs. What are your customers looking for? Better, cheaper, faster? A high-end luxury experience? Someone to hold their hand through a high-tech process? 24/7 access to your staff? Whatever it is, you’ve got to deliver. Because if you don’t, your competition will.
  1. Focus on Features Instead of Benefits. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’ve got to focus on the benefits of whatever it is that you’re selling. All your prospective customer wants to know is “what’s in it for me?”

Hopefully you don’t recognize your company in this list. But if you do, now’s the time to make some changes!


What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon