4 Common Mistakes Salespeople Make With Leads

Written on the 30 August 2016 by Charles Allen

I have been in sales all my life. In the real world and online as well. Anyone that works in sales knows just how important it is to have lead sources to keep your pipeline filled. But it is not only how we obtain the leads that is important, it's what we do with them once we get them.

One of the most critical mistakes a sales person can make once they receive a lead, is not acting on it immediately. I once worked with a guy who belonged to a networking group, the soul purpose of his joining this group was to receive leads. This group wasn't cheap either, it cost him $500.00 annually to be a member. He would come back from his weekly meeting with a lead in his hand and pin it to the bulletin board above his desk, and there it would stay until he noticed it a few days later. It drove me nuts!

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In sales, and it does not matter what you are selling, every day is critical! At any moment, your competitor can call your customer and walk away with the business.

Another common mistake I have witnessed countless times, is contacting the lead in a timely fashion, but having absolutely no enthusiasm once you contact the customer. When you call a potential customer, smile as you speak to them, the customer will pick up on the inflection in your voice and respond to it. Don't act as though the customer is a burden to you, and that you are doing them a favor. Remember, you are the expert when it comes to your product, don't expect your customer to know everything, if they did, they wouldn't need you. So make sure they know that you are happy to help them.

Another no-no when following up on a lead is to yawn, sneeze, or cough into the receiver of the phone. I understand that these are normal and common bodily functions, but there is no excuse for doing it directly into the receiver, this is a great way to loose the sale, the yawn alone will most likely make the customer hang up the phone. Always put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Imagine meeting someone for the first time over the telephone and your conversation is being interrupted by yawns, and sneezes, I doubt you would be gung-ho about doing business with them

Following up with a lead and then putting that person on hold is another common mistake I have come across. Although your reasons for putting your customer on hold may seem very important to you, your customer will find it to be annoying regardless of your reasons. So be sure to set aside a time to call your lead when you know the interruptions will be few.

What fascinates me is that you can give the exact same lead to ten different sales people and get ten different results. The sales leader will make a way when there is no way. The sales lagger will always search for another lead that brings the immediate reward instead of working what he has to the very end.

So the next time you receive a lead, act on it immediately, let your customer know that you are happy to work with them, speak clearly and avoid interruptions, and watch your sales productivity increase!



Chris Doe Ford - for more information on this and other related topics please visit my homepage at

Charles AllenAuthor: Charles Allen
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