The 6 Reasons Salespeople Fail | radioinfo

The 6 Reasons Salespeople Fail

Monday 16 October, 2017
Image: Shutterstock

Peady's Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

 Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

I count several great salespeople as friends, additionally I’ve worked with many who are very successful. Generally, they earn significant incomes and have a fantastic work/life balance.

Most employ a consistent sales process with all their prospects and customers.  Some even print it out so that they don’t have to memorise anything.  That allows them to focus their attention on their prospects, rather than thinking about the next question or next step in their sales process.

On the flip side I also get to work with less successful salespeople and most of what they do is the exact opposite to “the winners.”

Why do some fail?

I’m often asked this question by salespeople and sales managers.  It seems to me that there are a lot of people who believe the real reason salespeople fail is because they can’t close enough sales but its deeper than that. There are many more factors at play.

1.  They don’t have a clear and consistent sales process to ask questions and uncover opportunities with their current and future customers. Each sales meeting is handled differently, based on what they are comfortable doing.  The results are hit or miss.
2.   A poor level of qualified activity (or pipeline). Without enough prospecting and qualifying activity, there isn’t enough potential customers to meet with. Many times, the lack of activity is coupled with a poor work ethic. Both are deadly!
3.   Using old fashioned objection handling techniques instead of clarifying real questions, uncovering the information needs and genuine concerns from a prospective customer. Objections often arise if someone is being “sold”.

4.   Building “rapport” instead of building trust and a professional relationship. Rapport is code for getting prospects to “like” you which is simply manipulative. Most prospects are far more concerned about whether they can trust you. 

5.   Closing at the end of the process. The top salespeople start closing at the beginning and then ongoing through the sales process. The sum of all those smaller commitments at each step adds up to a no-pressure close.

6.   They are disorganised. The top salespeople I have ever worked with are great time managers and each day of every week is highly organised. Calls are prioritised, time is allocated to prospecting, follow up activity is logged and critical actions planned.

Successful sales people do the right things, right. They have their goals in place and know what they need to do every day to achieve them. But you need to get to work and do something yourself to make those goals a reality.

Until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at



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