I hate talking about negative subjects, but it’s time to call it out. 

I’m going to list ten reasons why salespeople fail. Now, it’s not that salespeople fail on all ten of them, but all it takes is one or two.

This post is to help you steer clear of these ten mistakes, because I want you to be successful. 


1. Poor time management

Salespeople who don’t use their time well, or take all day to get going, get knocked out of sales. They spend all their time doing everything except what they’re supposed to be doing.

This not only knocks people out of sales, but out of so many other positions and really achieving the success that’s possible in life. 

2. Too product focused

Sure, they’ve got all this product knowledge, but that’s all they want to focus on— product knowledge.

Customers don’t want a product. They want solutions. If you’re too product-focused, you’ll never take time to listen to the outcomes that the customer is looking for. 

Read about how Prospecting is an Outcome Game.

3. Not knowing the customer

Treating every customer as a random email or a random phone call is not going to work. You’re going to become defeated very quickly, and it’s going to get boring. 

Take some time to understand who the customer is so you can ask better questions and have better dialogue.

via Yellowstone on GIPHY

4. Lack of a repetitive process 

You’ve got to be able to do it over and over and over again. Think about things in your life: you get dressed in the morning, you have a very set routine, and it goes smoothly. If you don’t have that routine, it’s amazing how awkward it can be.

Similarly, lack of a repetitive process slows down everything. For example, prospects that you don’t follow up on properly. 

5. Failing to use a CRM system

Don’t think that you can do this job without your CRM system or just barely putting in any information at all. Instead, use it to the fullest because it’s there to guide you and help you. 

6. Having a poor mindset

Having a poor mindset defeats anybody. Once you start falling down, you can quickly go into a death spiral. 

This is why I say that to help you with a poor mindset, you’ve got to have places like The Sales Hunter that you’re getting insights and knowledge from. 

You’ve got to have peers that you can reach out to and connect with that are challenging you, and you’re challenging them. Sales is not a solo activity. Sales is a team sport, and that’s the only way you’re going to make sure that you have a positive mindset. 

If you’re interested in some mindset work, check out the A Mind for Sales Masterclass, or read A Mind for Sales.

7. Not believing in the outcome

You don’t have to believe in your product, but you do have to believe in the outcome. You have to believe in the outcome that you can truly help people see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. 

If you don’t believe in that, then why are you selling? Get out of sales right now. 

via Apple TV+ on GIPHY

8. Chasing shiny objects 

This is like chasing the squirrel. “Wow, this is a cool idea. If I get really good at this, I’ll be really successful in sales.” And then, they spend the next two, three weeks chasing that, and it doesn’t work. Or, “Here’s a great customer. I’m going to go do this. It’s going to be my multimillion dollar deal.” Boom, and it doesn’t work. You’ve got to stay focused.

9. Lack of a positive peer group

I call this out very succinctly because I’ve watched salespeople who do not have a positive peer group, and it’s hard for them to stay in the game.  

A rising tide lifts all boats. Who is lifting you up? 

via Celine Dion on GIPHY

10. Having goals, but no plan. 

Anybody can make goals. But what’s your plan to achieve them? If you don’t have a plan to achieve your goals, your goals are just dreams.

Is Your Sales Pipeline a Sewer Line or a Water Tap?

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Coming Thursday 3/9…

How to Demonstrate Your Difference in Prospecting

with Simon Hares


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Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

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