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The Biggest Sales Mistakes – Number 4

You know, it’s amazing how the biggest sales mistakes are often the simplest. Take Mistake Number 4 in my report The 9 Biggest Sales Mistakes

“Too much talking, not enough listening”

Very common in business generally, extremely common in sales. Modern selling is much more than pitching and overcoming objections. It’s about rapport, consultation, engagement – and making connections in a whole new way. Think about your customer and prospect meetings, the chances are you’re doing most of the talking. Ouch. All those lost sales!


…is a vital skill that is often neglected and yet is crucial to your sales success.

Before responding during a conversation, be aware of the five stages of effective listening:

  1. Hearing – taking in the sound
  2. Listening – Really paying attention and trying to make sense of what you are hearing
  3. Understanding – Checking with the other person to make sure you have taken in what they said in the way they intended
  4. Acknowledging – letting the other person know you have heard and understood what they have said
  5. Responding – your response to what has been discussed

On many occasions people go straight from stage 1 to stage 5! They jump to conclusions, miss vital information and leave the other person feeling misunderstood or ignored. Learning to implement these stages naturally will rapidly enhance your listening skills and make you a much more effective sales professional.

Ask a question – then SHUT UP!

When you ask open questions your client will go into dialogue to respond which gives you the opportunity to learn more about them. Once you’ve asked an open question it’s really important to SHUT UP! – and listen. Let your client answer without interruption. Focus on listening 100% and don’t be distracted by internal thoughts or dialogue. Thinking about the next question will stop you hearing useful information.

The next question is easy when you listen – it comes naturally from your client’s response.

When listening – avoid distractions. Those golden nuggets of information may well be buried. Give them the attention they deserve. As they respond to your insightful open questions, when they have finished, leave a gap of a few seconds before you speak. On many occasions you will find the most crucial information follows after this short gap.

Spend time with a work colleague and practice listening. Ask open questions and listen to the answers without verbalising any comments or opinions. Feedback to them your understanding of what they said to check how effective your listening skills are.

Until next time.


About the author

Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy

Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.

The World of Sales is changing.

Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.

My approach takes your sales team through a process that:

* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales

And at a higher level…

* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales

Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.

– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking