16 Bad Sales Habits You Need to Break to be Successful

Bad Sales Habits

Bad Sales Habits – It’s quite true that all of us have at some point of our lives indulged into a bad sales habits or another. Yes, some of us have had more grave problems than others and some have taken more time to overcome than others. But, the truth of the matter remains the same that bad sales habits are almost an inevitable part of a human being’s life. It is also acknowledged by almost all of us that although we indulge into bad sales habits unintentionally, yet they make us grieve in one form or another. In short, bad sales habits draw us away from our goals and deter us in performing our tasks smoothly and efficiently.

The very same phenomenon applies to sales professionals as well. The best and most efficient sales people are those who seldom get carried away by bad sales habits and work like machines every day of the week. The most successful sales professionals easily and quickly indulge into good and bad sales habits and never let them slip away. They have a very planned and disciplined way of going about their tasks and believe in proper execution.

The first step for anybody wanting to become like a successful sales professional that we have just talked about is to eliminate the bad sales habits ASAP. It’s not easy as it sounds, we know but a lot of persistence and will power can get you through, believe us!

Here is a list of some of the most commonly found bad sales habits that we find often in budding and otherwise talented sales reps that need to be avoided to be successful:

Here Is The 16 bad sales habits That you should know:

  1. Lack of Planning

A clear set of ideas and plan of action is so vital in a sales manager’s daily routine. Don’t let the circumstances dictate how you behave on given a day, rather set your own priorities and act accordingly to accomplish them. As a golden rule, before you leave work on a particular day you must already have an idea as to what you’ll be doing the next day in the office. Similarly, you must have a plan of action for the entire week, month and the quarter. Although plans aren’t a rule of thumb and must be changed according to the prevailing demands of the market, yet having no plan at all can be detrimental to your firm’s heath.

  1. DE-valuing your time

Bad Sales Habits- time management

This is a very commonly found and absolutely necessary to rectify sales habit that need be addressed especially by those in the selling profession. You must know beforehand what is to be done first hand on a day. Do you know which tasks have to be addressed as a priority without wasting too much of your time on frequent social media breaks? Are you able to afford for yourself periodic breaks so as to stay refreshed and have the amount of focus that is required?

  1. Becoming a slave of technology

These days there has been an over-reliance on technology by most sales reps that as observed has caused more harm than good to them. In our opinion, a good sales professional would just use a basic phone and work hard to achieve his desired targets rather than relying heavily on technology and gadgets. A efficient sales rep does rely more on his selling skills and focuses more on the overall goals than becoming a slave of modern technological routines.

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  1. Not responding to positive criticism

All of us have certain flaws, whether we know it or not. Beings an efficient sales professional, you must be sensitive to all positive criticism that comes along and need to change yourself accordingly. Most of the successful businessmen in our generation have all been coached by some inspirational coaches or their mentors. Remember, such positive criticism would only make you better as a sales rep.

  1. Not giving due importance to reading and learning

Almost all successful and effective businessmen are all voracious readers and learners. We know, some of the sales professionals consider reading to be a hobby or a pastime but let us assure you that the more you read and learn from other’s experiences, the better you get and more so in the profession of selling. Learning and reading make your time on work far more valuable and effective.

  1. Not being able to re calibrate and adjust

A sales professional’s life is not a steady one or has a fixed routine. Thus, flexibility is the need of the hour. As effective sales professional, you must be open to small adjustments or recalibration in your professional as well as private life. This certainly does not mean that you won’t find sufficient time for your daily activities and leisure but it means that you need to be on your toes at all times in this profession.

  1. Not following up effectively

Following up on your daily calls and appointments is an absolutely vital activity in the profession of selling. We come across so many sales reps that are talented and hard-working yet do not fulfill the sales targets and almost lose their job just because they don’t like to follow up on a lead. Without proper follow-ups, sales professionals are unable to engage the long-term leads and thus can’t provide the necessary touches that are required in order to close the final deals. Believe us, following up on a sales appointment or call is the nicest habit you can develop as a sales person.

  1. Focusing more on quantity than quality

If you arrive early in the office and are the last one to leave, and send the maximum no. of emails in a day to clients and think you are the most efficient employee, think again! Yes, it has been widely observed that in the profession of selling quality matters over quantity immensely. So, in our advice be in the habit of delivering value to your prospects and give priority to interactions and activities with your clients than just fulfilling an arbitrary quantity number.

Apart from the above mentioned common most bad sales habits found in sales professionals around the world, here are a few more in the same regard that need be taken care of in order to increase your success chances:

  1. Don’t bark the wrong tree

Every salesperson must realize that each and every prospect has a limited capacity to buy their products or avail their service. This means that, if you are selling an enterprise product then it’s pointless to persuade a local mom and pop shop for buying it. These mom and pop shops neither have the resources to buy your product nor do they have interest in them. The time a sales professional wastes on unwanted leads does takes away his opportunity to really make a sale on a good prospect. Thus, it’s best to have and work only on those leads which suit the company’s profile of prospects and dump the rest.

  1. Don’t put off Prospecting

Prospecting is a vital activity in the daily work routines of every sales person. Some of us are in the habit of taking an extended layoff time or spend our vacation just after completion of a significant deal. However, this is very wrong. Ideally, it’s just apt to get back onto your pipeline and begin working on the future deals or the leads. No matter how big or successful was your last deal you must allot certain amount of time each week on prospecting. This should be a rule of thumb. And, you mustn’t allow anything to come in the way of prospecting.

  1. Do not present too early

If you are a sales professional and a new lead comes suddenly to you, what will you do? Of course, latch on to the opportunity and present yourself to it ASAP, right! Well, you’re totally wrong on this. Yes, according to many a sales experts such as Anthony Lanario, a salesperson’s opportunity could only be properly availed when he duly completes all the stages in the selling process. By skipping stages or jumping the gun too early, no substantial results can be achieved. It isn’t said for nothing – “Slow and steady wins the race.”

  1. Don’t skimp on research

It is a normal and best practice to research about your prospect before visiting him on a call. The more pertinent you can make a cold call or an email to your prospect, the greater your chances of conversion. However, avoid mailing absolute generic messages to them since they most often get mass mailed. Nowadays, with the advent of technology and the Internet, there are vast options to do research on your buyers even before paying them a visit. For example, Google search, social media accounts, LinkedIn search, and company’s official website.

  1. Fill in the blanks

An experienced and knowledgeable sales person would always know or at least try to know what exactly his prospect wants and how. That is to say, he would always anticipate in advance what will be his prospect’s answer to a particular question or the manner in which he would react when approached. This is very essential in today’s marketing scenario as there is cut-throat competition in the market and there are a plethora of options available to every buyer. Thus, to stay ahead in this mad-rush competition it is best to be sensitive to the buyers’ needs and wants and do your all to fulfil those.

  1. Always prepare for objections

Each and every prospect at some point or another does posts an objection or another to a particular product or service. This is quite normal in the selling process and skilled and experienced sales reps already are aware of it. They think ahead and try to counter the objections raised by the prospect in a friendly and polite tone. What we are trying to say here is that if you are really serious about sales as a career and wish to be successful at that then, always do a little pre-work before visiting your prospect on a call. Hesitant and ill-informed sales persons are likely to be dumped away in this day and age of stern competition.

  1. Do not indulge into unnecessary administrative work

Replying to your daily emails and doing data entry work is a good habit but shouldn’t be done at the expense of actual sales/field work. Yes, you are a decent administrator, agreed! But, always remember that these activities are only to support the primary task of sales and can never be prioritized atop of sales activity. And, those sales reps that do their emailing and data entry to shy away from sales activity due to fear of failure should get away from this field. Sales, is not for them!

  1. Never give up!

Let me share a secret. Do you know that the biggest virtue in the profession of sales, is the act of persistence. We have come across so many, actually thousands of sales reps who give up on a lead if their second or third call is not responded. This is absolutely absurd! Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing is of the view that to successfully reach out to a lead, a sales person has to attempt to reach out to him at least six to eight times. In reality, this figure may even be higher! The moral of the story is that don’t give up on a sales lead just because repeated attempts to approach him have been wasted. Once he actually acknowledges the call, your hard work is very likely to be paid off, believe us! Only consider omitting a lead if the prospect tells you to stop.


For all the valuable activities salespeople employ in, there are a few bad sales habits that unintentionally chip away at sales rep’s success. Well, the smart reps realize that they’ve fallen into one of the devious potholes mentioned above and they try to find a way or another to restraint and possibly inverse it soon enough. We hope that the present article has shed sufficient light on some of the really bad sales habits that sales reps’ of today’s gen consciously or unconsciously indulge into. We hope you would begin to avoid them in your daily sales activities after going through our article.

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