What picture pops into your mind when you hear that word?

If you’re like me, and most other people, it’s not a good one. You think of that guy with the sleazy smile, perfect teeth, and sharp suit who wants you to buy now. Because, after all, he has a deal that’s only good for the next 3 customers (or so he says).

You think of the stereotype of the used car salesman.

That’s the old way of sales. Salespeople today are absolutely necessary, and many do an excellent job of focusing on profitable win-win relationships.

But with your prospects, you’re up against that negative mental image before you even talk to them.

So, even if you’re overall a pretty good salesperson who puts your customer’s interests above your own, even a small gaff can damage the relationship and lose you sales.

Here’s some mistakes you can make that turn prospects’ ears off:

1. Opening a Conversation with “How Are You?”

Never do this. Fortunately, with the internet, it’s easy to research your prospects so you can begin conversation with something about them personally (ideally) or their business. Check their personal and business Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles.

Remember, all you need is just one thing. Your prospects hear “How are you?” so much that doing anything different makes you stand out.

2. When Following Up, Never Say,”Hope This E-mail Finds You Well.”

This is another phrase your prospects hear hundreds of times each year. So again, never say it.

Instead, mention one thing about them that you remembered from your last conversation. Or, research their social profiles again to see if any new news has come up.

Or ask them a question. And mention one personal thing about you or your business too.

These small things all help you build personal relationships, and you’ll earn more business from your prospects using them in the long run.

3. You Spend More Time Talking Than Listening

You should spend 80% of your time with your prospect listening – at least. Before the internet, you could talk more than listen because prospects needed to learn their information from salespeople. Now that they have the internet, they already have most of the information they would have learned from salespeople in the past.

So you want to ask your prospects questions to understand if you have any solution that would work for them, and if so, which one would be the best fit for their needs.

4. You Don’t Follow Through on Small Promises

Let’s say that today you can’t close the sale. However, your prospect asks you to send some additional information.

You say you will in the next 24 hours. You forget to send it.

Congratulations – you’ve now lost the sale!

Prospects often make these requests not because they actually need the information, but they want to test your level of service. If you can’t follow through on a small commitment that could help you make a sale, then why should your prospect trust your company with larger commitments after they buy from you?

It’s a simple fix – say something only if you know you can follow through it on when promised. If you can’t, don’t make the promise.

Most mistakes salespeople make are easily fixed. So take some time to review your process and see if you make any of these simple mistakes.

Correct them, and watch your revenue take off!