12 Sales Mistakes One Should Avoid At All Costs

You’ve never made a mistake, right? We certainly never have. It’s a pretty big deal, however, when those mistakes result in lost sales and wasted leads. Especially if those mistakes were avoidable! Here are deal-busting sales mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

#1 Selling to the Wrong Customer

#2 Selling the Wrong Product

#3 Failing to Provide any Proof or Metrics

#4 Failing to Show the Difference

#5 Underpricing Your Product

#6 Convincing and Defending as Opposed to Listening

#7 Failing to Proactively Answer Questions

#8 Failing to Follow Up On Time

#9 Being Unprepared

#10 Not Closing the Sale

#11 Going Off Topic and Not Thoroughly Researching your Customer and their Industry

For Management #12: Not Equipping Your Staff with the Tools and Software they Need  to Prosper in their Work Environments.

Purchasing the proper software and tools (i.e., CRM Tool) is not an easy process, especially when you have over a dozen vendors to choose from.

Think of selecting the right CRM tool like purchasing a garden hose. If you go to a home hardware store, you will notice that there over a dozen types of garden hoses to choose from. There are vinyl and rubber ones and hoses on wheels. There are also hoses made by Flexogen, Teknor and Craftsmen. Unless you are a professional contractor or gardener, you more than likely won’t know the difference and which one will best suit you.

Similarly, there are dozens of CRM applications on the market today. Unless you are a software/tech wiz, you will not be able to proactively tell the difference between each of them and what competitive advantage each has to offer.

What is CRM? A CRM tool is a database that keeps record of all interactions your staff have with the people and companies you do business with. A comprehensive CRM database ensures that nothing falls through the crack and that you stay on top of your deadlines and tasks day in and day out.

Carmel Vision offers an affordable, all-encompassing on-premise CRM tool  (InfoFlo) for all business, regardless of their competitiveness or size. All interested parties are welcome to download a free trial version of our CRM application. No credit cards and long term commitments are required. Click here to download.


7 LinkedIn Tips for Sales Professionals

Sales professionals can use LinkedIn to increase their network, learn about prospects, do research for sales opportunities, and communicate with decision makers. Here are 7 tips for sales professionals to optimize LinkedIn:

  • If your profile isn’t complete, your potential connections might not trust who you are when you reach out to them. Flesh it out with relevant information that helps potential connections learn about you, and maybe even trust you too. Here is a list of ten overused buzzwords you should avoid in your profile.


  • Grow your network audaciously. If you want to use LinkedIn for sales purposes, it’s well advised to have a very large network. I’m not talking hundreds of first-degree contacts; I’m talking thousands, if not more.


  • Ask for introductions from your connections. When you do searches, make sure you don’t forget your first-degree contacts as you reach out to prospective contacts. As you do this, you’ll put your brand and messaging top-of-mind with your first-degree contacts. Make sure to foster individual relationships so you don’t just take-take-take in the affiliation. Remember: Relationships are two-way streets.


  • Join Groups where your audience is, or where their contacts are. Contribute to Group Discussions, but more importantly, browse through the members to look for contacts that you can convert. Send Group Members Inmail messages with clear, concise messaging—focus on the relationship, but let them know why you want to connect and how they can benefit from your relationship. The last thing you should do is send a template message like so:

LinkedIn invitation



  • Consider advertising on LinkedIn. Their new advertising features afford you with the ability to choose certain types of LinkedIn users. It’s comparatively expensive, but the ads go in front of a demographic that is supposedly above average in regard to income, professional status, and decision-making power.


  • Become a LinkedIn writer. All LinkedIn users with connections are able to publish articles on LinkedIn Pulse. If enough people read, share and like the articles, LinkedIn will give them wider distribution – just like the content its Influencers are publishing.


  • Make yourself searchable. Many sales professionals forget to share their profiles with major search engines and hide their profiles from internal searches. Wrong move if you are in sales. Be sure to also include your email and work number as well as ensure that whatever is visible online is up-to-date.

To be successful in sales, you need access to a powerful tool that will enable you to measure and maintain your sales pipeline management. You need a tool that will allow you to quickly calculate such things as Number of Leads, The Average Cost Per Conversion and Drop Off/Win Rate. That’s InfoFlo! Click here to learn more about InfoFlo CRM.


8 Ways to Improve Your Rapport Building Skills

Here are 8 tips for our customers on how to build customer rapport in sales:

  1. Make sure your body language, words, and tone of voice are all professionally aligned. I remember one time I was told, “I’m sorry, you’ll be much happier with this solution instead,” which made very upset. I wasn’t upset with the fact that he was trying to solve my problem. On the contrary, I would have preferred someone to correct me if I was wrong. His body language showed me otherwise – a person who looked at me as another customer wasting his time. He was already eyeballing the next customer walking through the doors.
  2. Always make eye contact with the person(s) you are conferring with. Don’t stare at one person in particular – look at everyone equally. They say that there’s only three degrees of separation between equality (looking squarely at someone), self-centeredness (looking down at someone), and insecurity (looking up at someone with a raised head).
  3. Be genuine in your excitement and enthusiasm. Customers are easily influenced by a sales representative who is confident in their sales skills and loves their job.
  4. Watch how you speak to people. Try to match the pitch, speed, and volume of the person(s) speaking to/with you. That means, if someone is talking in a quiet voice, you should do the same.
  5. Check your attitude problems at the door. Use your positive body language list to reposition your attitude until your mood improves.
  6. Listen before talking. The last thing you want is to talk about you and your products/services and how they are great. Perhaps the customer wants something different. You will never know until you ask.
  7. Eliminate the “I” in every sentence you say. Replace the “I” with “you”. How will the customer benefit from your products or services?
  8. Sales agents should be able to adapt their approach – there is no reason to think that all customers should be approached using the same style.

Remember that it takes less then one minute to make an impression with a decision maker. Make the right impression and you will develop trust and get the sale. Develop the wrong impression and you will lose the business to someone else.


6 Mental Skills All Successful Sales Managers Have In Common

Looking to become successful in sales, especially if you are in a cut-throat, competitive industry? Here are 6 mental skills that all successful sales managers have in common. It would help you to have them as well.


1. Attitude

Successful sales managers realize that attitude is just a choice and that they should always choose the one that is positive. They view each prospect as an opportunity to compete and learn from their successes and failures. More so, they pursue excellence, as opposed to perfection, and realize that being a successful sales manager does not always mean being perfect.


2. Motivation

Successful sales managers realize the rewards and benefits of their work. They are able to persist through the difficult tasks and slow times, especially when the rewards and benefits are immediately imminent.


3. Goals & Commitment

Successful sales managers have goals that are realistic, both short term and long term. They are aware of how well they are currently performing and are able to develop detailed plans that will help lead them to their goals.


4. Self-Talk

Successful managers in sales are able to maintain self-confidence during slow times with realistic and positive self-persuasion. They would coach themselves as they would their best friends or colleagues. They would also use self-talk to control negative behaviors and thoughts during competitive and slow times.


5. People Skills

Successful managers in sales realize that they are part of a team and that they cannot prosper alone without the help of their teammates. When appropriate, the managers communicate their thoughts and feelings to the people that listen to them. They also have effective skills for dealing with difficult clients, opponents and colleagues.


6. Customer Intelligence

The best sales managers understand that their business cannot survive without customers, and the better they understand their customers, the more successful they are likely to be. They thereby create specific personas for their target customers.


To be successful in sales, you need access to a powerful tool that will enable you to measure and maintain your sales pipeline management. You need a tool that will allow you to quickly calculate such things as Number of Leads, The Average Cost Per Conversion and Drop Off/Win Rate. That’s InfoFlo! Click here to learn more about InfoFlo CRM.


7 Characteristics of Productive Sales Reps

We surveyed 100 sales managers who recently purchased one of our CRM Software package. Here are 7 characteristics that they believe all productive sales reps should have:




1. Plan Your Day

The surveyed sales managers suggested planning daily activities the night before, which would allow you to get the ground running earlier each and every day.

2. Get Enough Sleep

The average time a sales manager sleeps is 7 hours. Several sleep studies cited in a recent WSJ article have also argued that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep when it comes to various cognitive and health markers.

3. Drink Coffee

Over 50% of our surveyed sales manager stated that they relied on coffee in order to get into their daily routine. According to FDA, 200-400 mg of coffee is safe enough to drink for the everyday adult. Too much of it can cause restlessness, tremors, irritability and insomnia.

4. Embrace Mobile

Mobile devices are the key to modern sales productivity. Over 75% of sales managers surveyed listed Evernote and their CRM tools as their most used productivity tools.

5. Leadership

Respect and trust are easy words to say, but much harder to earn with customers. A great sales rep will practice what they preach- they inspire those who matter to them and to whom they matter to through example.

6. Take Initiative

Sales reps don’t wait for orders. They’re go-getters and take matters into their own hands. Being disciplined like this helps salesmen to stay on track. If something has to be sold, there is a way to do it.

7. CRM

All our sales managers agreed that their CRM tool was important and helped them become productive. The tool helped them organize their prospecting efforts, manage and share tasks, record details about specific customer calls and more.

To be successful in sales, you need access to a powerful tool that will enable you to measure and maintain your sales pipeline management. You need a tool that will allow you to quickly calculate such things as Number of Leads, The Average Cost Per Conversion and Drop Off/Win Rate. That’s InfoFlo! Click here to learn more about InfoFlo CRM.


7 Great Books for Start-Up Owners

Start-up business owners encounter many problems especially in the first 5 years of business. Some of them are internal. These include finance, machinery, human resources, etc. Other factors are external and include competition, the state of economy, changing consumer behavior, etc. If you are start-up business owner looking to ace sales and make your business a success, you should read these 7 books:


InfoFlo Book Recommendations


1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (2007) is a self-help book written by Timothy Ferriss, an American writer, educational activist, and entrepreneur. He came up with the ideas presented in the book while working 14-hour days at a sports nutrition supplement company. Frustrated by the long hours and lack of free time, Ferriss took a 3-week sabbatical. During that sabbatical, Ferriss developed a streamlined system of checking email once per day and outsourcing small daily tasks to virtual assistants. His personal escape from a workaholic lifestyle was the inspiration for this book.


2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap And Others Don’t – Jim Collins

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t is a self-help book written by James C. Collins that examines how businesses transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies could fail in the transition. The book is recommended for all companies that are not born with great DNA and for “below average” companies that are struggling to make ends meet. To write the book, Collins hired a large team of researchers who studied 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project.  The book was a HIT, selling 4 million copies and going far beyond the traditional audience of business books.


3. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – Michael E. Gerber

This book has been recommended by almost every entrepreneur I’ve heard lecture and for good reason. It is the revised and updated version of the phenomenal bestseller The E-Myth (1985), which dispels the myths about starting your own business. Gerber argument is that business owners rarely make good business people, despite the fact that many of them have great and innovative ideas. They fail in business because they are rarely able to connect with their target market and convert good prospects into loyal customers. To help prevent other entrepreneurs from making fatal mistakes, Gerber presented in an easily understood book an effective business model that guides entrepreneurs through at all stages of growth.


4. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future – Chris Guillebeau

In the $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau discusses the challenges a small business encounters when starting and growing. This book is a guide for small business start-ups to overcome these challenges. The $100 Startup is the result of research by surveys and hundreds of interviews with success of startup businesses. Most points in the book are illustrated by examples.


5. Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion – Gary Vaynerchuk

This book is about knowing your passion and earning profits pursuing it using the Internet. Gary Vaynerchuk says you need to have the passion to make profits. The author emphasizes using online platform and personal branding to promote business. The book is a good guide for people who want to start business promotion through social media tools, to succeed offline or online business.


6. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries

The Lean Startup encourages companies that are able to leverage human creativity effectively and are able to use capital more efficiently. This assertion is an inspiration from lean manufacturing. The whole logic of the book depends on rapid scientific experimentation, validated learning, a number of counter initiative practices that can shorten product development cycles without resorting to vanity metrics.


7. Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes

What do pagers, walkmen, alarm clocks, answering machines, alarm clocks and GPSs have in common? They all have fallen victim to big bang disruption, as Larry Downes and Paul Nunes explain in their stimulating new book, Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation (Penguin, 2014) put it. Big bang disruptions are large-scale, fast-paced innovations that can disrupt stable businesses very rapidly. The point of this book is to document what is known about this phenomenon and the book gives very good examples. There’s nothing better than following in the footsteps of giants who made it big with the start-up idea.


No marketing or sales strategy is complete without an all-encompassing, on-premise CRM tool. Check out InfoFloSoftware and download free trial today!


10 Traits of the Worst Sales People

10 Traits of the Worst Sales People that you should always avoid:

bad sales experience

1. Lateness

Not being punctual for meeting and customer phone calls is a big no-non in the sales world. First impressions are also the lasting ones.


2. Poor Presentation

Presentation is the first thing that a customer sees. Make sure your shirt is tucked in, your top button is done up and your tie in the right place. As well, you want to make sure your tie is long enough to hit the belt line and your belt line is in the middle. Forgetting to put on a belt may cause your pants to fall too low, which also affects your presentation. As well, keep your files organized in a duo-tang or binder. Take them out only when needed.


3. Bad Temper

Good sales reps know how to control themselves. Bad sales reps, on the other hand, lose their temper over every small thing. Sales environments keep people on edge, with lots of pressure coming down from the top to hit sales quotas. A good rep is able to take that pressure that comes down from above, and put a positive spin on it while encouraging, and supporting their staff members.


4. Focus too much on making the sale

Bad sales representatives focus too much of their attention on the product or service they are selling and not enough on the particular needs and wants of the potential and existing client. No two customers are the same; each solution you propose must be customized to their needs.


5. Poor Organization

Sales people without organization will fail. They cannot inspire others, motivate performance, or create sustainable value to their team. The best place to find help in keeping yourself and your tasks and schedules organized is a On-Premise CRM tool.


6. Focus on Themselves Only

If a sales rep doesn’t understand the concept of “service above self” they will not win over the trust, confidence, and loyalty of their customers. Any sales rep is only as good as his or her customer’s desire to buy the products they sell.


7. See Experience as Tangible

Experience is definitely important, but when it doesn’t translate into better skills, better performance, and greater achievement it is useless. Experience that just “is” is a waste. Saying “I have more experience in sales” is like saying “I don’t need to justify my decisions or actions.”


8. Failing to Admit Mistakes

Failing to admit responsibility or mistakes should not be in the vocabulary of sales rep. Making sales for your business is hard. We’re human and we make mistakes too. When we make mistakes, it impacts everyone. There is nothing wrong with apologizing and moving past them.


9. Confusion

One of the worst things you can do in sales is not know when to close a sale. It’s not just a common fault, but a lethal one as well.


10. No follow-ups

Not following up on a hot prospect is bad practice in sales. It is courteous and good for business to see if the customer is still interested, wants to renew or is satisfied with the product/service they received.


How To Pitch a Story to a Journalist

Journalists are very picky people and for good reason. You would be, too, if you had hundreds of people a day emailing you and asking if they could feature your story….Especially when every caller is thinking that their story is more important than the last person that called or emailed you.

Try implementing the following 5 tips to help build relationships with key journalists and boost the odds of getting coverage.

Write a catchy subject line. If you want to break through the clutter, you need to stand out. It also helps to noticeably indicate that you are sending a release or pitch, so the recipient knows it’s not an email that is meant to be in the junk box.

Personalize it. Avoid mass emails with no personalized messages. Research the journalists who cover your area and focus on what they want to hear. Target your pitch to the individual journalist and make reference to their individual work. Don’t overgeneralize.

Get to the point. Your pitch is going to a journalist, not the readers just yet. You don’t need to quote each person or list every source. Offer them the general summary (abstract); the journalist will decide what to feature and what not to.

Timing can be everything. Try to time your pitch with the relevant news of the day. If you are launching a snow-removal service, don’t start pitching in the middle of summer. For example, no one wants to be pitched about Christmas in March.

Be story focused.  Focus the story on the facts, rather than the opinions and speculations. If you want to add an opinion, put it in quotations. Follow the 5W AND 1H rule.

Sales people should also pay attention to these tips as they are applicable to those who do email marketing campaigns. InfoFlo is an on-premise CRM tool that offers an email marketing add-on to all interested enterprises looking to build their customer base this way. Each user with email marketing access can easily create professional email marketing campaigns and email templates, manage subscribers, and send to unlimited contacts all for one flat fee of $49/user.


7 Ways to Appear Smarter in Meetings

Here are 7 easy ways to come out of a sales meeting smarter than your colleagues and other managers:


1. Draw a Diagram

It doesn’t matter if it is accurate or wildly inaccurate. In fact, the more inaccurate it is the better. The best sort of diagram is the Venn Diagram. Before you put your pen down, you’ll notice how colleagues will start to fight over how big the circles are or aren’t and what data should and should not go in the circles etc.


2. Encourage Everyone to Take a Step Back

All you have to say is “Can we take a step back”. There comes a point in almost every meeting where everyone is chiming, except you. Follow up your statement with “what problem are we trying to solve?”


3. Nod While Pretending to Taking Notes

Always come equipped to a meeting with a notepad and pen. Your rejection of the use of technology will be respected by all colleagues and managers. Take notes by writing down one word for every sentence you hear.


4. Ask: “Will This Scale?”

No one ever knows what scalable means, but it’s a good way to catch your colleagues’ attention and drive them nuts thinking what the word means. Then take the lead!


5. Ask the Presenter to Go Back One Slide

This will immediately make you look like you’re paying closer attention than everyone else in the meeting. Don’t have anything to say? Just say “I’m not sure what this means.”


6. Make Fun of Yourself

Colleagues love self-depreciating humour. Say something along the lines of “Maybe we can just use the lawyers from my real estate deal” Or “Gosh, I wish I was on vacation”. Everyone will probably agree and start laughing.


7. Don’t be Afraid to Speak Up

The more you can contribute to a conversation, a meeting, or other discourse, the smarter you’ll look. Do it with oomph and expression and everyone will love you for it.
What are your goals as manager or leader of your department or business? If you feel like you need to work on working smarter and more productive, contact Carmel Vision. We have just the right solution for your business needs. It is our belief that change does not always have to necessitate breaking the bank.

Download free trial of our Customer Relationship Management tool here.


Indifference and its Purpose in Sales

Indifference is probably the most effective of all 4 impulse factors. I’ve made an incredible amount of sales on my ability to convey indifference alone! If you can portray GENUINE indifference to your prospects, they will be compelled to buy now and not even think about asking if they can buy it later.

This is a basic psychological fact and it can’t be denied. If you want to compete with the pro’s then you must master indifference in your sales pitch. You can’t get around it!!

I believe, indifference is best portrayed non verbally, it is instilled in the reader by the context of your written words on a sales page and not by the actual words themselves. Face to face or in “copy”, indifference is basically something you imply. The best way I can explain this is by saying that indifference is the “It doesn’t matter to me.” or “I don’t care.” attitude. It’s the aura that you project which makes the prospect feel like it’s of no worry to you if they choose not to buy. INDIFFERENCE IS VERY IMPORTANT IN SALES!

Indifference is the opposite of over-zealousness or being desperate for the sale. It is the cool, nonchalant twin of “Fonzy” from the tv show “Happy Days.” This is extremely powerful simply because you are making the prospect feel like you don’t care if they miss out on the product. Your job is just to show them the product and nothing more.

People inherently want what they unfortunately cannot have. That being said, if you make it too easy for them to have it or you try too hard, they won’t want to purchase from you.

“You have to PULL the string… Not PUSH it!”

For example, if you’re struggling to hit a goal, you’re probably frustrated and its showing all over your face. And if it’s showing all over your face, then you have lost all of your indifference. All the customer sees on your face is desperation, “please buy this from me.” You have to keep your business posture at all times and remain indifferent about the sale. You must portray that it doesn’t matter to you if they buy your product or not.

Many times, marketers and sales people make the mistake of getting overly excited when they feel they have a prospect on the hook. Don’t get too excited until after the sale is closed.

Experience has proven to me, that on the days where I was care free about hitting a goal I made more sales. That’s because I didn’t have desperation written all over my face.

It’s because I set out those days with fun on my mind. My body language was telling people: “I don’t care if you buy from me or not.” People will be drawn to that type of attitude and behavior. Prospects will want to buy from you just because they like who you are. I’ve had people buy from me when they didn’t even need or want my product but simply liked me. Bottom line, you are selling yourself!!

Did you ever have a crush on someone in school but the more you tried to talk to them the more they played hard to get? Then when you gave up on them and moved your attention to someone else suddenly the first person pops up and shows interest in you? That’s because you became indifferent to them and people inherently want what they can’t have!

Home shopping channels use indifference by displaying a picture of the next product that they will be selling. Almost as if to say “It doesn’t matter if you don’t buy this because we’re about to move on to something else anyways.”

“We’re just about done with this item but don’t worry because coming up we have …. ” Again this is impulse building through indifference. The sales people are not done selling this product yet, but they are already talking to you about the next one.

Have you used indifference in sales? Share your experiences with us and see how a comprehensive CRM software can fit into your cycle.

Contact Carmel Vision today. We have just the right solution for your business and sales needs. It is our belief that change does not always have to necessitate breaking the bank.