The Biggest Mistakes Rookie Salespeople Make

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if sales were easy, everybody would work in sales.

While many service-based sales professionals create thriving businesses and enjoy lives of freedom, so many others are unable to make it work in the long term. The numbers don’t lie:

87 percent of new real estate agents quit within five years.

90 percent of financial advisors fail to stay in business.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re committed to offering an exceptional, personalized experience to your customers, you can be successful beyond your wildest dreams.

Today, I’m going to tell you the top four mistakes rookie salespeople make—along with suggestions for what you can do instead.

Failing to make a script their own.

Scripts and processes provide a path to success in sales. But the problem with a lot of rookies is they tend to pitch atpeople, instead of engaging them in conversation.

In other words, they commit a script to memory and assume those words alone will be enough to close the deal.

Great salespeople don’t just memorize scripts—they internalize and personalize them. They figure out the “why” of the script and learn the deeper meaning behind the words.

Once you’ve memorized and internalized a script, you can truly begin to make it your own. Practice your tone and inflection. Figure out how to make the words sound more like you.

Ultimately, the person on the other end of the phone wants to feel like they are having an actual conversation, and they can definitely sense when you’re reading directly from a script.

Overlooking the pain points of clients.

One of the biggest mistakes rookie salespeople make is thinking they’re selling a product, rather than offering the solution to a problem or an amazing addition to someone’s life.

Too many salespeople are so focused on their own job and not on what clients actually need. They spend so much time learning scripts and so little time understanding the industries of the people they’re calling.

A lot of the greatest companies find their roots in another industry. For example, a real estate marketing company might be founded by someone who used to be an agent. As a former agent, that person is uniquely qualified to create a product that will help agents do their job better.

You need to know your product inside and out, while also understanding how it solves the pain points of your customers. Only then will you start to see results.

Not having the right mind-set.

The third mistake rookies make is not realizing that sales is all about mind-set.

You’re going to get 90 percent more objections than sales (if not 99 percent). If you’re going to succeed, you have to learn to deal with rejection.

Ultimately, calling prospects is a numbers game. Even if you don’t make the sale, it’s never a loss. Every call you make, you’ve won in some way. You either make the sale or you learn that the sale won’t happen. In either case, you move on to the next call and try again.

The truth is a lot of new sales reps take rejection so personally that they let it affect their work ethic and attitude.

Don’t succumb to negative thinking. Learn the technique of smiling and dialing. If people can hear the positivity in your voice, they’ll be more receptive to what you’re saying and more likely to buy.

Assuming they know everything.

While you need to have a positive mind-set to succeed in sales, you also need to be willing to adapt.

When you’re starting at a new company, there’s sometimes a temptation to apply everything you learned working somewhere else. The problem with this is that what works for one product or clientele won’t necessarily work for another.

That’s why your first goal at a new company should be to shadow the top producers and find out what they’re doing. Talk to them, go to lunch with them, and learn everything you can about what makes them successful. Who you associate with is who you become—in other words, your vibe is your tribe.

Download a sample of our customizable marketing tool, American Lifestyle.

On that note, be careful when you run into salespeople with negative attitudes. People tend to build camaraderie over misery, and so many rookie sales reps dwell in negativity. They bond over the work being “too hard,” while not realizing they’re actually in complete control of their destiny.

Practice extreme ownership. 10 percent of your success comes from what you were taught, while 90 percent stems from your ability to persevere and work hard.

As Grant Cardone says, frequency comes before greatness. The more you do something, the more natural it feels to do it. From there, you can evolve, fine tune your approach, and continually get better.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, two things make a salesperson truly great: belief in the product and belief in yourself. You can’t sell something you don’t believe is helping people. You also can’t sell anything if you don’t believe that you can sell it.

If you believe wholeheartedly in what you’re doing and support that belief with an unstoppable work ethic, you will thrive.

Written by Luke Acree

Luke Acree, President of ReminderMedia, is a sales fanatic, a marketing evangelist, and an expert team builder. Luke has worked with tens of thousands of agents over the years, helping them understand how to connect with their client database in a way that generates leads, secures repeat clients, and captures referrals.