4 Mistakes Young Salespeople Make

sales techniques, MIT
Phil Marden
2 of 4

They don’t show deference.

"I can help you," amateurs like to inform their prospects. How presumptuous is that? Prospects may be founders of successful businesses or corporate executives; they are experts in their industry. Salespeople? They are merely salespeople. "Don't say, 'I can help you,'" advises Basho's Jeff Hoffman. Instead, "Say, 'That's very interesting what you just said. A lot of our clients say the same thing. Let me tell you how we’ve helped them.'" This is especially critical when selling into a small or midsize company. "The life of a small business owner is that is, Everybody and their mother want to sell you stuff," says David Spector, an account executive at Google who founded the MIT sales club as a student. "You want to make it really clear that you have a lot of respect for the fact that I know everything, and that I have given you 15 minutes."