You might think you're willing to do whatever it takes to make the sale, but are you sure it's worth it?

Being too pushy or obviously false can not only harm your chance at a sale, but also hurt your company's reputation. At best, you may get the sale only to see an uptick in refund requests.

So before you embark on your next campaign (or send your sales team out the door for a final holiday push), learn what a panel of entrepreneurs from YEC suggest that you stop doing at all costs.

1. Making wild client-centric promises.

If your sales team is making promises based on what they think the prospect wants to hear to approve the deal, they're hurting your business. This is like the weakling who calls out the professional fighter. Creating unwinnable situations with promises your company has no chance of keeping will only anger clients and spur a rash of refunds and/or lawsuits. All of these hurt your brand and reputation.--Joshua Lee, StandOut Authority

2. Being too persistent.

I've had some SaaS companies email me 20-plus times even though I have never indicated any interest. It just makes them look desperate and cheapens the brand by trying so hard.--Josh Weiss, Bluegala

3. Using photos of other prominent people in ads.

If you've spent any amount of time on Facebook lately, there's a good chance you've seen ads featuring photos of prominent people you've heard of. All too often, those ads aren't sanctioned by the person in the photograph. I've seen multiple startups try this and have it backfire and kill their reputation.--Sean Ogle, Location 180, LLC

4. Misrepresenting your relationship with others.

Someone I share a networking group with dropped my name without permission while soliciting new deals, then acted surprised and offended when I found out and asked the person to discontinue. Always ask individuals before using their name to make a sale.--Lane Campbell, Syntress SCDT

5. Invasive door-to-door tactics.

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't you also hate it when someone just barges into your day trying to sell you on a product? While what you do may be awesome, my impression of you is that you're a nuisance, as you've disrupted my flow and put me on the spotlight to purchase. This especially annoys me when you don't know what my company does. Be meaningful and come in with specific solutions to problems I may have.--Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

6. Spam (or anything your customer considers spam).

Email, text, comments, content calls or anything that anyone out there considers spam you should stay away from. Build an amazing reputation by having a phenomenal product that people love. They will sell your product for you. Stop all your spamming. Instead, have your customer build your company for you.--John Rampton, Host

7. Pretending to know your prospect personally.

A sales tactic I do not recommend is pretending to know your prospective client when you've never met them. I often get emails from people I've never met, with messages like "When can we schedule that call we spoke about?" Don't start a relationship with a lie, nor assume your prospect has a bad memory.--Phil Chen, Systems Watch

8. Using Fwd: in your email subject line.

Although very tempting, I strongly recommend against using Fwd: as part of your sales email because it hurts your reputation.--Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

 

Published on: Nov 24, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.