Some common sales mistakes many salespeople make include not knowing who your ideal client is, lack of understanding on the value you bring to your clients and networking in the wrong places.

1. Target Market (Ideal Client)

One of the biggest sales mistakes I hear from salespeople is not having a specific target market or ideal client. I often hear people say, “everyone is my target market.” You are not going to do business with everyone. It is best to narrow your focus and speak relevantly to your ideal target audience. Defining your target market is critical to your success. And, the more specific, the better.

3 keys to determine your ideal client:

  1. Your ideal client must need your product or service
  2. Your solution (product or service) must answer their challenges and pain points
  3. Your ideal client must be able to afford your product or service

verance consulting ideal client

Your target market affects:

  • Where you network
  • Who you are looking to meet
  • Who is searching for you
  • Your personal brand statement
  • Your marketing content –website, social media, marketing campaigns, nurture campaigns

Who is your ideal client? Answer the questions below.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
  • Male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • Where are they located?
  • What is their occupation?
  • What is their income?
  • What kind of house do they live in?
  • What kind of car do they drive?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What groups are they in?
Business-to-Business (B2B)
  • What industry are they in?
  • How many employees do they have?
  • What is their revenue?
  • Where are they located?
  • What is the title of the person that will buy your product or service?
  • Where do they hang out online? LinkedIn is generally ideal for B2B.
  • What online groups are they in?

2. Value Proposition

Common sales mistakes number two is having no unique value proposition. Your value proposition is a statement describing who you work with and the benefits your customer receives as a result of doing business with you.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is unique about you, your company, product or service?
  • What makes you different and worth their attention?
  • What excites your customer about the benefits you offer?
  • What value, or result, do they achieve when they do business with you or your company?
  • Do you stand out?
  • What is your story? Is it compelling?
  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • Why will your customer choose you over the competition?

3. Networking

Common sales mistakes number three is choosing the wrong networking groups. What are the right networking groups? They are filled with your ideal client. For example, if you sell to marketing directors, the American Marketing Association would be an ideal networking group for you or if you sell to manufacturers, the Virginia Manufacturers Association may be the right group for you. Keep in mind, the right prospects (your ideal client) have a need for your product or service, pain points that your solution answers and can afford you. Are you getting value from your networking groups or are you spending too much time with no reward?

How does your networking group rate?

  • List the networking meetings you attend.
  • Which networking meetings include your ideal client?
  • How many customers do you get from each networking group?
  • How many leads or referrals do you get from each?
  • What is the revenue associated with each?

If you do not like the answers you get when reviewing your networking groups, it may be time to make a change. Remember, time is money, so use your time wisely. Sales mistakes can be costly and keep many salespeople from meeting their quotas and personal income goals. Know your value, who your ideal client is, where to find them and how you can serve them. Make sure you have a plan and work toward achieving your sales goals every day.

Shelly Pereira is a Sales Coach and Trainer with Verance Consulting.