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Category: Sales · 4 min read

4 Sales Traps and How to Avoid Them

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on May 14, 2019

author profile photo

on May 14, 2019

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Here’s the thing about mouse traps: they hurt.  

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to experience getting your finger caught in a mouse trap, then you know what I mean. It’s not pleasant at all.  

But I want to talk to you about another kind of trap: Sales traps. These traps hurt, too, but it’s not an instant hurt. Instead, it’s a slow build over time that can lead you into some bad habits, which can hurt your business growth. 

Over time, it can be easy to get sidetracked and develop some habits in the sales process that may be hindering your effectiveness and sales delivery. To help get you back on track, here are four common sales traps and how you can avoid them.  


1. Not Enough Initial Discovery 

When you sit down with a prospect for the first time, it’s your chance to get to know them and determine their wants and needs. When you’re in the meeting, it can be tempting to rush to the solution part of things. You think you know what may help them, so you cut them off and cut to the chase.  

The problem lies in the early cutoff. By rushing to the solution, you eliminate the opportunity to learn more about your potential client. It could also lead to you presenting an incorrect product or strategy, because you didn’t give them long enough to explain their complete financial situation.  

By rushing to the solution, you eliminate the opportunity to learn more about your potential client.

To fix this, resist the urge to interrupt. Ask more questions than you normally would, and be patient. Let your prospects tell you all about themselves. Treat this as a long-term relationship, and you’re only on the first date. Get to know them and their situation before you bring up any solutions or products. Doing it this way can lead to highly-satisfied and engaged clients.  


2. Not Actively Listening 

As you meet with prospects and clients, it’s natural for your brain to tune out a little bit and multi-task or start thinking about how you’re going to respond to what the prospect or client is saying. But it takes some extra listening power to truly understand what’s being said.   

Instead of rehearsing in your head what you’re going to say back to them, pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal language your client or prospect is using. What’s their tone of voice like (is it sad, worried, anxious, calm, etc.)? What facial expressions are they using? Does their body language tell you anything about how they feel? Asking yourself these questions and being attentive to these cues can help you put yourself in their shoes, which could lead to a more effective solution.   


3. Not Setting Expectations for Next Steps 

Now it’s time to wrap up the meeting. How do you normally close? A common trap to fall into is to not clearly lay out next steps for the prospect. Instead, the meeting ends and the prospect leaves, not knowing what’s going to happen next. This can be confusing for the prospect, and detrimental to their perception of you.  

Don’t let this happen. As you’re ending the meeting, make sure that you’re both on the same page with expectations and what’s required to continue on in the process. If you forget to do this, it doesn’t hurt to either email or call the prospect with the appropriate next steps. 


4. Not Staying True to the Process 

When things ramp up and get busy, process can be one of the first things to be left behind. If the proper steps aren’t handled, things can quickly fall through the cracks. The right data doesn’t get entered into the system, follow-ups don’t happen, internal messages don’t get sent, and the list goes on.  

The moral here is that process matters. Just because you’re short on time, doesn’t mean you should skip the necessary steps. Doing so can cause more harm in the long run than saving time in the short-term. Preserve your prospect and client experience by following process.  

These traps may not seem very serious, but they can impact your sales over time and leave an impression on your prospects and clients. Check your sales process and habits to make sure you haven’t fallen into any of these, so you can make your business the best it can be.  

Preserve your prospect and client experience by following process.

For more ways to boost your sales, check out our Sales Builder tools, or contact us today.   



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Written By

Josh Gettler

National Vice President, Relationship Development

Josh Gettler is the National Vice President of Relationship Management at Brokers International. Josh has over 10 years of industry experience running FMOs, as well as selling policies as an agent. With expertise in recruiting FMOs, mergers and acquisitions and management, Josh is focused on how to grow and improve businesses through innovative ideas.

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