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Your Biggest Sales Mistake, Mother Hen

Your pipeline looks rock solid. You’ve got five clients working their way towards a close. Even though you’re never absolutely certain you will win all of them, your confidence is high that you will win each of them. So your working your deals, as you should be.

But as you work these deals through your pipeline, there are periods of time when there isn’t much happening. There are days where you don’t need to do anything. There are weeks between some meetings. These deals are in the middle of your sales process, and you are sitting on them like a mother hen, keeping them warm, making sure they hatch.

But in the meantime, your pipeline is getting weaker.

Your Future Results Now

Your future results are being determined by the actions you take now. Today.

It’s a mistake to go long periods of time without prospecting, without nurturing your dream clients, and without doing the work of building your future pipeline. You need to do the work that ensures that you win the clients you now have in process, but that doesn’t mean you can go without doing the work that provides you with new opportunities after you’ve won them.

It’s an enormous mistake to stop prospecting because your pipeline is healthy right now. And it’s easy to let up on the most difficult part of selling when you feel that you have your number made.

Wave after Wave

Making the mistake of letting up on prospecting because you have a good number of deals in your pipeline produces sporadic results. You have a good quarter, and then you go a couple quarters without putting up any numbers. Those empty quarters are the result of your not having done the work you needed to do two, three, or four quarters in the past.

This is a recipe for missing your number. It’s a recipe for missed opportunities. And it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

You’re going to have some waves in your results anyway. It’s natural. Through no fault of your own, some deals don’t make it across the line. But you make the waves worse when you don’t do the work that would flatten out your results and keep you delivering successful quarter after successful quarter.

You’re a good salesperson. But you could be a great salesperson. The difference is in what you do when there is nothing to do.


Why do we resist doing the work we need to do when we have a strong pipeline?

How much time do you really have for opportunity creating activities when you are working live deals?

Are your results as consistent as you want them to be? Or are they sometimes sporadic?

Is the cause of the variations in the result something you’re doing? What might you do differently?

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  • TM8 Recruitment

    Good article. Happens to the best of us, it’s tough to put those things aside and focus on prospecting, but you gotta do it!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks! It’s good to be reminded before you are reminded in a more painful manner, no?

  • Joe DeGiorgio

    This was my mistake when I first got into sales. Nurturing the same deals instead of trying to find new ones as well. Quite a lesson there!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      It’s called digging your well before you’re thirsty. Been there. Done that. Learned the hard way, too!

  • Sid Pharasi

    I LOVE the very last line of this piece. Simple, direct, and powerful. Thanks!