alt text image of a trash can with missed paper balls all around it

Ten Mistakes That Kill Sales Opportunities

Here are ten mistakes you can make that will cost your deal.

  1. Taking Shortcuts: Anything that you believe leads to a faster deal leads to a no deal. You can’t rush your buyer through the process because you are in a hurry or because you are behind on your number.
  2. Asking for Unearned Commitments: You can’t ask for commitments that you haven’t earned. If you haven’t created the value to deserve the next commitment, pressing for that commitment will shut your deal down.
  3. Poor Follow Up: Failing to follow up on the little commitments you make only proves you don’t care, that you aren’t detail-oriented, and you can’t be counted on. Deal-breaker.
  4. Selling Without Dissatisfaction: If you can’t find or create a compelling reason for your prospective client to change, you aren’t going to make a sale. No deal.
  5. Not Doing Discovery: If you don’t do the discovery work necessary to know exactly how to help your prospective client, you aren’t going to create or win an opportunity. It’s over.
  6. Not Building Consensus: You have to believe me here. You aren’t going to win with a single stakeholder. You will lose if you can’t help your client build consensus. No votes.
  7. Failing to Make the Ask: If you don’t ask for access to the people and information you need to win a deal, you will lose that deal. You cannot fear “the ask.” Not asking is the same as no.
  8. An Inability to Articulate Value: You must be able to articulate the value that you and your solution creates. If can’t tell your client how they will be made better, you have no deal.
  9. Failure to Provide Proof: Your prospect is going to want some proof that you are who you say you are, that you will execute. Maybe you need a fancy ROI calculator. Or maybe you need a reference. Zilch.
  10. Being Transactional: Treating your prospective client as a means to an end is the fastest way to alienate them. And it’s a surefire way to lose. Brick.


What do you do that causes you to lose deals?

What have you seen someone else do that cost them a deal?

Which of these ten mistakes are you most at risk of making?  How do you change that?

Join my weekly Newsletter or apply for membership in my exclusive Inner Circle Mastermind Group.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast In the Arena.



  • Pingback: How Many Ways You Can Make Money Online? (Check Out This Eclectic Group)

  • Salespod

    Great list, very succinct and on-point! I’ve definitely seen all of these mistakes (and made a few of them myself, no doubt) but I think the one that’s most common and most frustrating has got to be #10. People want to be treated like people, even in business, and I think we are often too quick to forget that.

  • entrepreneur333

    Sent out to my whole team. Very good points Anthony.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks! Nothing like being reminded before you need to be reminded!

  • Pingback: Friday Faves 1.24.14 | Close it UP!