Dos and Don'ts To Become Successful Within Sales
22nd May 2018
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In my opinion, anyone can be successful in sales, you just need to find your own way. However, you have to start somewhere right?

For me, this is a clear foundation of Dos and Dont's. Setting the standard of how you communicate, behave, present and build proposals to new and existing sales prospects.

So, here is my secret. My 7 Dos and 7 Don'ts of successful selling!


  1. Flexibility - Always be flexible with your processes and pricing. The world is a very challenging and competitive environment at the moment. Every new client I have been involved with this year, I have had to be flexible in my approach. It doesn't mean I am the cheapest but it does mean that sometimes I have had to adapt my companies ways or working to fit within the client's environment. It is hugely important to show that you are adaptable and willing compromise for the greater good.
  2. Honesty - This is really key for me. I personally make sure that we do our utmost to succeed every client's expectations. The only way we achieve this is by being honest with ourselves and our clients as to what is achievable and what isn't. Not everything will go smoothly and there is nothing worse than working with a company or point of contact that isn't honest when things go wrong or become a challenge.
  3. Offer Solutions Not Additional Problems - It is so important to offer clients a solution to the problem or requirement they initially have without over selling from the beginning. It is so tempting to take the 20min presentation slot to offer every service you have. Making most of the opportunity is great but sometimes you can distract the client from the key objectives and they can end up asking more questions about other areas. Remember, upselling is easier once a relationship is in place.
  4. Be Yourself - People buy from people. All of my clients know the 'real' me! I am the same person from Monday to Friday as I am from Saturday to Sunday. Some individuals feel they have to behave in a certain way because they are in sales. This may work in the short run but will never build long-term and valuable relationships. I have personally learnt this through my career and become more successful the more I have let people see the 'real' me!
  5. Keep Everything Simple - For achieving a sale is simple. You need to concentrate on ticking all the boxes required. I have seen over complicated proposals time and time again. Keep it simple! Communicate with the client about there issues or enquiry but speaking with them. Never respond with a simple email. During discussions following an initial enquiry, you can really obtain what the key checklist looks like. This will then give you the foundations to build a proposal or RFI that ticks the boxes and is relevant to the needs and requirements.
  6. Believe In Your Services or Products - You have to honestly believe in your services and products. If you don't have passion or belief in your services or products, how can you expect your clients to buy into them?
  7. Know What and Who You Are Up Against - Knowing your competition is key! Always know the ins and outs of your competitors. You have to really understand what separates you from everyone else to obtain the advantage.


  1. Stupid Questions - This is something that truly irritates me. Make sure you listen to the client! I always want my staff and team to try their utmost to make sure that when they submit their initial proposal it is close to being 100% as possible. There is nothing worse as a client than having to repeat yourself to individuals who haven't listened and in turn feeling that the potential supplier is asking stupid questions.
  2. Never Be Defensive - It is very easy to be defensive when receiving criticism or not quite meeting the mark. Take it on the chin and always find a positive to make the next proposal or RFI even better than your last. Always respond in a positive light, you never know if your services will be required at a later date!
  3. Never Be Negative - It is a known fact that sales is a numbers game. You will lose more than you win. When you receive a 'no', recap on any mistakes and give the next opportunity the 100%. Making improvements is not negative, give everything a positive spin and use it to get better and better.
  4. Never Get Too Comfortable and Take Clients For Granted - Never take your clients for granted. It is well known that clients decide to move on or not renew contracts when they feel neglected. Make a real effort to keep communication up and ask them if all is ok. Customer Service is key to long-term relationships!
  5. Never 'Wing It' Or Pretend You Know The Answer - Clients can smell a lack of knowledge a mile off. If you don't know the answer, be honest with yourself and your clients. Try not to be a jack of all trades. Clients will appreciate that you have gone out and found someone who truly knows their stuff.
  6. Don't Be Needy - Its important to always communicate with clients or potential clients but its also important to not come across as desperate. Buying processes are usually long nowadays due to financial constraints and internal structures. Take time to understand the client's processes and procedures and work to those timeframes.
  7. Don't Give Up! - The most important point of all! Do not give up! 'No' doesn't mean 'No' its just means its a 'no for now'. Being in sales is hard but the individuals who reap the rewards and become successful is because they never gave up! Never quit when its hard, stick with it and the rewards will be that much sweeter.

I am always open to opinions and how others have become successful!

Success is down to the individual! If you stick the above, I can guaranty you will see an improvement in your own results as well as your teams.

I would also love to hear other individuals Dos and Don'ts. Do you agree with me? Would you add anything?

Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

Happy Selling!!

Adam Johnson

About the Author

Adam Johnson

Member since: 8th May 2018

Adam has jumped from the Security Industry to L&D as a Global BD Director some 6 years ago and now has the benefit of combining these unique skill sets into a guaranteed formula for success. Adam has been...

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