Guest Contributor

4 of the Worst Sales Negotiation Mistakes That You Should Avoid

By | Milena Gallo

Have you ever been so close to closing a deal that somehow ends up falling through the cracks? Most salespeople have experienced this frustrating situation. You go through the sales process only to get an objection at the end that you didn’t see coming. Could you have misread the non-verbal cues your customer was expressing or a relationship and lostthe sale?

It’s frustrating to be so close to securing the sale and then lose it. Sales training gamescan help you avoid some common sales mistakes. In this article, we will discuss four common sales negotiation mistakes and how to avoid them.

Hard Selling a Product or Service

In an effort to meet targets, sales reps can often find themselves overselling their product. Hard selling can lose you the sale and the customer relationship if you don’t think about who the customer is and what their needs are.

The problem with trying to make a hard sell is that your prospect isn’t allowed the time to evaluate the product or service’s value and what other optionsare available. You might make a few sales in the short run, but your chances of getting repeat custom may dwindle if customers feel coerced. If the product turns out to be useless to the buyer, you may receive backlash in the form of negative word of mouth.

It pays to know how the products or services you’re selling meet the needs of your customers. So, it’s important to first to find out what each customer’sneeds are. Then, go to the negotiation table armed with ways your product or service can address those needs.

In top sales training games, sellers learn to avoid forcing a match between a customer’s needs and what they are selling. Forcing a match when there isn’t one wastesboth yours and the customer’stime.

Not Knowing the Decision-Maker

Youmay be confident in your sales negotiation skills and have used these skills effectively in the sales call. Then your customer says, “I need to consult with my partner before making a decision.”

People who must refer to someone else to make a purchasing decision are often not the decision-maker. Knowing who the decision-makers are early on in the sales process saves you a lot of time. Negotiating only with a decision maker avoidswasting time negotiating with a gatekeeper who will ultimately have no or a lesser say in whether your product or service is purchased or not.

Find out from your contact as early as possible if they are the final decision-maker in the buying process. Otherwise, despite deploying all the right sales techniques, you may end up not making the sale at all.

Using Untested Assumptions About the Buyer

Interactive sales negotiations games equip sales people to avoid incorrect assumptions. Preconceptions about your customers and their buying behavior can guide your sales approach. Thus, it is important to research the buyer to confirm your assumptions.

Find out what objections your customer might have or if there are any budgetary constraints. Having this information beforehand comes in handy as you:

  • Overcome objections before they come up.
  • Ensure the service or product addresses the needs of your customers.
  • Canthoroughly answer any questions that customers raise.
  • Learn the prospect’s purchasing process.

How can you research the buyer? Negotiation training experts advocateasking relevant questions designed to find out as much as possible about the prospect. When you target your sales pitch to a customer’s individual needs, you have a greater chance of finalizing the sale.

Talking Too Much

Many salespeople are extroverts by nature and talking often comes naturally to them. However, when you talk too much, you reduce your chances of truly listening.

A negotiation tip that facilitators advise is that you ask open-ended questions. Give your customer an unlimited opportunity to provide relevant information. The more questions you ask, the better you understand your customer and the more likely you are to convert a prospect into a sale.

Take the time to listen to the answers your prospects give. The information may be important to the negotiation. If you’re not listening to your customer, you may miss the underlying reasons for them not buying.


The more you know about what you’re selling and your potential customers, the easier it is to make a sale. Test your assumptions by asking open-ended questions. Listen more to your prospects so you can increase your chances of meeting their needs.

Remember to find out as early as possible if the person you’re speaking to is the final decision-maker. Knowing this information will save you much-needed time to close the sale and achieve your sales targets.

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