ProSalesGuide sales site banner, sales training, sales planning, sales strategies, sales blogs

The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

6. Not Being Organized

By Steven J. Schmidt (2/16/09)

Organization is one of the key characteristics to being a successful salesperson. Not being organized can drastically hurt a sales rep in many areas.

I used to know a great salesman who used to work for a cable company. His job was focused on new acquisition customers, and he would sign up anywhere from 4-8 people per day. About 50 percent of those sales would get installed, and in turn would make him money.

We would all sign up a customer on a carbon copy, so that the customer would keep a copy. We would turn a copy into the cable company to get processed, and then we would keep a copy for our records.

The key word there, "records." This salesperson would not keep any of his carbon copies. I would ask him, "Shouldn't you keep your copies?" He would reply, "For what? The company has a copy and the customer does."

Well that's great until a situation backfires in your face. And, my friends, that is exactly what happened with him. The sales rep sold the customer a combo deal for $149.99. The customer called after they got their first bill and said that the sales rep sold her a deal that was supped to be for $99.99 a month. The cable company could not find the copy that they were supposed to have, and the customer could not find their copy either. Now, if the sales rep had saved his copy and kept some organization of it by the month or something, there would not have been a problem.

Because the sales rep was unorganized and didn't have the proper documentation, the customer threatened to take legal action, and the cable company had to giver her $50 credit.

After this, the salesman was docked for that sale and he started to keep records of all of his sales. That is one reason as to why you need to keep copies of all sales that are made. You never know when a situation may erupt. If the sales rep had the original copy and the client did in fact sign off on the $149.99 deal, then she would have to pay the bill and could not make a claim.

Another key of organization is having some sort of date book. It can be big or small. It doesn't really make much of a difference, but you must keep notes that you can understand. If there are appointments you must attend, then you should be on time. The risk of not having a date book can and will be the risk of not getting some sales. If you are not on time to an appointment, then what makes the customer think that they will get good service?

Not being organized can be a quick downfall of your sales career and can be overwhelming trying to catch up. Having organization such as date books and keeping copies of your records can only help. It will prevent any potential problems that may arise with a customer. Additionally, it will keep you focused for the next important task on hand, which might be another sale!

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

Sales Planning

Sales Training

Sales Features

Sales Blogs


For any questions or comments regarding the content of this site, contact Steven J. Schmidt:

e: schmidt.steven1@

For technical issues, link exchanging and advertising inquiries, contact Walter Cherepinsky: