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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly

By Steven J. Schmidt (2/20/09)

A big mistake that many sales reps make is leaving the territory that they are working in way too quickly. The reason a salesman could leave his territory too early is because he is getting frustrated. Why? Well, because he isn't getting sales and isn't producing.

Now, I am not saying to NOT leave a certain territory if it's not working out for you, because sometimes you need a different location in order to succeed. But many times, I have seen sales reps leave territory before they gave it a legit shot. I've been guilty of this myself.

In one example I vividly remember was when I was selling Triple AAA memberships door-to-door. I was in a specific area that I thought was lucrative because of how close the homes were together. I figured I could play the numbers game and hit as many doors as possible, and I would get a lot of sales that way. In an hour, I earned just one sale. I figured I should have had at least two or three sales by that point, so I decided to leave and go to another area. I ended working four more hours and only getting two more sales that day for a total of three sales in five hours of work.

The following day ended, and I talked to one of my colleagues, and he told me that he obtained six sales in four hours. I asked him where he worked, and he told me the exact area I worked initially. He called the area a "gold mine."

I was happy for him, but at the same time, I thought to myself, "I am such an idiot for leaving that area." After he told me how many sales he earned, where he worked and the amount of time it took him to make six sales, I decided that was the last time I was going to leave an area that quickly without testing out the waters as much as I should have.

The point here is that I did get a sale in one hour. However, I should have stayed for at least another hour, which would have given me a better to gauge to make an accurate assessment of that area before leaving. Hypothetically speaking, you could not get a sale for an hour or even two, and then the next two hours, you could get three. You have to always stay positive, especially if you have a good feeling about a certain area.

When you are feeling frustrated about an area and you are not getting the response that you want to get, you should take a break and just take a couple of deep breathes. Just ask yourself, "What am I doing wrong? What can I do better, in order to get a better response from the customers?" You do not have to spend an hour or even 30 minutes evaluating yourself, but 15 or 20 minutes just to tweak what you are saying.

There are always plenty of sales in each territory. It is up to you to go after those sales. If you act like a nomad, moving around from place to place, you will never get comfortable in an area. The reason it's important to get comfortable is because once you get a few sales, you can use your customers as references to get other customers to buy what you are selling. But if you bounce around like a yo-yo, no one will ever no who you are.

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

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