Sales Failure 5!! LinkedIn Selling Fail!!!

By Andy Preston | General Sales Tips

Dec 05

In the ‘Sales Failure!’ series, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston takes real-life examples of ineffective selling, and uses them as tools to learn how you can avoid the same mistakes, and what to do instead to improve your own sales results….

In this edition of ‘Sales Failure’ we take the example of Mark from a video email marketing company (names have been changed to protect the guilty party!).

Mark attempted to ‘sell’ some video email marketing via LinkedIn recently, and his email serves as a useful example to dissect his approach – and examine the lessons you can learn from it – in order to improve your own sales approaches and increase your sales!

Here’s The Complete LinkedIn Email I Received From Mark…


How are you today?

I wanted to share some interesting stats with you about email marketing!

That’s right statistics prove that Video email marketing can improve your results by as much as 280%.. now that’s powerful stuff.

So why aren’t you using it yet ?

1. Never heard of it …
2. Worried at being in front of the camera
3. Costs too much

So lets answer those objections … you now know that video email exists, there are loads of different ways to market using video with out putting yourself in front of the camera … and the cost doesn’t come into it when you see the results it can provide you and your business, but even so for a meager $20 a month you get the full range Video Email, Video Autoresponder and Video Conferencing! Imagine how much time and money is saved just from the video conferencing!

Get started here (weblink changed to protect the guilty party)

I look forward to helping you with your video email marketing.


Now, let’s just put aside for one moment the fact that he’s tried to start his ‘sales relationship’ by ‘Selling By Email’ (or in this case, LinkedIn Inbox message – so in effect the same thing) – a MAJOR error in my opinion as I write in my ‘Selling By Email – 5 Mistakes’ article!

Let’s look at where Mark went wrong, and what ‘Sales Lessons’ we can learn from his poor sales approach….

Sales Failure Lesson No 1 – Is ‘How Are You Today?’ The Best Call/Email Opening You Can Manage?!!!

Now, if you’ve been on ANY of my sales courses, you’ll know my opinion on opening your call/email to a prospect with the opening ‘How Are You Today?’ Urrgghhh… It’s awful! Stop doing it! Now!

Think about how YOU feel if someone starts their call like that to you… for example….

You’re sitting at home, having your dinner/tea and the phone rings….. you get up to answer it, to be greeted by an irritatingly cheery voice on the other end of the phone that starts with…. ‘Hi is that xxx? How are you today?’

How do you feel right now? Irritated? Annoyed? Frustrated? Perhaps even put the phone down straightaway? That’s the emotional state you put people in when you use ‘How Are You Today?’ to a prospect you don’t know that well!

That’s not a great emotional state to put people in if you want to sell, persuade or influence them afterwards, is it?

So stop doing it! Now!!!

Sales Failure Lesson No 2 – Stop LYING To People!

If you’re making this mistake, it can get you into BIG trouble! And fast!

In Mark’s email to me, he said ‘I wanted to share some interesting stats with you about email marketing!’ But he didn’t did he? Apart from the fact he only went on to share ONE stat (see my next point), his ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’ for the email was NOT to share stats with me, but to get me to sign up for his service! He’s lying. I know he’s lying. That’s not helping me to buy from him (or even buy INTO him in the first place!).

So why would you say something other than what you really mean? People can spot that a mile off, and it not only STOPS people buying from you, but also affects your reputation! Not a good move, is it?

So think about what the ‘reason’ or ‘purpose’ of you sales approach is… is it to arrange a meeting? To share something of value to them (WITHOUT SELLING – like this blog). To get them to sign up for a webinar? To arrange a demonstration? To discuss their needs in relation to…. Whatever it is, make sure your reason (or purpose) is clear at the start of your sales approach.

Decision Makers value their time, and by not wasting it (and getting to the point of your approach quickly) you’ll gain respect and rapport, and build better long-term relationships.

Certainly more than you would do by LYING in your sales approach anyway!!

Sales Failure Lesson No 3 – If You Say It, PROVE IT!

If you’re going to mention a statistic in your sales approach, then you better be prepared to back it up!

In Mark’s approach to me, he said ‘Statistics prove that Video email marketing can improve your results by as much as 280%…

In Mark’s case it’s even MORE important that he backs this stat up, as he uses the word ‘PROVE’ in his statement!!!

When you quote a stat like Mark did (improve your results by as much as 280%) you NEED to provide evidence. Is there a link to an article that backs up your claim? Can you quote the source so it has more credibility? Is it from an independent source, or a respected authority so it can actually increase your credibility as well?

Most people are cynical. That’s even more the case in UK and most of Western Europe. So quoting this stat (and not backing it up) actually gets them thinking ‘Does it now? Really? Where’s the proof? I’m not sure I believe that…’.

Now you’ve got a BIG problem. Your prospect is now in the emotional state of ‘I don’t believe you’. So now you’ve got a Credibility issue, and you have to be REALLY careful with the next statement you make – because if you give them the chance to disagree with you there too, you’re potentially just lost the person, the relationship, the opportunity, and any chance you had of making the sale!!!

Not a great outcome for your sales approach is it?!!

Sales Failure Lesson No 4 – Don’t ‘Belittle’ Your Prospects’ Problems

If you’ve done your research, you’ll know the problems your prospects have – plus how you can overcome those problems/objections to give yourself more chance of moving them ahead in the selling/buying process.

In Mark’s case, he’s listed the following ‘objections’ in his email…

So why aren’t you using it yet ?

1. Never heard of it …
2. Worried at being in front of the camera
3. Costs too much

Now if those are the biggest objections your prospects have to proceeding with a product or service you offer (in Mark’s case, video) do you REALLY think you’re going to overcome ALL 3 OF THEIR BIGGEST PROBLEMS with a short paragraph afterwards?!!! Really?!!

If you ‘belittle’ a prospects problems (or objections) they feel like they’re not being listened to. They can feel as though you’re not interested in them. And then can feel like you’re trying to ‘sell’ to them without having taken any of their concerns on-board!

None of those are great outcomes, are they? So if you want to avoid this problem, STOP belittling your prospects’ problems!

Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..

This article is copyright Andy Preston 2004-2019. To copy or syndicate this or any part of this article contact Andy Preston for guidelines.

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Andy Preston

Sales Motivational Speaker and Sales Trainer at Andy Preston
Andy Preston is a top International Sales Motivational Speaker, Sales Influencer and Master Sales Trainer.

Named as one of the World's Top Sales Gurus, Andy creates 'Stand Out Salespeople' worldwide, with his revolutionary 'Stand Out Selling' Sales System. 'Stand Out Selling' helps salespeople stand out from their competition, win more business, and do so at higher prices!

Previously a trained Professional Buyer, then the Top Salesperson in the UK, Andy Preston has now trained more than 130,000 Salespeople, in more than 40 countries, on 6 continents, since 2004!

Andy is best known for his work in 5 specific areas...

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With more testimonials than any other Sales Expert online (330+ on LinkedIn alone), Andy's work is recognised worldwide.

You can contact Andy here for more information, and how he may be able to help you!

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