How to Avoid This Classic Sales Mistake

 Janet has just started her residential cleaning company and has already begin to prospect for new customers. She feels confident because she has already mapped out her sales process and she is ready to visit some high-end neighborhoods and start knocking on doors. Below is Janet’s sales process.

Once Janet finds a qualified prospect she will:

  • Introduce herself and her company
  • Ask them about their specific cleaning needs
  • Find any related pain points and create urgency around having a clean house
  • Complete a tour of the home
  • Draft a custom and unique cleaning program
  • Ask for the business
  • Flip any objections
  • Close the sale by signing an agreement 

This was a great plan until Janet was on her way to knock on her 15th door of the day without having any luck. She began to become desperate and feared that she would never close her first sell. She pumped herself up by listening to a playlist she created the night before. With adrenaline pumping through her veins she went and knocked on her 16th door of the day. The homeowner answered and Janet launched into her pitch. Before she could finish her introduction the homeowner cut her off saying, “look, I already have someone who cleans my house and they do okay but I’m not really pleased. If you could offer me a lower price then maybe I would consider switching. How much do you charge?”

Janet, being confident in her pricing structure and excited about the opportunity, blurted out a price. The homeowner then thanked her for the information, and told her that she would “talk it over” with her husband and get back to her. Janet, feeling completely deflated, handed the homeowner her business card and walked away.

In this example Janet made a classic sales mistake. She became so desperate and emotional that she abandoned her sales process to acquiesce to her prospect’s desires. By succumbing to the prospect’s request she gave up control of the interaction and wasn’t able to recover it. 

To avoid this classic sales mistake make sure that no matter what you stick to your sales process. You will have to be flexible in your approach to your process but always stay committed to following your process. Keep in mind that by following your sales process will give the prospect the best chance to see the value of what you have to offer. This will also increase your chances of closing the sale and earning the business. 

What Janet should have said was this: “I will definitely give you my price. I also want to make sure that I choose the best cleaning program for your home and your specific needs. I’ll need to ask you a few questions first to better understand your needs. I noticed that you mentioned that you weren’t really happy with your current cleaning company, tell me more about that.” Notice how Janet would remain in control of interaction, show the customer that she cares about her needs and also progressed into the next stage of the selling process.


Do you have a story like Janet’s? I’d love to hear about it! Email me at, tweet me @TonyRSanders or comment below!