You don’t have to be a basketball fan to appreciate the thrill and excitement of March Madness. According to the American Gaming Association, more than 40 million Americans fill out one or multiple tournament brackets. When filling out brackets, many will rely on luck while others will research stats and records. What are these top teams doing to ensure they win?

The same question can be asked about any organization’s top salespeople. Too often, others will study the actions and processes that their leaders follow to emulate the same habits to achieve the same success. In doing so, many will fail to realize that it is equally important to identify what the best salespeople don’t do.

Let’s take a look at 5 things top salespeople DON’T do:

Talking too much

Most expert salespeople listen far more than they talk. HubSpot research found when asking buyers what the top ways to create a positive sales experience were, 69% reported listening to their needs. Whenever you are engaging in a conversation with a prospect, you need to be strategic with your questions to create value and listen in an effort to discover their motivations, pains, and needs. Lead with quiet confidence in your product, solution, and services in order to understand and comprehend what your prospect is trying to tell you.


Nike said it best in their ad “Yesterday you said tomorrow. Just do it.” Procrastination is a debilitating ailment to anyone in sales. Successful salespeople start each day with a plan. Although the day may be filled with surprises, they recognize that the foundation of success is built on structure. Top performers complete their tasks with a sense of urgency because they know an opportunity can expire in a matter of minutes, and they refuse to allow even one opportunity to fall through cracks.

Only a third of the sales people meet or exceed quota

Going in unprepared

Great salespeople recognize that preparation is crucial to not only building relationships but to closing the deal. They capitalize on the knowledge that most salespeople won’t put in the time or legwork and use this as a competitive differentiator. They do their homework to ensure there are no surprises. This preparation allows them to present the value of their solution in a short amount of time.

Presenting contracts to unqualified prospects

Not every prospect is meant to be a customer. While mediocre salespeople are trying to persuade a non-buyer to sign, the top salespeople have already disqualified and moved on. This allows them to focus and spend their time with the right prospects. So instead of going to extraordinary lengths to avoid asking the questions that could kill the deal, welcome the opportunity to thoroughly qualify the prospect. Selling to an unqualified prospect doesn’t solve problems, it creates them.

Relying solely on company provided leads

While it is easy to depend on traditional methods to obtain leads, the best salespeople know that the big deals are found outside the usual sources. They recognize that standard methods provide average results. Leading salespeople create their own opportunities, whether they are leveraging new customers for referrals, existing customers for introductions, networking, or social selling tools. Using social selling tools can also increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%.

The game isn’t solely won on court. There’s a lot of time spent preparing, evaluating, listening, and strategically planning each play. As you work towards that next big win, instead of taking inventory on all the things you are doing, stop for a second and ask yourself, what do I need to stop doing?