What Are Common Mistakes Integrator Salespeople Make?

What common mistakes do your sales people make when talking to customers or doing system design? What things are often oversold or overpromised?

For example, I had one salesperson in my past who regularly promised end users that we could run 32 cameras on the servers we supplied, ignoring that bandwidth was different in different systems. Another bought into the hype of high (8/11 MP) megapixel cameras for a large school parking lot, even though there was no lighting and the district wanted to see fluid motion.

We are working on quizzes to test people on this.


  • Giving away too much information upfront
  • Not educating themselves on the products or industry they are selling.
  • Promising too much for too little (Bandwidth, storage, timeframes, clarity)
  • Promise the world to get the project, leaving out the details
  • Overstating the value of the products (stated vs actual)
  • Whats the real cost to integrate with others system's (Now or Later)
  • The fact that Proprietary means just that, not everyone can service or work on the system
  • The Bottom Line when integrating with other systems or having a huge cost in the next budget cycle to fix the problem's created with the upgrades.
  • Not all products play well together or even integrate together (legacy systems)
  • Hidden Demo Cost to remove old systems

Listening too closely to manufacturer hype, like megapixel cameras can be used as tag cameras at night.

Saying too often "we can do that" or "will do that" without knowing for sure if we can or will.

Failure to manage customer expectations, like the low reliability of recording cameras across an Internet connection means very low framerates and occasional dropouts.

Talking too much and interrupting the customer when they are trying to tell you their needs.

Crossing the line of being overly focused on price alone like a retail seller and not communicating the value of the services being offered as an installer and support company.

This is an A+ post.

It's a good reminder of how tough it is to be a great salesperson.

Believing manufacturer propoganda. Simply parroting manufacturer claims without investigating their accuracy, or even considering the likelyhood of that accuracy.

Being overly price focused. Being afraid to tell the customer "no, your budget isn't nearly high enough to buy what you'd need to accomplish your goals. Either adjust your budget or adjust your expectations".

Overpromising performance.

Overpromising on timelines- being overly optimistic on how long tasks will take.

Airing dirty laundry in front of the customer. Complaining about management or installation staff in the customer's hearing, or overly agreeing with the customer's complaints. This is a major rookie mistake.

Not knowing how to close. Taking too long to close.

Allowing the customer too many free change orders. You let two or three go for free as a courtesy, and the customer makes a thousand change orders and the job simply never gets finished because the customer is never satisfied.

I'm sure there are others.