6 Costly Sales Pitfalls (And How to Avoid Them)

Sales rep with head in their hands.

Extended warranty sales reps aren’t hurting for prospects. Just consider the following numbers:

Data showing market value of extended warranty industry

All those items will drive the extended contract industry to be worth an estimated $170 billion by 2028.

A growing industry like this should lead to equally lucrative payouts… if you can sidestep these common sales pitfalls.

Common Sales Mistake #1: Calling People Who Will Sue You

It’s a fact that every car and appliance will need to be repaired at some point.

Logically, that means just about everyone should at least consider what you’re selling. But there’s no better way to kill any chance at a sale than by contacting a lead that doesn’t want to be bothered.

Odds are, at least some of your leads will fall into that camp.

That graph, courtesy of Statista, shows the number of people who are on the US Do Not Call Registry: More than 244 million in all.

Those millions of people aren’t just those who don’t want to be called, they may take you to court if you do—and that can cost you big.

The FTC has battled on behalf of those people and will fine offending companies upwards of $50,000 from the offending companies.

Fortunately, your sales reps can avoid that mistake by using our Known Litigator list.

Inline CRM automatically integrates with DNC.com to provide real-time lists of “leads” who lead somewhere, alright… to a waste of time, money and maybe in front of a judge.

Sales Pitfall #2: Not Knowing Enough

How many times have you made a sale like this?

You: “Hi, I’m from {company}. Would you like to buy an extended warranty?”

Lead: “Yes.”

Probably not many.

Now, you’ll have your share of “Yes”es. But to get there, you’ll probably need a fair share of conversations which will undoubtedly involve questions. And when you’re asked, you need to know your stuff, inside and out.

Forrester conducted a survey and the respondents were… less than impressed with their sales rep:

57% thought that sales reps weren’t knowledgeable about their industry.

70% said the reps couldn’t answer the questions they were asked.

77% said the reps didn’t understand how their company’s product could help.

78% said the reps didn’t even have any case studies or examples they could share with them.

The takeaways here are many: Give your sales reps time to onboard and ramp up, make them listen to sales calls from more successful reps, or maybe give them a little more structure. Which leads us to…

Sales Mistake to Avoid #3: Winging It

Studies suggest it takes 15 months before a sales rep becomes a top performer. And if the average rep makes 60 phone calls a day, that equals 18,000 calls before they’re maxing out their talent.

There should be a way to fast-track their performance, right? Well, there is with Inline’s sales scripting builder.

With this feature, you can:

  • Structure your sales calls
  • Accelerate training
  • Customize conversation flow based on answers
  • Remain legally compliant

Even better, you’ll be able to pinpoint where prospects get hung up and adjust as needed to close more sales. That’s the power of data. Speaking of which, here’s another mistake sales reps make…

Ignoring Data That Can Prioritize Leads

There’s an old saying that ties into selling: “The first rule of fishing is fish where the fish are.”

And as we mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of millions of fish in the extended warranty sea.

Believe it or not, more than a third of companies don’t use any sort of attribution model to measure marketing performance!

That means lures are being cast in empty waters, or the wrong bait is being used based on the prospect type. Talk about a waste of money!

But with Inline, you have all the data you need to know how to sell which product to whom.

Our favorite reports to run include:

  • Most Popular Day for Sales
  • Close Rate by Rep
  • Follow Up Success Rate
  • Cancellation Rate

There are literally hundreds of extra CRM reports you can run in our system to make your reps efficient selling machines.

Another Common Sales Mistake: Talking Too Much

Every prospect wants to feel like they’re being listened to, that their needs are understood.

But too often, they feel their sales rep is sucking up all the air. And a study from Saleshacker shows how that affects success.

Now, there are other experts who think sales reps should give prospects even more of the floor: 80% of the time!

Either way, it’s clear that the more you talk, the less likely your prospects are to buy.

The Final Sales Pitfall: Being Too Pushy

Perspective is completely subjective.

Need proof?

Half of any given prospect thinks a sales rep is pushy (whether they’re actually pushing for a sale aggressively or not).

Contrast that with the 17% of sales reps who admit that their approach is a little… more direct.

That’s a pretty big discrepancy.

So how can you combat it?

By giving your prospects the option to buy what you’re selling on their own time.

Our Buy Now functionality is a simple way to follow up with your customers, complete with their quote and coverage. All they need to do is click a button to start entering their payment information when they’ve decided they’re ready.

But before you send, spend a little time personalizing the email you send. Even personalizing the CTA to include their address, vehicle or first name can make your conversion rates jump 42%!

Ready For Your Sales Reps to Climb the Leaderboard?

Now that you know some common sales pitfalls and how to avoid those mistakes, schedule a demo or test drive our CRM for free!

A line graph showing the more you segment your email list, the better it performsEver check your personal email and start to feel really popular? Companies sending you promos, order confirmations and reminders.

Well, there a reason for that: 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience! We’ll explain what makes an experience “great” later, but for now let’s focus on that point, straight from the customer’s mouth.

Customers want to be cared for.

Now, you don’t have to email to show you care. You could send an SMS text, post on social media or hand write a letter (handwritten letters have a 99% open rate!). But email is just so convenient.

And by the time you finish reading our tips on email triggering for customer engagement, you’ll be in a better position to build better client relationships.

Let’s start with the basics.


We covered how to reduce cancellations [BR1] in a previous post and customer loyalty was a common theme. For example, loyal customers are 63% less likely to churn. And get this: Companies that make customer experience a priority receive 55% more market share.

Sounds like it’s probably worth the effort to send a few more emails, right?

But at the same time, the average extended car warranty company only has 15 employees. Odds are your sales reps and administrators are long on responsibilities and short on time.

Keep reading and we’ll share how the customer engagement email capabilities of Inline CRM can help.


Did you know that 55% of consumers who purchase an extended car warranty never use it?

And of those 55%, some are bound to think they’re wasting their money. That means you have a real opportunity to show your service is worth it, even if your customer ends up not needing it.

So, if you’re struggling to come up with a topic for a customer email, the good news is you have tons of options:

Welcome Series

      • Summarizing what your client purchased

      • A link to their portal or policy center with proper documents

      • Instructions on how to file a claim

    Product Recommendations

        • If a customer has a VSC, inform them about the benefits of an extended warranty for their home (or vice versa)

        • Is there a certain air filter, type of oil or brand that your company believes will help your customer in any way? Recommend them.


          • A “Happy Birthday” message

          • Customer satisfaction survey

          • Service review after a claim is filed and complete

          • Warranty recalls

          • Claim status


            • Payment reminder

            • Renewal notice

            • Seasonal maintenance

          If you’re already doing any of these, you deserve a big pat on the back.

          But if you’re like most extended warranty sellers, you might have trouble convincing leads that your policies are valuable. Just consider what you have to combat from an educational standpoint. According to PEGA:

              • 35% feel extended warranties are too expensive

              • 32% don’t feel they need an extended warranty

              • 48% only somewhat understand what’s covered in their policy

              • 7% don’t understand their policy at all!

            So, when following up with a lead who’s on the fence or confused, you might want to send a pre-formatted email dispelling these myths.

            Ultimately, the common thread with each of these triggered emails is they deliver value somehow: Either a “thinking of you” message, DIY instructions, recommendations to make their life easier, etc. The more you can deliver in this respect, the more likely your customers choose your email to open from among the swarm in their inbox — and that’s what makes a great customer experience


            Now that you know why these emails are important and the different types you can send, let’s discuss some ways you can enhance their performance.

            Use a CRM

            What would happen if you sent an email to the owner of a Ford about a recall for a Mitsubishi?

            That customer might think you:

                • Sent it by mistake

                • Aren’t very professional

                • Have incorrect information about their policy

              Regardless, it makes your company look bad!

              When you segment your customer base, you’re able to send targeted, specific, relevant information.

              That’s why an extended warranty CRM can be so helpful: You can group your customers based on any number of criteria, from their state of residence, to the make or model of their car, policy tier and more.

              You can also trigger emails by lead quality, lead type, or the outcome of previous calls or actions made by sales reps.

              And if you believe the people at Adobe (we do), segmented email campaigns lead to a 760% revenue increase.

              Here’s how to segment with Inline:

              Email send criteria for payment reminder

                  • Policy is active in Inline CRM

                  • Monthly payment is scheduled for 5 days from now

                  • Customer has email stored in Inline CRM


                Email send criteria for expiring contract

                    • Policy is active in Inline CRM

                    • Policy will expire in 3 months (repeat at 2 months, 1 month, 2 weeks and 5 days before expiration)

                    • Customer record has email stored in Inline CRM

                  Pay Attention to Links

                  If you send a “maintenance reminder” email, you still want your customer to engage with your brand. Yes, even if you won’t make any money from that interaction.

                  And as it turns out, the number of links you include in your emails can make a big difference in their performance.

                  Pro Tip:  Triggered emails with two or three links are 120% more likely to convert than a triggered email with just one link.

                  When To Send

                  Emailing can be a tricky balancing act. You don’t want to send too frequently or too infrequently.

                  Fortunately, there are data-based studies, like the one done by Sendinblue, that shows the best days and times to send.

                  But the bottom line is this: Email at least once a month. And send it during those recommended times.

                  Use 🇪Ⓜ️🅾️ 🇯 🇮s

                  Want a surefire way to up your email open rates? Use an emoji in the subject line!

                  Subject line emojis can increase click-through rates by 28%. And emojis can increase open rates by a whopping 50%!

                  A word of caution: Don’t overdo these. Use one per subject line, and only here or there. Doing more than this can flag your account as spam… which kind of defeats the purpose of customer engagement emails.

                  Testing, Testing

                  Now that you’ve segmented your email lists, know what to send and when, what’s next?

                  Find out what’s working and what’s not.

                  Since Inline CRM has powerful web-based reporting capabilities, you’ll be able to make your emails more effective.

                  We recommend analyzing the following:

                  Making minor tweaks backed by data can lead to major improvements, so mine those reports to unearth new insights!

                  IN CONCLUSION

                  There are hundreds of extended warranty companies out there. How will you stand out? Being proactive with happy, helpful information can help you gain market share. And triggering emails for customer engagement should be a major part of your strategy.

                  Get a demo of our CRM email technology and start increasing your customer loyalty.