10 Sales Blunders
If you have been in sales for long, you will
find yourself banging your head at night over why you didnít get
the contract when you were so sure it was yours.
When that happens, itís often because of a mistake
we made in the sales process. We
blew it! Here are
some of the most common ways in which salespeople destroy a
perfectly good lead:
1) Running your mouth too much Ė Okay,
thatís a bit harsh. But
itís the reality of the situation.
Salespeople love to talk.
Itís what makes us good at what we do but it can also be
our biggest killer. Sometimes,
salespeople talk too much during the presentation and do not do
Bragging does not sell. Convincing them that you understand what they want and that
you are the best choice will sell.
Stop talking about yourself and your solution and let them
tell you about their problem and what solution they want.
When you are talking, you arenít listening. And when you arenít listening, you arenít learning.
Let the customer tell you what will make the sale.
2) Letting the customer take the lead Ė
When you have a dominant customer, itís hard to cut them off at
the pass. But unless
you do, youíre sunk. The
best way to stay in control is to keep asking questions.
Believe it or not, when you are asking important questions,
you are come across as the expert.
3) Not doing your research ahead of time Ė
When you only have a few solutions, research sounds obviously not
necessary. If someone
needs assistance at home, they need assistance, right?
Your research should include time talking with the
customer on the phone. If
they are making multiple phone calls and certainly a few days
later, they are not going to remember everything they told you.
You will already have a head start on the sales process
because you listened and you pretty much already understand the
itís just a matter of repeating back what you already know and
filling in the gaps by asking questions.
4) Being unprepared Ė Most salespeople have
learned to keep base materials in the car or in a briefcase where
they will be available. That
way, when you are sitting in front of the prospective client, you
have the materials that you need instead of having to apologize
for leaving what seems to be quite obvious back at the office.
Simply put, you cannot show what you do not have.
Testimonials can work to your advantage.
But they come across much better if they can be read
instead of you telling the customer what everyone thinks about
Most customers are forgiving of this kind of
situation, but sales are often won by just the smallest margin.
If your competitor comes to the door fully prepared and you
do not, that may mean the small percent that you will lose by.
Consider putting together a checklist of the items
that you will need regardless of the kind of sales call that it
is. Another distinct
advantage of doing this and keeping the materials with you in your
car, you are prepared for those impromptu presentations that
sometimesÖ just happen.
5) Not asking for the sale Ė This seems
like a ridiculous notion and it will be the rare salesperson that
consciously decides to not ask for the sale.
Sometimes, it will be justified with, ďI donít want to
put too much pressure on the customer.Ē Nonsense!
No sale has ever been lost by asking for the sale.
This doesnít mean that you should be obnoxious of course.
And there are dozens of ways to ask for the sale.
Just pick one that makes you comfortable and sounds
natural. ďI have
all the documents here that we need to get started.
So if you will go ahead and authorized this, I can have our
people here this Friday to get started, fair enough?Ē
6) Giving information that is completely
irrelevant to the sales process -
As one client put it, ďI donít want to know how the car
works, I just want to know where to put the key.Ē
Keep it simple unless they go there.
Offering information on how you started your business is
7) Stopping the prospecting function Ė When
business is good, many people start ignoring the prospecting end
of things and just work the sales that are on the table.
Itís tempting because you reason that the more time you
spend on selling vs. prospecting, the higher your income will be.
Donít forget the pipeline.
While you may have sales that close on the same day that
you receive the lead, this isnít always the case.
The more complicated and costly the solution, the longer
the pipeline. Keep
prospecting to keep future customer going into the pipeline.
8) Knowing when to close Ė Salespeople
sometimes think that if they keep talking, they will hit the
button that makes the customer stand up and scream, ďLet me sign
it now!Ē This rarely happens.
Instead, it is much more likely that you will give
too much information and confuse the customer, or give them
information that otherwise hurts the sale.
In one such incident, a lady looking for home services for
her mother was convinced that she was talking to the right company
until the salesperson started talking about other customers.
She didnít appreciate this and changed her mind.
9) Talking about controversial subjects Ė
If you want to alienate your potential clients, bring up subjects
that people feel strongly about and assume that they think just
like you do. There
are certain subjects that your customers will bring up too.
This relationship will not get off the ground if you go
Subjects that should be avoided at all costs:
Other customers, religion, politics and politicians, and
situations that are social hot-buttons.
This isnít the time or place and you really arenít
going to make any conversions here anyway. Donít bring them up and if asked for your opinion, you can
simply state that you separate work from personal opinions. And stick to that.
10) Take sides in a family argument Ė Do
this and you will be out the door in a heartbeat.
It may seem that you are being pleasant and agreeable, when
in fact, the other person just wants to vent.
Sometimes an adult child can be on a completely different
page than the parent. If
you take one side, you loseÖ simple.
it back to them, let them figure it out, present your company and
if they arenít going to work things out and it affects the
decisions they are making, suggest that you call back and find out
which way they went.