When it comes to making sales, too many new sales reps are busy making sales mistakes. Just because you maybe making some of these mistakes doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them to turn them around and into sales.
If you want to get better at your new career of selling, once you do make a mistake, learn from it, learn how to correct it so that the next time it turns into a sale. You have to study your craft by keeping an ever close exam of each component of the process. Become a master by not making these 9 sales mistakes.
Sales mistakes Are Part of the Learning Process
The Top 9 Sales Mistakes You Need to Stop Making
By Raphael Huppe
The world of business is changing, and people in the sales field need to adapt to keep up. Customers are getting savvier and the snake-oil, infomercial-inspired pitches from the days of yore don’t work as well any more. Here are nine mistakes you and your sales team need to stop making immediately.
1. Talking too much about the offer, and not enough about the problem.
You have to understand that people buy your product or service only because it fulfills a need or solves a certain problem in their lives. Some sales people spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of the product or the discount they’re offering. This makes for bloated, uninteresting presentations that leave customers exasperated.
Solution: Make a list of the most pressing problems your customer is facing, and make your presentation about the ways in which your product solves those problems.
2. Focusing too much on the glamour and visual details of the presentation.
Having a good looking presentation is great. But too many sales people get so obsessed with every little aesthetic detail of their presentation that they forget about the content. In any sales presentation, being an active, engaging presenter is as important as the presentation itself. Situations may arise on the fly where you have to tweak your approach to respond to the behavior of the parties who will be influential in closing the sale.
Solution: Understand who the influencers are in any room you are conducting a presentation in, and calibrate the tone of your presentation to impress them.
3. Skirting around the uncomfortable questions.
Most relationships are built around being honest with each other, even if that honesty creates uncomfortable situations. Sales is no different. If you are trying to maneuver your way around direct, honest questions, you won’t generate a lot of trust in your clients. If you don’t get answers to direct questions, you might come away from a failed sale not knowing why things went wrong.
Solution: Don’t be afraid to ask your clients questions like “Do you think this price will work for you?” or “Why do you think choosing our product over the competition would be a good decision?”
4. Delivering a presentation without having a clear target.
Whenever you deliver a presentation, you must know exactly what it is you want your client to do as a result of listening to your pitch. Do you want them to add your product to their list of options? Do you want them to buy whatever you are selling immediately? If you don’t expect them to buy your product immediately, how soon do you expect them to buy it? It doesn’t matter if your customers don’t want to do whatever it is you expect of them. What matters is that they know exactly why you are delivering your presentation.
Solution: Be confident and clear about your intentions to your clients. Let them know that you understand what their problems are and convince them how your product is right for them.
5. Focusing too much on the price.
Every single client who says the price is non-negotiable is actually willing to pay more for the right product. As a sales person, it is easy to get into endless negotiations with a client whose budget seemingly won’t allow for a single dollar above the price they are quoting. Don’t fall into this trap.
Solution: Make the resolution of your client’s problems the focus of your presentation. Let the benefits of your offer speak for themselves. Your product should be the best option, not the cheapest one.
6. Violating the crucial ‘always be closing’ rule.
The objective of any sales presentation should be to make the sale as quickly as possible and then move on to the next one. You shouldn’t expect to spend several hours every single time you present to a client. In most cases, if you’ve impressed your clients enough, talking more can ruin your chances of getting the sale.
Solution: Break down the content of your presentation into several stages. Each of the stages should complement the information presented by the previous one. At the end of each stage, ask for the close. If your clients say they don’t have enough information to make a decision yet, move to the next stage and repeat the process.
7. Waiting till the end of the presentation to talk about your price.
Traditional sales wisdom states that you should build value in the eyes of your customers before you reveal your price to them. This may be true, but a lot of sales people misunderstand ‘building value’ as waiting till the end of the presentation. If you don’t reveal your price to your clients early on in the presentation, you will inevitably be asked about the price during the middle of it. Even if your clients are very impressed by your presentation, they will spend most of it wondering how much it will cost them.
Solution: Let your customers know the price of your product right off the bat. This way, they can weigh the benefits of the product against the cost they will be paying. If they have any concerns about the price, you can deal with them during your presentation by proving your product is worth it. Letting your customers know the price immediately also projects an air of confidence and builds trust.
8. Target the people whose opinion will influence the decision maker.
Often, salesmen will make the mistake of tailoring a presentation entirely to the needs of the people who will sign on the dotted line. In reality, there are multiple people who influence the final outcome of a purchasing decision. Don’t ignore them during your presentation.
Solution: Find out who the influencers are and what they need, and make sure your presentation talks about solving their problems.
9. Offering free trials to finalize a sale.
In certain cases, offering your clients a free trial of service or product might work. For example, if you have a web-based software, you can offer your customers free trials. But usually, free trials don’t work because they are hard to manage and require a lot of follow-up. Plus, by offering a free trial, you are essentially giving your customer the option to not pay for your service after the trial period is over. If they don’t choose to sign on, you will lose money. If you don’t have multiple sales that have been closed because of free trial offers, it can create tremendous financial stress for your company.
Solution: Close the deal the traditional way, or walk away from the client.
In summation, if you aren’t seeing enough sales recently, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Fixing any of the mistakes on this list that apply to you will make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your sales funnel. If necessary, invest in training programs to improve the skill-set of your sales staff.
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