If you’ve been in sales long enough, you’re well aware of a tipping point that occurs during a deal. The moment when what you say, or do, can bring pen to paper or prompt rejection from the lead. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or new to the show, now is your opportunity to learn how to identify the most common selling mistakes, overcome them, and start finalizing deals.
1. Dishonesty Kills
You’re fighting to make the sale and find yourself making promises you can’t keep. The practice of over-promising and under-delivering is kryptonite to any sales career and no item on this list is more damaging to your credibility as a salesperson or the perception of your product.
Selling is in many ways just a form of managing expectations. If your product or service cannot meet the needs of the consumer, don’t tell them otherwise. Understand your offering and sell it transparently, your leads will be more receptive and more likely to entertain future communications.
Transparency during the sales interaction can also directly affect customer service post-sale. Customers who received a realistic assessment of the product/service capabilities are more likely to be less hostile toward your customer service team if they experience a problem down the road.
Build the right kind of relationship and make the right impression, avoiding everything but true transparency when pursuing the sale.
2. More Than Routine Maintenance
It’s easier than ever to get overwhelmed by the vast amount of conversation streams consumed in a day. Conversations with potential customers happen by phone, text, email, direct message and maybe even a Snapchat. Don’t let the demand for staying connected leave you relying on standardized responses.
The standardized, go-to responses may save you time, but they come at great cost to your ability to connect with customers. Offer your prospect relevant information based on their industry and present information catered specifically to the lead. The extra time taken to personalize a message will pay dividends in the end.
We love this analogy from Trish Bertuzzi in her article Don’t Forget: You’re Selling to Humans.
“Think of it this way. If you turn on the news and they’re discussing a storm in a neighboring state, you may, or may, not pay attention. If you turn on the news and they’re discussing a storm in YOUR city, you’ll devote your full attention. The same holds true for your prospects.”
Take the extra time, do the extra research, and make sure the information you pass along to your lead is relevant to their city, not the one next door.
3. The Sale is NOT About You
It’s always good to remind ourselves the reason salespeople exist: to match a superior product or service with a customer that has a defined need. Nowhere in that mission statement do we mention making quotas, what you plan to do with commissions, how a new client may expand your region, etc.
The point is, salespeople need to remember the primary purpose of their role is to service others by providing the best product possible, married with accessible and honest service. None of that can be done when you are unable to look past your own role in the sale.
Want to better communicate with leads and offer notably superior service? Then learn how to put aside self-centered internal motivators. Start this by reviewing your pitch and resources through the eyes of your customer and ask yourself, “Is this information relevant to the prospect? How does the product/service meet the customer’s need? How can I educate, engage with, or elaborate on information with my customer to help them better reach an understanding of product and service capabilities?”
Improve your chances to close the sale by ignoring personal motivators, championing the customer, and ultimately realizing noticeable improvements in your ability to connect with your prospects.
4. The Forgotten Skill — Listening
A consistent trait many, if not all, salespeople have is the ability to be an outstanding conversationalist. You know what to say and when to say it. But like many reps, your ability to lead the conversation can be quickly cancelled out by an inability to listen.
There isn’t a defined ratio on how much you should be talking compared to the prospect, but we can assure you there is more benefit in an even split than 90/10. Excess talking usually means you are missing out on a large amount of beneficial information. By taking a moment and allowing the customer to have the floor, you’ve given them the opportunity to share unique problems, business needs, and most importantly, an option to field new questions. The more information you allow your customer to share, the more firepower you have in identifying touch points to drive your sale.
Even in a highly specialized industry, one customer’s problem will not be the same as the next. Sales reps who are poor listeners may rely on the assumptions of their customer. These reps have already, often misguidedly, identified what challenges the prospect has, why/what they want in a new product, etc. When you assume you lose.
While preparing for your next lead, make the extra effort to build in listening time for your customer.
Are you a master of your pitch? Do you find yourself constantly working on removing mistakes from your communications with customers? Outstanding. We here at Beyond have built our team on the shoulders of salespeople who champion the customer. Explore a company with uncapped earning potential and a commitment to the right way of selling. Send us your resume or drop us a line here.