The difference between a good salesperson and a bad one can be massive. Some people just know how to sell – maybe they are born with it. For those who are not genetically gifted when it comes to sales, there is still hope. Even if you feel like you commonly make sales mistakes, you can always get better – the ‘practice makes perfect’ theory.
Avoid sales mistakes…
While it’s true that anybody will get better with repetition, you can fast track that learning curve by avoiding certain no-no’s when it comes to sales. Here is a list of 8 simple sales mistakes to avoid when selling:
Not Listening to Customers
Many companies do all the talking, telling the consumer what they need. Research from Marketing Tech Blog estimates that some 40% of salespeople can’t understand customer pain. Successful businesses, on the other hand, listen. They listen to the pain points and/or desires that their customers have and find a way to help them with their issues. Providing real solutions to the problems of consumers will be valuable for years to come.
Not Selling the Solution
Now you have a viable solution to your customer problems; however, at this point, many sales people spend much of their time on the offer, the terms, the price, etc. What they should be doing is assuring the buyer this solution is the answer to their problems. Focus on how your product and/or service can solve the most critical problems your client is trying to solve.
Being Overly Concerned With Price
Admit it, sometimes you see a bargain and can’t pass it up. Unfortunately however, those lower priced options are priced lower for a reason – because they are often junk. Sure everyone wants a solution at the lowest cost, but more importantly, they want a solution that works! After all, 70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve problems, according to research by Impact Communications. If your product, and your service, is superior, consumers will accept the price.
Not Asking for Business
Some people are just afraid to ask, plain and simple, and being too pushy can be a concern for many salespeople. But you will never make a sale if you can’t muster up the courage to ask. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, testimonials, etc. from current customers. If they are happy, they will more than likely oblige – and their endorsement can be valuable in providing social proof for future customers.
Not Following Up
A mere 2% of people buy on their initial introduction to a product. So, with that being said, are you following up with your potential customers? 80% of sales require 5 follow-up phone calls after the meeting, suggests research from The Marketing Donut. The bottom line is that if you want to make sales, then following up needs to be a major priority. It may seem pushy to follow up so many times, but there are tactful ways to do it.
Lack of Confidence
Confidence can make all the difference. If a salesperson can’t convey that he/she has faith in the product, how is a total stranger going to feel about it? Not good, likely. Study as much as you can about not only the product, but also about your client base. This way you can be prepared to demonstrate the effectiveness of your product as well as be ready for any questions or concerns that might arise.
Not Searching for New Business
Often, it can be easy for a company or an individual to get complacent once your client base expands. Some people realize some growth and pump the brakes, settling for good enough. But if you don’t continue to bring in new business, eventually the well will dry up. Don’t just rest on your laurels; get out there and network. Besides simple customer acquisition, consider collaboration, strategic partnerships, and other growth opportunities.
Not Nurturing Relationships
Well-nurtured clients are your biggest advocates. If you can create raving fans, then they will do much of your selling for you. According to The Annuitas Group, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Make an extra effort to build relationships, and watch your business soar.
Susan Sly is a best selling author, work life balance expert, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.