Top performing salespeople share one thing in common: they’re willing to take the extra step to keep their customers happy and close every possible deal. To stay ahead of the competition, avoid these 11 mistakes that can make or break a sales professional.
1-Focusing on your product rather than your customer
An average salesperson may focus on, “I have a product to sell”, whereas top salespeople ask, “How can this product help my customer?”.
2-Sticking to the sales presentation
Most salespeople spend a long time preparing for the perfect sales presentation, instead of what their customers’ needs. This may lead to unwanted distractions. In a sales meeting, it’s important to keep an eye on how your customer responds; this is equally as important as how well you’ve mastered your presentation.
3-Not asking the tough questions
Securing a high level of confidence with your customers requires you to ask tough questions. “How did you find our pricing?”, “Do you have the necessary budget allocated?”, “I see that you’ve been working with our competitor for the past few years, why are you considering switching your supplier?”. If you don’t ask and get the right responses first, you may end up losing deals without knowing the actual reason behind your customer’s decisions.
4-Promoting price instead of the benefits
Pricing itself is not the primary driver behind the purchase decision. In most deals, pricing means little unless your customer knows which products & services are included in the price. Start with what matters: explain how your products and/or services are going to address their immediate pain points. Then mention pricing later.
5-Asking the customer to make a decision too late / Neglecting to ask the customer to make a decision
It’s preferred to ask if the customer has all the necessary information to finalize a decision during every phase of the sales cycle. If more information is requested, be keen to provide it to them. If your customer has everything they need, you can push them forward towards the next deal stage. In most cases, you’ll close deals faster, and often enough, you may realize that the real decision maker is not actually at the table.
6-Not taking into account the influencers
While identifying the decision makers, it’s easy to lose sight of the other individuals that are part of the deal. It’s important to remember that there will always be others that wield the power to influence the decision maker. Always ask yourself how these individuals may affect the buying process. Who knows – they may actually be the real users of your products and/or services.
7-Not creating a real sense of urgency
If your salespeople fear to be too “pushy”, they may be reluctant in closing sales. If you’re confident that your products and/or services are a perfect fit for your customer’s needs, it’s imperative that you create a sense of urgency to close the deal immediately. Train your sales teams into putting a bit of pressure on the customers (without being annoying, of course).
8-Putting the customer in control of the sales process
Improving your sales process starts with controlling it. It’s crucial that your sales team has control of each step in the sales cycle. For example, while waiting for a customer to reply to your offer, always include a follow-up: “I will call you in X days if I don’t hear back from you”. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to lead your customer through your sales cycle.
9-Not asking for referrals
Businesses thrive off of new leads. Your best customers can come through a referral from an existing one. Always ask your most satisfied customers to refer your product and/or service to their friends and business colleagues. Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most successful ways to drive new business.
10-Forgetting to follow-up with leads
Most customers need some time before making a decision. While connecting with new prospects, it’s smart to check-in on previous leads. Always ensure that you’re setting reminders to follow-up with potential leads that are still within the decision-making phase. Take reminders to the next level with a good sales management CRM – they really are your best assistant.
11-Failing to maintain customer relationships
A salesperson’s job isn’t over after a deal is closed. Customers that your sales team share a strong bond with could become natural brand ambassadors for your products and/or services. Don’t forget, convincing your existing customers to spend more can be a very efficient way to increase sales.