Top 8 Mistakes People Make When Selling
Here are some errors people make when selling.
Mistake #1. Not Asking Enough Discovery Questions
Research shows a salesperson should encourage the prospect to speak, not even 50/50, but more than the salesperson!
By asking questions you’re engaging your customer in a conversation. The worst thing you can do is to rush in with a solution and start telling your customer about your product.
Mistake #2. Being ‘Busy’ Instead Of Contacting Customers
One of the biggest mistake salespeople make is getting distracted by activity or ‘being busy’. It might be spending time on a proposal or fulfillment of an order. Are you getting distracted from customer contact by secondary activities?
Call reluctance is being busy with other things other than picking up the phone to call a prospect because of some, often sub-conscious, emotional hesitation. Any time you’re not talking to a customer — phone, face-to-face or email — you are not engaged in income-generating activities. If you notice a pattern of avoiding proactive customer contact, ask yourself, ‘Am I suffering from (what’s known as) call reluctance?’ And be honest with yourself.
The biggest pitfall for anyone involved in sales is convincing themselves that staying ‘busy’ leads to a sale. Customer contact leads to sales.
When it comes to drafting proposals, avoid perfectionism and get them out quickly so you can move forward to the next follow-up.
The 1 – 7 Method
One way to ensure you fit in your follow-ups is to decide on a number of contacts you’re willing to commit to contacting, every business day, come what may. I work with seven.
At start of ‘Sacred Contact Time’, I write in my daybook numbers 1 through to 7, vertically, down the left hand side. Next I focus on contacting seven priority prospects — whether by email or phone.
If there are 20+ business days in a month, that’s 140 touches. That keeps sales momentum going.
Mistake #3. Giving Up Too Soon
So many salespeople give up at the first ‘no’ or ‘we haven’t had time to consider it yet.’
A customer might need eleven touches — eleven contacts from you — before they say yes. If you give up and don’t call back after touch number ten, you’ve lost the sale!
Stay In Touch During the Indecision Period
Sometimes it’s all about timing. For some prospects, it’s not ‘no’ but ‘not yet’. If you stay in touch even when they tell you something else has come up, or we can’t move forward, who will they think of when suddenly it comes back to being a priority?
Mistake #4. Not Describing ‘WIIFM’ — What’s In It For Me
When mentioning a product feature it’s important to also add, ‘ . . . what that means to you is . . . ’ or ‘ . . . which means you won’t ever have to . . . ’
Remember to add the benefit every time you mention a feature of a product or service.
Mistake #5. Not Qualifying
Are you talking to the decision-maker? Are there multiple decision-makers? Remember to ask, ‘Is there anyone else involved in making the decision?’ Offer to teleconference with all decision-makers.
(It might make sense to get your own web teleconference account for this purpose.)
Mistake #6. Not Managing Buyer Resistance
Create a what-to-say guide of replies to typical customer objections. Don’t accept no; find ways to keep the conversation going.
Mistake #7. Not Asking For The Order
In this customer-savvy world, it’s not about hard sell or asking closing questions any more.
A simple question like:
- ‘So would you like to take the next step?’
- ‘How would you like to move forward?’
- ‘It makes sense to me to place an order, what do you think?’
posed at the right time can advance the sale and make a difference.
Mistake #8. Not Giving Post-sale Customer Service
Many salespeople get distracted by the next incoming enquiry and completely neglect a profitable area of repeat business — existing customers.
Existing customers are five to seven times more profitable than marketing to new customers. To forget about post-sale customer service is losing an opportunity to cross-sell, upsell and repeat sell.