Ask your salespeople to review sales they failed to close in the last year. Tell them to try to list the reasons why they didn’t get the sale. You’ll get a list that probably boils down to seven blunders.
The list is courtesy of Jeff Thull, a successful sales consultant.
- Failing to do adequate pre-call planning. Being poorly prepared is the No. 1 reason salespeople don’t get the sale. Prospects won’t take time to educate salespeople about their industries and needs. They expect a salesperson to come to a presentation with a thorough knowledge of their industry and problems.
- No clear point. The prospect leaves the presentation wondering what it was all about. An unclear presentation makes the prospect work too hard to make sense of it. This hard work begins to produce resistance, then irritation, then a loss of confidence in the salesperson.
- Lack of information. They’re critical about dealing with salespeople who don’t know their products or can’t answer simple questions. Understanding what customers need, discovering what they want and helping them achieve their goals are key to a successful sales presentation.
- No customer benefit. The presentation fails to show how the prospect can benefit from the information presented. Customers buy solutions, not products or services. Finding out each customer’s buying motive is key.
- No clear flow. The sequence of ideas is so confusing that it leaves the prospect behind, unable to follow. Effective presenters make it easy for prospects to grasp ideas. They give prospects an opportunity to focus on what’s in it for them before moving on.
- Presumptuousness. Many prospects are offended by salespeople who ask for proprietary information during a presentation, such as competitors’ prices. They are impressed with salespeople who come up with competitive information on their own and build their presentations around it.
- Lack of commitment. Prospects usually won’t spend much time with salespeople who demonstrate a lack of commitment to their companies and their prospects. They look for salespeople who focus on their needs and act in their best interest.