Which sales mistakes are your salespeople making?
Sales consultant and trainer Ted Barrows warns about the ones he sees most often:
- Relying on gut instincts. Some salespeople seem to think that relying on information is a sign of weakness. They are more comfortable trying to guess correctly than they are in attempting to get the facts, accumulate the necessary information and doing the research necessary to help the prospect make an informed decision.
- Always keeping an eye on the competition. Just because the competition is doing it doesn’t make it smart, effective or correct. Following the competition like a shadow only indicates a lack of conviction and self-confidence. Top salespeople see themselves as innovative, cutting-edge pacesetting leaders and not as second-hand followers. They embrace new ideas and suggestions for being “different” or “standing” out from the competition.
- Worrying about just getting it done more than how it gets done. Top salespeople recognize that just getting it done isn’t nearly enough in today’s competitive market. They recognize that they can get everything right in terms of the product and price. But unless they complete the process with incredibly good customer service, they run the risk of losing business.
- Going for the quick payoff. The extended slowdown may be creating serious panic among some salespeople. They may respond by making no investment in the future and no customer commitment. They concentrate only on making the sale today. Top salespeople recognize the importance of establishing long-term relationships. The know how to keep their sales up despite the economy or inceased competition.
- Thinking the sale is made after the presentation. Top salespeople realize the sale is made – or lost – before the presentation. They don’t waste time looking for the magic formula for irresistible, totally bulletproofed presentations. It’s what goes before the presentation that determines whether the sale is made. How is the salesperson perceived by the prospects? What climate has been created to foster trust and communicate knowledge and expertise before the closing?
- Taking rejection personally. It’s never easy to learn that you’ve lost a sale or a customer has switched to a competitor. Top salespeople never take rejection personally. They use it as a signal to review their selling techniques and to try to pinpoint areas for improvement.
- Relying too heavily on relationships to sell in a tight economy. There was a time when one customer could influence decisions in a number of departments in a company. That’s fading. Today, department heads may expect autonomy. They want to make their own decisions and their company holds them responsible. Relying on relationships to overcome other objections can be dangerous today.