Sales is hard enough and profession that takes practice to become efficient and effective. Learning closing techniques, client needs analysis, or how to properly develop an ROI are all functions of the job that sales people are taught, and learn over time how to properly implement them.
Sometimes we see sales people making mistakes that just baffle us in sales management. Here are some of the more common mistakes I've seen over the years. Don't fall victim to these unnecessary and amateur moves.
- Not properly discussing the steps in the sales process and more specifically the next step. Many sales reps want to leave the next step for the prospect to decide and the prospect will usually decide not to get back to you. By the time you reach out to them it's like starting the process all over again. Clearly define the sales process and the next steps to the prospect.
- Sales people are sometimes so programmed with answers that they will handle an objection that hasn't been brought up. If a prospect hasn't brought up an objection do not bring it up yourself just to say that your product or service solves this problem.
- Selling features and functionality rather than solution and value. Consumers don't but on features anymore, they want to know they are getting value and a solution that will benefit them. Value based and solution based sales should be your focus.
- Speaking more than you listen. 80/20 rule, 80% listening and 20% speaking. A sales professional is constantly listening to the prospect because it helps to identify their needs and wants. If you talk more than listen you will come off as a used car salesman and probably not get the deal.
- Lack of follow through. This is probably the most common I've seen. The lack of follow through is just plain laziness. If you don't achieve a one call close, you will have to be regimented with your follow through and you will see that your persistence will pay off by increasing your close ratio.
- Treating the close as the end of the sales process. Very far from the truth, in fact I've seen many deals fall apart after the deal was closed because the sales rep thought their job was done. Real relationship building starts once the deal is signed.
- Asking for referrals when the deal is closed. Again, the sales process is not complete at the close of the deal and you should not be asking for referrals at this point. Referrals should come down the road once you have determined the customer is satisfied with product or service and you have delivered according to your sales presentation.
Remember if you follow a structured sales process you should be able to avoid these common mistakes. Check out "Steps in the Sales Process" on my blog's homepage to help you construct a sales process specific to your product or service.
Good luck. Now go out and sell!