Sales are the lifeline of a business. Good sales numbers show that the product or service has a market, which is the reason for a business to exist in the first place. We will cover some dreadful mistakes salespeople make to ruin a sale
But sales is tough. The marketplace always overflows with the competition. This means supply often outdoes demand and the buyer is flooded with choices. So we don’t need to do things to make it tougher to sell.
Yet, many salespeople commit common mistakes over and over again to make it almost impossible to sell their products or rely purely on luck for the same.
Here are five of those mistakes. If you’re a sales leader or salesperson, you should avoid these and do the exact opposite in order to get an advantage over your competitors.
1. Talking Too Much
Many salespeople share too much information with prospects in trying to answer questions before they arise. The result is that they kill the sale because the prospect loses interest before the pitch ends.
Like whitespace in a printed paper, silence is an important part of a sales pitch. Silence gives your prospect the space to process the information you’ve shared and to think of questions to ask you. It also lets you listen to prospects and engage them.
When prospects feel engaged, they stay interested. Be prepared with answers to questions instead of not letting people ask you anything at all. You’ll also discover many questions which you didn’t know that your prospects had.
2. Selling, Not Solving
In the early ’90s, the popular mantra among salespeople was “Always Be Closing.” They thought about sales all the time and looked at everyone as a prospect. (Sales reps even tried selling insurance to nurses when hospitalized.)
This mantra was effective to an extent because people didn’t have much access to information about other options. The internet changed all that. Customers now have the power of choice and information at their fingertips. They don’t want to be sold to; they want to know how a product will solve a pressing problem in their lives.
Yet, salespeople focus on making more cold calls and closing sales instead of helping their customers. The result is that salespeople are seen as a nuisance and sales numbers fall lower with each passing year.
Don’t sell to your customers. Show them how your product solves their problems. The result is that they won’t just buy; they’ll also refer others to you. This will make it easier for you to achieve your sales numbers.
3. Not Following Up
Research shows that merely 2% of sales occur when parties meet for the first time. The remaining 98% of prospects buy after at least five continuous follow-ups after the first sales calls.
Yet, here’s a breakdown of how many times salespeople follow up:
- 44% of salespeople give up after one “no”
- 22% give up after two “no’s”
- 14% give up after three “no’s”
- 12% give up after four “no’s”
This means that 92% of salespeople give up after four “no’s”, and a mere 8% ask for the order a fifth time. No wonder just 8% of salespeople get close to 80% of the sales orders.
Many sales reps don’t follow up with prospects after two “no’s” because they think customers don’t need what they want. But many others “forget” to follow up because they note things in a diary instead of using a CRM software which sends out automated reminders about when to follow up with prospects.
The more you follow up, the higher your chances of converting a sale.
4. Fighting the Price War
Ask most salespeople what their product’s USP is and they’ll say, “It’s the cheapest in the market.” But the low price can never be a USP because a new entrant can undercut you. Then someone undercuts them. This cycle continues until the whole market becomes unsustainable.
How did price become an important factor in sales? Because customers want the cheapest product, right?
Customers want a product that solves their problem but they are not sure whether it will. Since all products in a category offer the same features and benefits, customers choose the lowest price as a factor so that even if the product doesn’t live up to expectations, customers don’t feel the guilt of having spent a lot of money.
To differentiate yourself in the market, align your product’s goals with those of your customers’ business needs. Not only will they buy from you all the time; they’ll also pay you a premium.
5. Providing Poor Aftersales Support
Most companies think that making a sale is the hardest part of a business and delivering orders is easy. As a result, they don’t prioritize operations, order delivery, and post-sales support.
But sales – making a promise to a prospect – is easy. What’s hard is to ensure that your organization keeps that promise. Because if customers don’t feel that you kept your word, they won’t buy from you again. The result of this high churn will be spending tremendous time, energy, and funds to find new customers and not enough to grow your business.
Prioritize customer satisfaction more than sales. Make it easy for customers to engage with your organization instead of trying to delight them. When ease of doing business becomes a predictable aspect of your business, it will turn into a USP.
Then sales will skyrocket without much intervention from leaders.
Customer behaviour has changed and businesses have to keep up with these changes. For a business to sustain, it’s essential to identify the right audience, show them how its products solve their problems and ensure that customers enjoy a predictable experience.
Let’s stop selling like its 1992 and start adding value in our customers’ lives like it’s 2019.
Want to know how to improve your sales processes and customer experience? Connect with us for a no-obligation demo.