I am often asked in my workshops what mistakes we should avoid, or rather… what the deadly sins of sales are.
As we can’t speak about all of them here, this week we have decided to introduce you to what we think are the top 3 mistakes a salesperson should avoid.
Therefore, without order of preference:
– They can’t listen
For us this is one of the biggest problems in sales nowadays.
Most of the salespeople we encounter just can’t listen.
They think that selling is basically dumping a customer-based set of information, commonly referred to as benefits.
Nothing could be more wrong, the best sellers we know are those who use the 3-thirds rule.
That is, listen 2 thirds of the time and talk only 1 third of the time.
Being able to listen often involves biting your tongue and letting the customer talk about their problems in depth.
Surprisingly, most customers are even willing to talk to the salesperson about their problems.
However, many times the customer is interrupted by the salesperson and soon loses the will to move forward with the sale process.
– Fear of making mistakes
This is one of the biggest problems of the newest salespeople, but also of those with many years of experience, incredible as it may seem.
To be good at something you need inevitably to make mistakes. It’s not possible to expect to learn without making a mistake before you’re able to perfectly accomplish the action you want.
Unfortunately in Portugal the mistake is seen as something terrible that should be avoided.
If you want to close a proposal, you usually have to “make a mistake” or, if you prefer, lose a few before that.
Mistake is always present, in all learning processes. What you do with it is what makes the difference.
If you use it to learn, it can and should be a fantastic tool.
Many salespeople are “crystallized” or even blocked for fear of making mistakes.
– Lack of preparation
Another one of the biggest mistakes that we notice in the processes of business coaching is that salespeople don’t adequately prepare the meetings, pitches, negotiations, etc.
Not few salespeople go to a meeting with just the name of the person they are meeting with and a brief idea of what the company does.
They think they can get the rest of the information they need in the course of the meeting.
Although this is also true, if they do so they will be wasting time in gathering information they could already have in their possession.
If this research had been carried out previously, the selling process would have moved forward much more easily.
Another reason why it becomes so important to prepare the entire business process has to do with the image you want to project when you go to a meeting and you’re well prepared.
What is the most important thing we have today and can’t replace?
Just guess. Time!
If yours is valuable, your customer’s is still more valuable.
By showing that you have prepared the meeting you are valuing your customer’s time and showing that you care about them.
Well, these are just 3 of the deadly sins in sales. This week, stop for a while and try to avoid them!