Many of you will laugh. What follows may seem so elementary and so simple one might wonder why would a salesperson ever do any of these. The fact is I have seen experienced sales professionals make these mistakes at some very critical times in a sales process, and in most cases, they did not even know they were doing it. In 9 out of 10 times they didn’t get the sale either. So, avoid these costly mistakes, and if you’ve never made one congratulations, if you have, learn from it and commit not to do it again.
Do you like it when your spouse, or kids argues with you? Yeah neither does your customer. So don’t do it. The customer is always right, is a saying that has held on for years and years. Why? Because even when they are wrong your customer does not like to be argued with. Try this. “I understand how you feel Mr. Customer”. “That is one concern most people have when I first tell them about my product.” “Remember how I explained XYZ… about my product.” “Every one of those customers who had concerns in the beginning have found my product far outperformed their expectations.” Acknowledge the disagreement, sympathize with the concern, show evidence that your product overcomes that concern. Offer a third-party reference if you can.
Religion and Politics will get you in trouble at a cocktail party, and they will get you in trouble with a customer. Stay away from those discussions. As strongly as you may feel about your party of choice the person you are talking to may also feel strongly about their party or beliefs. These conversations have a 50-50 chance of turning out badly for you. Don’t engage in political or religious conversations.
Your customer may be buying from your competition, or he may be buying from you, but your competitor may have just been in to see him and made a persuasive presentation. At this point if you bad mouth or knock your competitor you stand a good chance of losing the sale. If your customer/prospect has a favorable opinion about your competitor and you bad mouth them you are bad mouthing your customer. Only speak about your competitors in respectful terms.
Your product cannot “move mountains” and it cannot “change the weather” so stop telling people it can. As sales people, we often can tend to “over promise” or “over sell” the features, advantages, and benefits of our product. Stick to the facts and use the testimonials of others to help tout the benefits of your products.
Do not promise what you cannot deliver. Do not offer discounts, terms, expedited delivery etc. unless you have the authority to do so AND you are willing to do so. I have seen countless sales people over the years make promises they could not deliver on, and then got mad when they didn’t close the sale. Better to tell the customer “I don’t know, but as soon as I leave I will get an answer and call or email you back before the end of the day.
There are enough things that can go wrong or derail us during the sales process. Don’t make one of the above mistakes to derail that next big sale for yourself.
About the Author
With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively.
Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base.
Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today