7 PITFALLS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN
If you had the chance to listen in to the
salespeople who made the least sales, and learn from them what NOT to
do, would you take it?
Well, on some of our sales courses, we’ve been
gathering information that sums up what the worst salespeople out
there actually do, and it makes sad, depressing, hands-in-the-air,
Here’s seven of the
biggest mistakes salespeople make in trying to win business. How many
are we guilty of? Oh, come on…be honest!
Preparation. It’s amazing how many salespeople simply chance
it and don’t have the ability to state exactly what they are aiming
for in the call. Imagine that the client says to you “In one minute,
tell me what benefits you can uniquely bring to my business and how
much better it will be if we partner up.” Could you do it? Yes, of
course you could. Because you’re well-prepared and your
thinking is clear. You resist the temptation to simply fly by the
seat of your pants, because you know what would happen if you did.
You remember the saying…”An amateur practices
until he gets it right. A professional practices until he can’t get
it wrong.” pitfall
2. Following on
from that, the second pitfall is having
a poor structure to the call. If you want the client to remember
you, have some pearls of wisdom to discuss with your client at
strategic points in the conversation. Get some ideas to illustrate
your points. Paint those pictures with words so the client knows
exactly what you want them to remember afterwards. If you have a poor
structure, they will get lost easily and have no inclination to take
their interest further.
nothing memorable to say. Have you ever watched a film and the next
day couldn’t even remember the title? I have. Many times. I always
say I won’t make the same mistake again, and I’ll read reviews before
going. But I’m always driven by the promo, grabbed by the highlights.
Then I realise that the promo had all the best bits and I have to sit
through two or so hours of nonsense. Many salespeople make the
mistake of just delivering gobbledygook, with no highlights, nothing
that stands out and makes the customer think “Wow, this is great, I
have to know more about this!” Have something memorable in your
delivery that stands out. Otherwise the client will have to work it
out for themselves. And that might not be possible. When asked “Who
was that salesperson you saw yesterday, Paul?”,
you don’t want them to say, “You know what, I don’t remember!”
4. In Advanced
Communication courses, we refer to how people make decisions based on
emotional connection then justify them by logic. But poor salespeople
make the mistake of little or
no emotional connection. Remember the radio station that every
buyer tunes into…STT fm. Yes, the buyer’s antennae tunes in when they
hear something that generates interest at an exciting level, and you
answer the question “What’s In It For Me?” So, tune into your buyers’
imaginations and make the demonstration come alive. It will give you
the unfair advantage of building the emotional connection, which they
can then justify afterwards with logic.
5. Talking at the wrong level.
What I’m referring to here is the level that your prospect is
thinking at. Have you looked down from a plane and seen how small
whole cities look from up there? You have a fantastic, big picture
view, but you can’t make out any houses or cars. Conversely, the
people on the ground can see car number plates and shop signs. Speak
at the level that your customer is thinking. With big
decision-makers, they may not want to know the detail of how your
thingamajig works, but they may need to know how selling 10,000 of
them to their customers would raise their operating profit by 6.5%.
6. Having a poor opening and close.
In psychology, there are two laws called the Law of Primacy and the
Law of Recency. Both have an impact,
particularly in demonstrations. The Primacy Law talks about how
people remember the first and important aspects of a meaning they
give to something. If your opening is shallow or weak, it will be
lost. Say something you have found out about the success of their
company. Congratulate them on a new contract or on their expansion.
Make the opening come alive so they remember it. The same goes for
the summary or close. This is the last, or most recent, thing the
client hears and so should stand out, as the Law of Recency dictates it will be remembered. Practice
you asking for commitment, out loud, in front of a mirror, so it
becomes natural and you don’t fluff it.
7. Not learning
from mistakes. This last one is a real humangus!
If things go wrong for poor salespeople, they won’t always have the
business acumen to understand exactly what it was that made it go
pear-shaped. By not learning from what goes wrong, you run the risk
of repeating the mistakes and undermining the relationship with the
next customer, too. Identify what went wrong and convince yourself
that you will notice when it happens again. The saying “Repeating the
same mistakes and expecting a different result is a sign of insanity”
is apt here.
These seven major pitfalls can be avoided if you
pay attention, prepare well and give yourself the opportunity to
learn from every experience.