Everyone makes mistakes, but missteps during an important sales campaign can be costly and have very serious consequences. You can lose your sale, erode your opportunity for future business, and destroy your customers’ confidence and trust in you and your company. Although there are lots of little things you can do to screw up your sales opportunities, listed here are the top 10 fatal mistakes salespeople make and what you can do to avoid them:
- Lie And Break Promises. These are unacceptable business practices that will instantly ruin your credibility. If you misrepresent your products’ capabilities or fail to deliver on promises, you will help support your own downfall. Don’t oversell what you or your company can do for your customer and simply deliver what you say you will.
- Don’t Listen And Be Too Aggressive. If you talk too much without asking exploratory questions or giving your customer a chance to speak, you will never understand what’s important to them. Being too pushy or jumping into a premature sales pitch will turn them off. Good luck trying to sell to someone without addressing their needs.
- Be Unprepared. Don’t be disrespectful and waste your customers’ time. Treat them with care by paying attention to the details and bringing value to every interaction with the best resources available. Make sure you are not embarrassed by having limited knowledge of your products and solutions.
- Run Away From Problems And Objections. Don’t blame others for problems encountered by your customer. Take ownership by providing exceptional service. Objections are a normal part of any sales cycle. Respond to them in a professional, firm, and factual way to increase your credibility.
- Don’t Follow Up. When you fail to promptly follow up with comprehensive responses, your customers will believe they can’t count on you. Be smart, and show you are reliable by responding in a timely manner.
- Forget Their Priorities. Demonstrate that you genuinely care by staying focused on your customers’ priorities and not just your next sale. When you do, you will not waste time with individuals without authority or on projects that will never take flight.
- Be Rigid And Uncompromising. Solution selling today requires you to be a change agent for your customer. They want and need someone that challenges the status quo and provides creative solutions that will have a positive impact on their business. If you are difficult to deal with, your customer will find someone else to work with. Support your customer by being flexible about how you structure your solution to accommodate their requirements.
- Fail To Establish Trust And Credibility. Trust is the glue for all relationships in life and is critically important in sales. If your customers don’t trust you, you will never succeed. On the other hand, once you establish a high degree of trust, success will come to you faster and last much longer. If you avoid the mistakes above, you’re well on your way to building credibility and trust.
- Sell To The Wrong People. Trying to sell to people without the ability to consummate a deal wastes precious time. In order to succeed in sales, it’s essential to qualify your opportunities upfront to ensure that the people you work with have the authority and budget money available to make a decision and purchase.
- Never Ask For The Order. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Asking for the business early and often provides many benefits. If you have invested time with your customer, built credibility and demonstrated value during the sales process, then you have earned the right to ask for the order. If you don’t, you may never get your sale.
By following these important guidelines and avoiding these fatal mistakes, you will delight your customers and substantially increase your sales success.
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