Difficult prospects, endless challenges, extreme pressure, and so much of advice!
Selling is a tough job. And with the advancements in the digital world, it has gone not just tougher but also competitive than ever. The more the competition, the lesser is the space for mistakes.
Being a salesperson, there is nothing you don’t try when it comes to closing. Still, you miss reaching the numbers. The reasons are the mistakes that you make while dealing with a prospect and the irony is that most of the mistakes often go unrecognized. However, to stay in the field, you need to identify and omit these mistakes before they interrupt your performance. Below is what you need to know:
1. You are Not Doing the Proper Research
Many sales representatives jump on a sales call or meeting with a prospect without doing the proper research about them. They don’t know much about the business of the prospect, their needs or the challenges which acts as the worst mistake.
Today, buyers are empowered with the Internet of Things (IoT). Ample of information is just a click away from them. When they contact you on call or when they initiate a buying journey, they don’t want to hear what they already know. Instead, they want you to give them solutions to their problems. They look for an assurance that they are interacting with an expert in the industry.
The very first step to do this is to do proper research about the client:
- Identify the challenges, needs, and goals of the client
- Understand their work-environment
- Learn about their professional background
Tip: You can go through various social media channels to know about the client’s professional or personal backgrounds.
2. You are Not Listening
But, you are talking too much!
Many salespeople do this and not to surprise; no prospect takes it in a good spirit.
Accept that your potential clients are interacting with you not just to listen all about you. They have come to you to talk – to have a conversation wherein they can speak about what they want. And when you fail to do that, you are really on the edge of annoying them and thus losing the sales leads.
Here’s what you can do while talking with a prospect:
- Listen with patience. This will give them a feeling that you value what they say.
- Pay attention to not just what they are saying but also how they are saying. This will help you understand their challenges and needs better.
- Ask relevant questions that need answers more than just ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
3. You are Pushing the Cold Calls Too Much!
Cold calls can be a big hit if done right and a big blow if not. The common mistake that many sales professionals make is that they try to become too pushy on a cold call. They try to convince the prospect to make an on-the-spot buying decision. However, such tactics never work.
Being a sales professional, you should never forget that the potential client to whom you have just called wasn’t expecting a sales call. Your potential client has their daily work-commitments, and thus you have got only a limited time to talk to them.
Don’t use this limited time to sell a service or solution intimidatingly. Instead, take it as an introductory phase of letting the prospect know that you have got the exact solution for their problems. Give them a brief of your company and what does it do. Let them know that what they want is what you offer. But, don’t make promises that your company can’t fulfill.
4. You Give the Prospect Dominance Over the Sales Journey
It is true that sales professionals should never argue with a prospect and that a prospect is always right. BUT this never conveys that you should give the complete hold of the sales process in the hands of the prospect.
Many sales representatives let the client lead the entire sales journey by the time it is initiated. They do it in many ways. Say it, while talking to the prospect, when the sales guy says,
“I appreciate you took out the time for me”
Or “Thanks for giving me your valuable time”,
it gives the client a perception that your time is not or less worthy than theirs. These practices give them the dominance to lead the buying journey which in turn impacts many aspects of the buying process. Pricing can become one of them which can come up as another difficult customer service challenge to overcome.
5. You Don’t Pay Attention To the Post-sale Journey
This is another mistake that many sales professionals make. They think their target is achieved once the sale is closed. They don’t give any importance to the post-sale journey or the follow-up with the client.
Remember that selling does not stop when the purchase is made. In fact, the second half of the job starts after the client makes the purchase. After completing the buying process, your client might have some problems regarding the solutions or services that you have just sold.
Following-up with them will not only help them solve their problems but also will increase the credibility of your brand. Customers treated in such ways are more likely to be your long-termed buyers than the ones whom you have left once the buying-selling process is over.