There are many common sales errors that contribute to the image of the struggling salesperson. When you consider that less than 15 percent of customers feel the salesperson understands their pain points, it’s easy to see why the struggle is there.
In the following article, we help you to understand the eight most common things that are holding you back.
1. Forcing the Issue
No one likes a pushy salesperson. Somewhere along the way, however, it became common to think of salespeople as nothing but pushy.
Even though many people in sales now understand the folly of aggressive sales tactics, the stereotype (and the practice) persist. When you’re aggressive with the average consumer, all they can think about is getting away from you.
These days, a more informational approach works best. Make your leads feel like they’re the ones who lead the sales process, not you. That’ll make it easier to sell and upsell them later on.
2. Getting Distracted
If you target an audience, then you become very focused on their pain points and decision-making process as buyers. Focusing on the sale instead of them, as so many salespeople often do, leads to distraction.
You miss things they’re telling you about themselves that you could then turn into revenue. You do this because you’re too busy focusing on the sales script or selling one particular aspect of your company.
A far better approach is to let the lead reveal themselves to you. Listen to what they’re saying with the idea that you would like to bring value to their lives. Ask them about what would make their lives easier, and you’ll sell them the magic ticket.
3. Giving Your Leads Too Much to Think About
Wanting to hit your long-term sales goals is a great plan and everything, but that can lead to inundating them with the information they’re not ready for. In your bid to convert, you squeeze every last bit you can into your pitch.
Unfortunately, this often has the opposite effect you’re intending. Leads start to think about where they are in the buying process. They might become fearful that what you’re selling them goes too far for what they need.
This can lead to them seeking simpler solutions elsewhere. Slow down! Give your people time to think about why they came to you and how your product or service can solve that problem rather than you simply throwing one feature after another their way.
4. Being Slow to Respond
Another losing strategy for sales is the slow response time. It’s true that buyers progress at different paces. The whole sales funnel depicts this through the different stages of a sale (i.e., initial contact, information gathering, interest, follow-up, education, closing the deal).
Being naturally slow to respond might be okay for some leads, but it’s likely to run off the white-hot ones. You need to adopt a strategy for responding.
Let your leads know that you typically respond within 24 hours. At the same time, give them the option of getting a callback quicker if they’re in a rush to make a decision.
5. Making It About You
People do not come to you to hear your life story. They have a problem, and you’re the one with the solution. The moment you step out of that role, you’re losing them.
Adopt a listen-first, speak-later strategy. Make eye contact with them, use silence to their advantage to draw more of a response out of them, and ask more questions while making fewer personal statements.
Check language at the door such as “I, me, my, mine.” The more you focus on them, the more they’ll like you and want to buy from you.
6. Failing to Plan
When advertising products and services, you need a strong plan of outreach, capture, follow-up, pitch, and transaction. That’s a plan for moving your leads along the funnel to the point they become customers.
By the same token, you should plan for each sales meeting that you have face-to-face or by phone. Learn about the lead’s specific situation. Avoid offering him or her the cookie-cutter responses.
Sales scripts are good things for giving you a safety net. If you’re doing nothing but sticking to them, though, you’re inadequately planning for the individual prospect.
7. Bad Timing
If you’ve ever been a part of any sales team, you know that some salespeople just aren’t cut out for the job. They come in too early with sales pitches long before the lead is done explaining their problem or situation.
This bad timing can be a sale-killer. Never pitch the sale until you have a full grasp of the client’s situation. That usually doesn’t come until they stop talking, so, again, make it about them and not you.
8. Treating All Prospects the Same
All prospects are not the same. Some respond to aggression while others don’t. You won’t know which is which until you’ve treated them as individuals.
The problem with many salespeople who fail is that they have one or two tricks that they intend to use on everyone no matter what. It might work some of the time, but it will never work all of the time. Conversation, listening and trying to understand the client is a far more likely scenario for converting them to a sale.
Next Steps to Get Ahead
You know the mistakes. Now here’s what you need to do about them to make sure you’re either not making them or cutting them out of your existing routine.
Examine Your Approach
Record your sit-downs and phone conversations. Listen to them as a third-party observer, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each call.
Learn Something Unique About Each Prospect
Drill until you have a piece of information you can instantly connect to the prospect. In other words, have a way of remembering them for the next time you see them.
Make Sure You Are in the Right Market
The rules for breaking into insurance sales are much different than for car sales or running your own eCommerce website and using social media for most of your sales funnel. Understand that you’re in the right niche before proceeding.
Avoiding These Common Sales Errors Will Help You Grow
These common sales errors can be fixed when you know what they are and watch or listen for them in your own approach. Become a strong observer of yourself, then commit to listening and treating each prospect like the unique person he or she is.
For more sales and marketing tips, check out some of our additional posts!