In order to become a great salesperson, you have to be aware of the things you’re doing that may lose a sale, not just what can help you win one.
Below are five things to avoid:
1. Forgetting the little things
Attention to detail can make or break a sale. If you spell a prospective client’s name wrong in an email or call them when they told you they would be in a meeting, you’re showcasing a lack of attention to detail. Why would they trust you with important information and company finances if you can’t even get their name right?
2. Poor follow-up
Whether it’s not following up at all or following up too much, the follow-up process is a huge opportunity for salespeople to stand out, and if not done properly, it can derail a sale.
Do what you say you’re going to do. Whether you said you would send them more info or call them in a week, do what you say and follow through on promises. You’d be surprised at how many salespeople don’t do what they say they would.
Another area where sales people miss out is not being memorable during the follow-up process. Every sales person says, “just wanted to follow-up” or “just wanted to check in.” Be different and think outside the box with your voicemail or email. Maybe they told you they love a certain TV show or their kid is having a birthday, include those details in your communication to them.
3. Assuming you have all the information
A common way sales people get burned is when they’re in the final stages of a sale and are told that there are higher-up decision makers that need to give their approval. No salesperson ever wants to hear this, but it happens and is something that can be avoided by setting out to know all the decision makers from the beginning. Ask the question upfront.
Another crucial piece of information that many salespeople miss is knowing how many other competitors or salespeople a prospect or client is working with. Assuming your company is the only one is an easy way to lose the sale at the eleventh hour.
Get all the information you can up front in the initial meeting or phone call so you know what you’re up against. It’s better to hear the bad news first rather than at the end when it’s too late to change anything.
4. Not listening
The best sales people are the best listeners. They don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, they ask questions to really get to know and understand their clients.
Salespeople who ask questions and then don’t absorb what their client or prospect says, are having a Q&A session, not a meaningful conversation that builds genuine relationships down the road.
5. Taking a prospect or client for granted
Whether you’ve made 100 sales, or this is your first, the minute a salesperson starts to take their clients for granted, they’ve lost them. Some other salesperson who shows more urgency and better customer service will snatch them up if you get complacent with your relationships.
Treat every prospect and client like it’s the first time working with them, and never forget how many other salespeople are out there waiting to take them from you. People forget about how much work it takes to get a client because once they have them, they don’t spend as much energy and time trying to keep them.
By Maureen Hoersten, Chief Revenue Officer of LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm. Armed with nearly two decades of sales experience, Hoersten is responsible for leading all sales efforts at LaSalle Network, as well as the company’s top revenue generating recruiting teams.