Every year I get to witness sales reps sabotaging their own personal sales success. I want to be sure that each and every one of you don’t make these same mistakes so that you can avoid the pitfalls in 2016 and have your best year ever.
Here are the top 5 most common sabotaging actions Sales People do.
1. Selling On Price – “When you provide no value all that is left to talk about is price”. (Meadows 2015) - Selling on price might be the easiest way of making a sale, but for every dollar you take off the price, it is a direct hit to the bottom line - YOUR bottom line and ultimately YOUR commission. The worst part of selling on price is that once this expectation is set with your customer, you will have nothing to hang on to when your competitor shows up with a lower price.
Instead, you need to be providing your customers with so much value in working with you that they start to ask questions like “How do we get started?” or “What are the next steps?”, not “How low can you get your price?”.
Value is not some additional service or something you hand your customers for free:these are promotions.Value is something that you provide to the customer that they can regard as having high importance or usefulness to their overall business operation before the sale is even made.
2. Failure to prepare – Most sales people are pathetically unprepared for the sales call. If you are not fully prepared for the sales call you are going to lose to someone who is. If your preparation time the night before the sales call consists of getting your business cards and samples ready and organising the same old boring Powerpoint presentation, you are not alone.
The Sales Person that takes the time to properly prepare with ideas and questions to engage the customer from their point of view will not only stand apart, they will leave with a signed contract!
3. Asking DUMB questions - The most powerful element of selling is asking questions. You should have a list of 25 questions that you are sure your customer or potential customer has never heard before. The more thought-provoking the question is the more the prospect will be silently impressed and more likely tell you the truth, especially on how the decision is made.
4. Cold Calling – I don’t know what your thoughts are on cold calling, but in my opinion it is a waste of time. If you are like me, you hate it. Your potential customers also hate it, so why do we do it anyways? Here are the ABCs (and D) on how to cure the common cold call:
a. Write an informational or business article that gets in front of key prospects and customers – the intent of this is to reach more decision makers in a shorter amount of time, and have THEM contact YOU, or at the very least it will give you something to talk about when you do reach out to them.
b. Give a speech at an association meeting or trade show – there are always those who will come up to you after this to engage in further discussion.
c. Hold a free seminar – people like FREE – especially if there is something of value you can offer them for their time
d. Earn a referral from a customer who loves you – there is no harm in asking a loyal customer to reach out to someone they know in the industry who could be a potential sale for you.
5. Having Coffee ALONE - Having an early morning coffee with someone that can say yes to you, give you a referral, or help you make a connection will bring you more sales than cold calling ever did. Think about it, a coffee with a customer or potential customer equals 250 sales calls in one year. The best part is that the call is in a relaxed atmosphere that allows you to build relationships, make sales, earn referrals and create sales opportunities.
Do yourself a favor and don’t make these sales-sabotaging mistakes and make 2016 the best one yet!
To Your Mad Success
By Brett Meadows, Gitomer Certified Advisor, Brett brings his experiences combined with his real world sales help to you and your sales team and the results will leave the competition wondering where their entire customer base went. If you are tired of missing out on sales then contact him. If you want the secret on how to turn coffee into sales email him and in the subject line put “coffee” and he we will send you “Coffee Is For Closers” E-zine.