Nowadays, in our current competitive world sales people and sales organizations have to change the way they handle clients. The old strategies used when trying to sell a product or a service to a customer are ever-changing and require every sales manager and sales organizations to think outside the box. Whether they want to believe it or not, they have to either adapt, or fail miserably.
Here are 10 of the biggest selling mistakes that most sales organizations and sales teams make during the sales process:
1. The first thing that comes to mind is that some sales people don’t sell the solution. The main reason people or companies purchase a product or a service is because they try to solve a problem. Most often sales people spend too much time creating the offer instead of assuring the client that the product or service they purchase will meet their need or solve their problem. This usually results in long presentations and prices that are too low. Instead, you should have your sales team focus on ways in which the product, service or the company itself is able to solve the most important problems the client is trying to fix. But in order to nail that, you need to invest in marketing research in order to get a better insight into your client’s needs and expectations.
2. Second of all, the sales team or the sales organization is too dependent on the so-called “sales presentation”. In most cases sales people spend countless hours creating presentations. By doing this they end up depending too much on the slideshow and they are no longer able to detect the vital buying signals. Actually, being present is far more important than an endless presentation. It’s great that you have an outstanding presentation, but you should never become so dependent that you will overlook the most important aspects, like who the influencers are and when they are getting the buy in and when they are not.
3. They avoid asking the hard questions. So many sales people miss countless opportunities to build trust, simply because they avoid asking the hard questions. This derives either from naivety or from a lack of proper training on how to truly engage in a two way communication with the customer. If the conversation isn’t going all that well, try and find a common ground with the client and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. You should ask questions like “How do you feel about our price for the product or service we are selling”, “Why are you interested in doing business with our company when you have done it with our main competitor for so long?”. If you are not able to get answers to the hard questions you will not manage to close deals or to understand why you didn’t.
4. Often sales people consider that the price is the “antidote” to the customer’s problem. Companies or clients will never buy a price. Being in the sales world for almost my whole adult life, I’m not ashamed to admit it that I’ve been tricked by thousands of buyers who told me that “the price is the only issue”. And while your clients appear to be obsessed with the price, constantly asking for a lower price and claiming they cannot go over the budget, each and every one of them will pay a higher price if needed.
If you want to find out more on how you can raise your prices without alienating your costumers read Three Awesome Strategies for Increasing Prices .
5. I’ve also found that sales people tend to present a product or service to clients without having the intention to close a deal. When sales people begin a presentation they should make it clear to their potential clients that their intention is to have the service or product being used by the client in a week. You should start the conversation by thanking the customers for agreeing to the meeting and tell them upfront that your goal is to deliver them your product or service by the end of the week.
And when customers tell you that they will not rush into making a decision that quickly, you shouldn’t start panicking. You should follow up by telling them that you understand and you just wanted to let them know about your intention. You need to present your product or service with confidence and not arrogance. Also, you need to set the stage early, so that you are sure your service or product can meet the needs of your customers and can solve their problems.
6. Also, they are afraid of asking for the close early enough. In some cases, sales people continue to pitch long after the potential client has seen enough. If this ever happens, you should probably take a closer look at all your presentations and break them into five stages and at the end of each stage you could ask your sales team to tell you if they have received enough info so as to make a decision. More and more companies tend to adopt this practice and the results have taken many by surprise. Some sales managers have even stated that they closed deals 80 percent faster.
7. In addition, sales people mistakenly wait until the presentation comes to an end to share the price. Sales people often make this mistake because they are taught in school and during training that they need first to build value and only afterwards to share the price. And this determines the buyer, regardless how intrigued he or she is by the presentation, to constantly think during the presentation on how much the product or service costs. In some cases this means that the sales people will be interrupted by the client asking for the price instead of letting him/her present the features of the product or service and how it relates to the price.
Instead of waiting for the client to ask you how much you are charging for your service or product, you should probably share the price with them after letting them know you intend to get the service or product to their company before the end of the week.
You have to be prepared for when customers might interrupt you and say that the price is too high. At that point you can agree with the customer, telling him it may be too much, but you need to let them know that they have yet to see what the product or service can do for them. Afterwards, show him/her why you consider this is the right price for the product and service and what it will do for him/her and why it is the best value in the marketplace. By bringing the price up early will make you look confident in the eyes of your customers, while also showing them you have nothing to hide. Thus, you should bring up price early and then use the rest of the time building value.
8. Also, sales people tend to ignore influencers. Most sales people make this mistake when they focus too much on the decision-makers and miss the influencers. You should probably ask “Who else will influence the buying decision?” Determine why they are essential to the decision and what is most important to them.
9. Sales people offer free trials hoping this will help them close a deal. Free trials without either a timeline or commitment to invest money and energy tend to fail miserably. In turn, this leads to cash flow problems for the company that provides them. You have two realistic options: either close the deal or go after another customer.
10. Last but not least, sales people forget about practicing urgency. Lots of sales organizations almost never insist on closing a deal for fear that a nuisance will appear. If business owners really believe in their company, product, service and sales people, they must learn how to insist on closing a deal as fast as possible. It may just so happen that when sales people do not practice enough urgency, some unforeseen circumstances or other events may determine them to lose a deal. The sales personnel should be trained on how to press the closing of a deal without coming off as unprofessional.