If you are in sales, and most people are, then here are eight common mistakes, and what to do about it.
#1) NOT LISTENING – You fix this one by asking good questions and shutting up! If you will listen, people will tell you what they want, and if you offer that, they will buy it!
#2) FEAR OF BEING PUSHY – The fact is that sales IS leadership. People appreciate leaders that help them go where they want to go. If you are afraid of being pushy, then you will probably not lead effectively. The solution is to listen well and lead people where they want to go.
#3) OVERPROMISING – It happens when you are excited and you become unrealistically optimistic about your product or service. Always try to promise less than what you will deliver, not more.
#4) ORDER-TAKING – This is not necessarily wrong, it just lacks true salesmanship. It is just saying “May I help you?” and then waiting for someone to track you down and tell you what they want. If they know what they want, it’s ok to take the order, but they may need more information and help.
#5) NERVOUS CHATTER – It is the fear of silence. In that stress, the salesperson feels that they MUST make small talk and end the silence. Silence is a powerful tool that allows the customer to really think about what they want and work through objections.
#6) RESISTING OBJECTIONS – Objections, or reasons that people are hesitant to buy, are the professional salesperson’s friend. Never, never resist an objection. Always agree and welcome objections. In fact, you can even offer some objections that you feel may be unspoken. The great thing about objections is that when you work through them, the sale occurs.
#7) TRYING TO KEEP YOUR PRICE A SECRET - If you are worried about your price, you will pass that fear on to your customer. You need to get comfortable and enjoy your pricing. You need to embrace and love the word NO! No is not good or bad, it is just information. Sometimes folks really can’t afford you. Make it OK for them to say NO and not take it personally. If they want to know the price, clearly state it like you would give out your phone number or address. It’s not spooky, and it’s not a secret.
#8) LACK OF FOLLOW-UP – The majority of people need to think about and consider purchases, especially major investments of money. Give them space. Invite them to think about it. Let them come to you. No need to push. Just gently lead and provide the next step. Ask them how they would like you to follow up if they’re not quite ready to buy. They will appreciate it!