3 Common Mistakes Most Salespeople Make
Sales is simultaneously the easiest and hardest career that most people will ever pursue. At its most basic level, salesmanship is no more complicated than talking to potential customers and matching them to the right product or service. However, selling constantly forces salespeople to put themselves into vulnerable or stressful situations, and it’s easy for even the most seasoned salespeople to make fundamental errors. Three errors in particular are common for all salespeople.
Not Asking for the Sale
No selling interaction should end without asking for the sale at least once. You don’t have to be pushy or confrontational when asking for the sale, but you must ask before your potential customer walks away or hangs up the phone.
Asking for the sale pushes the customer to make up their mind. They’ll stop asking about the features and benefits of your product and begin deciding whether your product will address the need that brought them to you. It also helps you to control the selling process; without asking for the sale, the customer may remain in a state of perpetual investigation, eating up all your time without giving you anything in return for your efforts.
Not Asking Questions or Listening to Customers
Too many salespeople want to fill the selling process with their own words, spilling out a constant stream of facts, features and benefits to drive the conversation forward. Before spouting off product knowledge, savvy salespeople know to ask the customer about their needs and listen for the customer’s pain points.
Ultimately, customers aren’t searching for a list of features and benefits. They’re searching for solutions that will solve problems. For example, someone looking for a new pair of shoes doesn’t necessary want the latest shoe from the biggest brand name. They may need a pair of comfortable and fashionable shoes for a trade show or a supportive and sturdy pair of boots for an upcoming camping trip. The salesperson who asks questions, listens to the customer’s needs, and matches those needs to the right product is the one who will land the sale.
Telling the Customer What They Want to Hear
When you have a promising lead in front of you, it’s tempting to agree with everything the customer says and tell them what you think they want to hear. Although this tactic may sometimes land you the odd sale, more often than not it backfires. Overpromising or lying to a customer will inevitably lead to an unhappy customer who no longer trusts you or your advice. Telling the customer the truth about your products, even if it loses you the sale that day, will often reap enormous benefits in the long run. An honest reputation gives customers the confidence to trust your advice and close the sale with you.
Although many of the most common selling mistakes are easy to make, avoiding them will reward you with enviable sales numbers. By remaining disciplined and always practicing good selling techniques, you’ll be able to improve your performance and enjoy the benefits of a rewarding sales career.