Salespeople, teams, and companies are in an increasingly competitive game. Especially with the rise of online shopping, one mistake and your client can easily go elsewhere without giving you a second thought. The old, pushy, boiler room, style of selling doesn’t work in this new age of selling, and salespeople need to thoroughly examine their entire sales process to ensure they’re not falling into these old habits, and potentially sending your client to a competitor.
To help with this, we’ve assembled a list of some of the most common mistakes salespeople are making:
- Passive listening.
No one in sales should ever be ‘passive listening’. The most important part of the sales process is listening to your client. This is your opportunity to accurately define your clients’ needs and find the best solution for them. Ask questions and completely absorb the answer, never ask a question, and then start planning what you’re going to say next while the client is talking. Actively listen, nod, verbally show you are understanding them, and ask for clarification when you’re not. Showing you’re listening not only helps you find the best solution, it also helps to build the relationship with the client.
- Selling the offer, not the solution.
Never focus on the price or the offer over the solution it provides. Your clients are looking to buy in order to solve a problem. You need to be entirely focussed on the solution you are providing for them when presenting. It’s no good focussing all your energy on a product that doesn’t 100% solve your clients’ problems, just because it’s on sale or it’s cheap.
- Not reading the client
Never become so involved in what you are saying, that you completely ignore, or don’t notice, the vital signs the customer is showing when you speak. This is your time to gauge how they are reacting to what you are saying, look for buying signals, and evaluate whether this is actually what the client is wanting. People show a huge amount of their feelings through body language alone, read them and adjust your presentation as necessary.
- Ignoring emotional questions
Salespeople will often avoid asking emotional questions, because they seem too probing or unnecessary, but sometimes, this is exactly what’s needed. Asking for feelings is essential to the sales process. Questions like “Do you feel this will solve your problem?” “How do you feel about it?” and following with “Why do you feel that way?” It may sound as though you’re trying to be a psychologist, but asking the feeling questions are incredibly valuable. If a client is feeling good about a prospective sale, then they verbalise it, they’ve confirmed their feelings aloud and will stick with them.
- Presenting without solid intention
You need to know the outcome you are working towards when selling to a client. Giving them a presentation and hoping that maybe they’ll buy something off the back of it is a huge mistake. From the get-go, you need to know what you want your client taking away from the presentation, how you’re going to ensure that you get that across, and that you ask the right closing questions at the end. If you don’t have a strong purpose behind your presentation, you’ll generally end up with a client who will ‘think about their options’ because you’re not asking the right questions to enable them to make decisions about your product.
Don’t wait any longer, this week, evaluate your entire sales process, whether you are an individual salesperson, in a sales team, or a sales manager, you need to know that none of this is happening, as it will strongly impact your team and their ability to sell to more clients. Talk through the expectations, and ensure you are selling as efficiently, genuinely, and effectively as possible.