Customer Experience News & Trends

5 ways to completely kill a sale

Everyone makes mistakes. Problem is, in the sales profession, mistakes that are in human nature to make may have repercussions that can kill your career. As a result, you’ll want to take a good look at these common pitfalls and try to avoid them: 

  1. Posing. This means faking it, going through the motions of selling without really understanding the intricacies of the sales process. Posing creates a false sense of confidence. It may also lead to sales call reluctance and prevent you from building long-term relationships with customers. Real confidence springs from knowing your products or services, and understanding the needs of your prospects and customers. For sales success, identify what really matters and align your work to fit your priorities. Discovering your self-worth and the value you bring to customers will nourish your passion for selling.
  2. Muscling. Muscling is trying to do everything yourself. A salesperson who tries to perform every aspect of the job will begin to lose strength and momentum, and may eventually burn out. To fight the effects of muscling, think of your sales job as a business in and of itself, and do whatever it takes to keep it thriving. You can and should delegate tasks that get in the way of your important selling efforts.  The fact is that in the selling profession you can’t do it all alone.
  3. Arguing. Arguing is monopolizing the conversation by starting your presentation before you ask questions and listen to your prospect’s concerns. To avoid arguing, forget about making the sale. Focus instead on learning your prospect’s priorities and point of view. Initiate a question-based dialogue that reveals what your prospect is looking for and why. Listen carefully and take notes. A trust-based relationship with a prospect requires a dialogue, not a monologue. Post questions and listen carefully to the prospect’s needs, values and challenges. When it comes to closing sales, ascertaining needs is the absolute key to offering solutions that compel prospects to buy.
  4. Skimming. Skimming occurs when you establish a relationship with a customer, make the sale and then disappear. The secret to sales success is nurturing and retaining your existing customers. Work with your customers to form mutually beneficial relationships. Let your customers know that you appreciate them. Don’t infringe on their valuable time. Don’t stop when the deal closes. Follow-up and continue to assess customer needs on a continuing basis.
  5. Stop advancing. The worst thing you can do for your sales career is to stop advancing. Your competition is raising the bar constantly. Markets, products and customers always change. What worked today will not necessarily work tomorrow. To avoid this mistake, read about trends in your field. Stay abreast of new developments and technologies. Talk to customers on a regular basis to see if their needs have changed.

Adapted from:Killing the Sale,” by Todd Duncan, a sales consultant.

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