The market for selling any product is highly competitive. To seal the most deals against a competitive background, you have to be the best. Sadly, according to the Objective Management Group (OMG), 75% of salespeople perform dismally at their job. Based on their research, OMG found most salespeople don’t receive adequate sales training or practice and end up winging it. However, given the importance of the salesperson’s role in driving the business forward, it’s critical for reps to fine-tune their competencies.
One way of improving performance is by figuring out where you’re getting it wrong. To that end, here are some of the most common pitfalls that salespeople fall into so you can avoid making the same slip-ups.
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As a salesperson, being stuck in the stone age in the way you conduct your business will likely keep you from reaching your targets. You have to keep up with the digital trends if you want to stay relevant in the game. Customers are looking for a quick turnaround time to their inquiries and adopting digital solutions to your sales is a great way to boost the business.
In addition, avoid overconfidence and priding yourself in being able to sell anything, even to customers who don’t need your product. Successful selling is more than proving how well you can outdo other salespeople or how you can rack up the numbers, it is also about achieving customer satisfaction.
So, while you may have been able to convince a customer to buy what they don’t want, chances are they’ll suffer from buyer’s remorse which will cost you repeat purchases. A successful business is built on repeat sales, not once-off purchases.
Talking More Than Listening
While trying to seal the deal, it’s easy to fall into the trap of describing to the prospective buyer all about your product, highlighting its technical specifications, and flaunting its benefits.
However, talking too much can push your customers away as shown by a study conducted by Gong on a sample of 25,000 sales calls. The research found that those who talked for 70% of the call, were in the bottom fifth when it came to performance. In contrast, salespeople who topped the charts talked for only 40% of the call.
Customers generally don’t like to feel pushed into buying a product. And that’s how you can make them feel if you don’t train in the art of being attentive to their needs and concerns.
The advantage of listening is that customers will unpack exactly what they are looking for, which makes your job easier. Ask open-ended questions so you get as much feedback from the customer as possible.
Presenting to a customer in an automated way like a robot makes the process feel detached. You may lose the client’s interest faster than you realize. Delivering a pitch comes across better when it sounds natural and conversational rather than mechanical and scripted. Add personal touches to your presentation to make the potential buyer feel valued.
Although you may have a certain format in how you deliver your sales presentation, try to make your selling experience unique to the customer. Let it be a two-way conversation between you and the customer.
That said, while you will often have to go with the flow and think fast on your feet, prepare a pitch outline so you don’t end up getting lost, losing your momentum, or omitting important parts of the pitch.
As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Cliché as it may sound, not having done your research puts you at a disadvantage.
- You need to be adequately trained and know your product thoroughly because a customer may ask you just about anything about the product.
- Adequate research will help you build a rapport with the client and help to create trust. And when a customer trusts you, they are likely to buy from you.
- Being prepared will help direct your conversation seamlessly and strike the right chord in addressing your customer’s needs.
Not Addressing the Competition
Customers are often spoilt for choice when it comes to competing products on the market. So, you need to paint the bigger picture of why your product outdoes a competing product.
For instance, you can say to a potential customer, “we have received feedback from customers who have switched over to our software that it is four times faster in processing information than other software on the market.” Using these statistic-based statements can help tip the customer’s decision in your favor as compared to simply saying, “our software is super-fast.”
Address the competitors early on in your pitch as this can pack a powerful punch to your presentation.
Don’t Go It Alone
The importance of teamwork in sales cannot be underestimated. Sales training often addresses the value unlocked when teams work together in sealing deals.
Teamwork gives you access to the viewpoint of different team members so you can understand the product from different angles. You will also get different ideas and styles to take a leaf from which can help you create that winning pitch.
Overall, eliminating these common mistakes can help make you a force to reckon with so continuously seek to evolve as a salesperson.
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