The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Sales

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Sales people, sales organizations and sales teams have to change the way they are handling customers today in this very competitive world. The old ways of selling are changing and require all sales people, sales managers and sales organizations to think differently.

Here are 10 essential selling principles that most sales people and sales organization either get wrong or don’t implement:

1. Not selling the solution

People and companies buy things only in an attempt to solve a problem. Sales people spend too much time on the offer rather than assuring the buyer that the product, company and individual will solve the problem. This typically results in presentations that are too long and prices that are too low. Focus on how your product and the company can solve the three most critical problems your client is trying to solve.

2. Too dependent on the “sales presentation”

I have seen sales people spend hours creating presentations and then become so dependent upon the slideshow and every detail that they are no longer aware of vital buying signals. You being present is more important than the presentation. Of course, you want a great presentation, but never become so dependent that you are unable to know what is important, who the influencers are and when you are getting the buy in and when you are not.

3. Not asking the hard questions

It is my experience that sales people miss opportunities to build trust by not asking the hard questions. This either comes from naivety or a lack of proper training to truly get in communication with the client. I was on a sales call with one of my top people and while he was presenting to the group I sensed that the decision-maker wasn’t buying what he was saying.

I interrupted, “you don’t believe a word of what he is saying, do you?” The client started laughing and said that was exactly what he was thinking.

Ask these questions: “How do you feel about our price?” “How do you feel about our term?” “Why would you do business with me when you have done it with our competitor for so long?”

If you don’t get the answers to the hard questions you will find yourself not closing deals and not learning why.

4. Believing price will solve your clients’ problem

No one buys a price, ever! I have been in sales my entire adult life and have been tricked by thousands of buyers who said “price is the only issue.” Your buyer may seem obsessed with price, demands your lowest price and claims the budget cannot be violated. Despite all this, every one of them will pay a higher price.

5. Presenting without the intention to close

When I start a presentation I make it clear to the prospect that my intention is to have the product or service being used by the client this week. “Thanks for your time today, my goal is to have my product to your company by the end of this week.”

The customer usually then tells me they have no intention of doing anything that quickly, at which point I simply say, “I understand. I just wanted you to know my intention.”

You have to present with confidence, not arrogance, and set the stage early that you know your product can solve their problems.



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