One of our sales training clients in Vancouver wanted to know what common mistakes are made by Salespeople. This makes great reading for all Salespeople, regardless of experience level. Even seasoned veterans have to be extremely careful of repeating these patterns. Avoiding these pitfalls will make you a top producer, greatly increase your income and get you the respect of clients and colleague alike. How many of these mistakes do you make?
Mistake #1 – Talk too much
Far too many salespeople don’t know when to shut up. It’s a cliché that salespeople need to have the gift of gab. We already know what society thinks of salespeople, so avoiding this mistake is a smart move. Talking too much is THE biggest mistake salespeople make. SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money is a good motto to follow. It’s also the name of my book, courtesy of Mistake #1. The solution is simple – SHUT UP and LISTEN to what your customer is telling you.
Mistake #2 – Don’t follow-up
This is another huge problem with salespeople. We all want to make a sale. We live for the moment when a prospect turns into a customer. Unfortunately, Salespeople tend to move on quickly when they don’t make a sale immediately. Constantly looking for low hanging fruit does not make a great Sales career. It gives you the image of only being in it for yourself. It also adds to the negative stigma of Salespeople. Smart Salespeople know that timing is everything. So, if your customer needs some time to decide, ask for a follow-up date and do this incredibly easy task – call them!
Mistake #3 – Take rejection personally
In Sales, rejection is inevitable. Taking it personally is another sure sign of a rookie salesperson. Sales is for the tough-minded and thick-skinned. If you don’t find a way to deal with rejection, you will not last long in this industry. Look at it this way – when a prospect says “No,” what they’re really saying is – “I’m not interested in what you have to offer at this given point in time.”
That’s a lot of words. Saying “No” is a lot easier. Dry your eyes, Princess! “No” is just a delayed “Yes” waiting to happen when the timing is better. See Mistake #2. Your “Yeses” will add to your income. Your “Nos” will add to your education.
Mistake #4 – Look for shortcuts
There are no shortcuts. There is no way to beat the system of being successful in sales. It takes self-discipline and hard work over a lengthy period of time. Sales success is a marathon, not a sprint.
Mistake # 5 – Focus on price
Your toughest clients will tell you that price is everything. They are lying. Here’s why. When is the last time someone bragged about the great deal they got on a piece of junk? A fool buys junk. A decision to buy based only on price follows the choice to buy quality. Hard negotiators beat you down on price because it works on many Salespeople and Sales Managers.
Mistake # 6 – Deal with the wrong people
Salespeople spend way too much time with the wrong people. While gatekeepers and assistants have a job to do, Salespeople who invest all their time with them will always be the victim of decision makers they’ve never met. It’s virtually impossible to grow your sales intuition when you’re dealing with the people who only do the legwork. “Who besides yourself is involved in making the final decision?” That question shows respect for the person you’re dealing with and tries to go up the ladder.
Mistake #7 – Panic prospecting
OMG. What just happened? Panic prospecting is what Salespeople do when they’ve been decimated by cancellations with too few new opportunities. High rates of panic prospecting usually come up short as Salespeople focus on their personal situation and forget about their customer’s needs. Relationships and sales cycles that take months to develop can easily be destroyed by desperation. Smart Salespeople prospect for new lines of business all the time.
Mistake #8 – Making assumptions
“This client won’t be interested in this product line.” “This customer will not see any value in this offer.” “I know what my clients need.” “She will never pay that much.”
These killer assumptions are dangerous. In fact, they are client misrepresentations. Don’t EVER assume that the needs of one client are the wants of many. Ask. Check. Stay open-minded.
Mistake #9 – Lying by omission
Thank you to the late, great Sales Master – Zig Ziglar, the creator of this term. He felt that it was a Salesperson’s job to educate a customer by giving them all the best information to make the best decision. That means you can’t leave out any details that might sway a buyer’s choice. Salespeople with the “Didn’t ask – didn’t tell” philosophy will be quick to experience the “Didn’t repeat, renew or refer business” customer end-result. The basis of all relationships is trust.
Mistake #10 – Not having a system
Poor Salespeople wing it and fly by the seat of their pants. Being ill-prepared, they constantly miss out on opportunities. The sales that they make are based on dumb luck and good fortune. Smart Salespeople observe, learn and develop a strategy. They ask for opinions and guidance. They put together a sales system that serves as a written business plan for success with the help of their Sales Manager.
What do you think? Do you have any other mistakes you’d like to add?
The 10 Common Mistakes that Salespeople Make are in Chapter Two of my book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Starting Making Money available on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Buy it this summer and get pumped to make more sales this fall!
Thanks for reading!
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY
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PROSALESGUY TRAINING offers Keynote speaking, Group Sales Training, Individual Sales Training, Sales Management Mentoring and Consultation, and Business Consulting Services in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Training can be done on site or via web conferencing.