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6 BIG Sales Blunders Salespeople Make Featured

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6 BIG Sales Blunders Salespeople Make

Blunder 1:  They don't know the customer's industry 

Salespeople believe their product offering is valuable to all companies across the board. They end up irritating the buyer because he/she hasn't got the time to give a free education to a disorganized salesperson.

Problem: They don't research or prepare before seeing a prospect face to face or over the phone. No-one has the time or inclination to answer "So tell me, what is your company all about ...?"  The buyer will naturally become frustrated and irritable with this pathetic approach.

Solution: Search the internet, phone their switchboard, understand what they do, who's  who in their structure, their top products /services, what is hot (read their news tab), see what others say, who are their competitors, what are their plans and what's a connection point (the link) you can use when you meet? For example,

"I see your company is launching an aggressive marketing campaign into East Africa to promote your server platforms (now use your link or  ‘connection' point) and I'd like to share with you how our outlets use the  internet  in that region to shorten their lead times to market. How does that sound Peter? "

Blunder 2:  They don't know how the buyer buys

Salespeople try and exploit the sales opportunity without finding out what's unique about the buying process and who is actually involved.

Problem:  Buyers have become increasingly sophisticated, knowledgeable and accountable to their companies for containing budget.  It's the trend now to have a few people involved in making a Buying Decision.

Solution: Get close to the Buyer, suss out their Personality Style. Is it Amiable, Expressive, Analytical or Driving and adjust your behaviors to match their style?  Also adjust your sales process so that it is in tune with the buyer's process.  "I understand you are you still in the evaluative stage of the buying process. What do you suggest as the next step, a live demonstration or a meeting with one of our clients?" 

Blunder 3: They give a ‘generic' pitch with a ‘generic brochure'

We are on familiar territory when we talk about our product; it’s our comfort zone and passion and so much more tempting to stay there rather than stray onto the prospect's unfamiliar turf. 

Problem: The seller never clearly identifies the buyer's need and wants, so the pitch, at best is a ‘spray and pray'.

Solution: During your conversation with the prospect, listen to them, focus your attention on what they say and how deep is their ‘pain'.  Don't think about what are going to say next. Put yourself in their shoes, empathize and together start looking at what is required. 

Blunder 4: They allow prospects to bully them

Salespeople often give in to prospect's demands, especially falling for the ‘discount trap' or the perceived threat "If you don't do ............., the deal is off".

Problem: We crumble too quickly when the prospect becomes demanding.  This leads the prospect to correctly assume you are weak and lack backbone.

Solution: Aim for a deal that makes sense for the buyer and seller and is a win-win outcome. If either party feels it is a lose situation, resentment creeps in and eventually anger and bitterness.

When the last minute demands come up, hold your ground and the customer will reflect on the fact that you mean business, that you are not a pushover. This inspires TRUST, which is what you both really want.

Blunder 5: Salespeople often avoid closing the deal.

Remember closing starts from your first encounter and every point of agreement leads towards a final yes.

Problem: Salespeople put so much time and effort into the process of finding opportunities that they appear wasted when it comes to the easy business of closing. Or is it that most salespeople are so scared of rejection that they often delay the close by doing something really odd like "I'll get back to you"?

Solution:  Summarize the points of agreement and check the ‘yeses' are out on the table, before calmly moving into an alternative close. Then SHUT UP. The first person to speak loses.

Blunder 6: Salespeople ignore objections

Remember the more valid objections you receive, count yourself lucky. The prospect is really interested and just checking that this is the right deal for them.

Problem: Salespeople see objections as red lights and obstacles to getting a deal.

Solution: Learn how to isolate the objection and have the courage to ask "What else would they like to raise?" Get everything out into the open and see this as a green light, as a golden opportunity, to get involved with your prospect.  Never bury an objection because it will come back to bite you. 

Last modified on Monday, 22 October 2012 12:33
Clive Price

Clive Price

Clive is Managing Director of The Peer Group in South Africa and has a BA (Econ) from Wits University and a post graduate degree in Learning Psychology from London University.

The consummate sales maestro, Clive can orchestrate any sales dialogue into a win-win for all.Pushing the boundaries of learning, he has successfully trained thousands of delegates around the world who have all experienced the ‘ka-ching’ factor from his unique brand of training. The naughty chuckle in his eyes is perhaps typical of an entrepreneurial thinker, who has turned the conventional ways of selling upside down.

He has an astute grasp of what it takes to succeed in sales and business and has published many articles including:

Objections Open the Doors

Six Common Sales Blunders

How Buyer’s Seduce Salespeople

Watch Your Sales Soar

Be prepared to be blown away with The Peer Group’s brand of training.


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