1.8: Six Major Sales Mistakes
We have found that there are some common mistakes that salespeople make no matter what type of sales they do or what industry they are in.
In this lesson, you will learn what the top six mistakes are. You will also think about some ways to avoid making that mistake and ways to lessen the impact if that error is made.
1. Not listening and talking too much
When you’re trying to sell something, your instinct is to talk a lot: passionately describe the benefits and features of your offering, tell them about your knowledge, and… push, push, push.
However, this is not entirely effective. Pushy salespeople rarely succeed. Considerate people do. And, let’s face it, you’re not the only one selling! Instead, listen more intently and ask more open-ended questions. Your listening-to-talking ratio should be 60/40.
Listening more and asking more specific questions allows you to better understand the customer’s business needs and tailor your offering. It will also assist you in getting to know them as individuals (preferences and tastes) and demonstrating your concern.
2. Not focusing on the solution
This is an old tip, but it’s probably the most important.
As a salesperson, you’d be tempted to brag about all of your product’s or service’s cool features. But the problem is… it’s not going to sell.
Instead of describing the bells and whistles, you should concentrate on how your product can solve the most pressing problems that your prospect is attempting to solve.
It is critical to understand that your prospects are not interested in HOW you do it, but rather in WHAT you can do.
What we’re trying to say here is that features tell, but benefits sell!
3. Not Qualifying Leads Properly
Qualifying leads means understanding their business needs and pain points, as well as their budget, timeline, and commitment level. Being able to accurately qualify leads will help you avoid wasting precious time and resources on deals that are unlikely to close.
To ensure you’re correctly qualifying leads, create buyer personas that outline the types of customers benefit from your product or service.
This could be a high-level list of characteristics your ideal customer should possess, such as a specific business size, industry, location, budget, and timeline. Or you can get more granular by creating and ideal customer profile.
By understanding the nuances of each buyer persona, you’ll be able to more accurately identify which leads are worth pursuing and which ones will be less likely to close.
4. Making It About Your Company
Try to imagine how a business owner or another decision-maker thinks. You only have 8 hours in a workday and you get enough mail to spend half of your day reading through it.
Imagine you get an email from a salesperson, talking about their own company’s awards and achievements instead of how they can help your company succeed. Naturally, you’re very likely to skip that email without a second thought.
It’s often good to drop a name that you worked with in the email or a call, as name recognition is always a great factor in building trust. Don’t focus on your company at all unless the lead specifically wants to know something about it. Instead, focus on how you can help them achieve their goals.
5. Not Having A Process
When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to wing it when it comes to sales. However, as you scale, it becomes more and more important to have a process in place. A defined sales process will help you close more deals and avoid making common mistakes.
I recommend having a robust Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), such as HubSpot, from day one. As the company grows, it becomes messy to manage leads just from your native email app and Excel sheets. Having a CRM from day one will support you in making your processes organized and help you scale without creating bottlenecks in your sales processes.
6. Being over-excited
Out of all the sales mistakes out there, this might be the most annoying to prospects. Traditional selling would have salespeople showing copious levels of enthusiasm right off the bat, practically bursting with excitement when talking about their product or service. In reality, nothing turns prospects off more than this overly cheerful sales approach. It comes across as fake, try-hard, and disingenuous.
We need to lower the tempo. We don’t need to be excited about our product or our service—at least not openly. Hopefully, you like what you’re selling and you have some real excitement over how you can help your prospects solve your challenges. But being excited does nothing to help you make a sell. In fact, it usually deters the sale by making the prospect distrust you.
Stay focused on the prospect and what they care about. Be calm, authentic, and human. Drop that excitement and forced enthusiasm. Instead, be a real person. That’s going to connect with prospects so much more than high energy ever will.