1. No pre-call planning – In order to reach a target you first have to know what the target is. Failure to plan for each sales call usually results in a “visit” with a prospect that does not have a focus or direction. Plan each sales call. Know what you want to accomplish and plan how you are going to get there on the sales call. Your plan should include: knowing who will be in the meeting, what sales techniques you plan to use, the questions you want to get answers to, and the outcome you want to have. You should be clear about what you want them to do before you make the call.
2. You talk too much – This is a common mistake among sales people. The way to win the sales game is to have knowledge about your prospect. In order to get that knowledge you have to listen. You can’t listen if you are talking. The 80/20 rule applies here. You should be listening 80% or the time and talking 20% of the time. The reason most sales people talk too much is they don’t have the skill set to ask the right questions. Go to www.andreboykin.com and click on free sales training tool to get copy of “The Answer is in The Question.” This is a great sales training resource to help you ask better questions and improve your sales skills.
3. Failure to show unique value – Your prospects are looking for the best value for products and services. Value is created by uniqueness and scarcity. If you do not show how your product or service is unique from your competition, the only thing left to compare your product or service against the competition is price. If price is the only comparison, in order to win the business, you have to have the lowest price. It doesn’t matter what your product or service is there is something that you can do to create uniqueness. Just remember the more uniqueness you create, the more value you create.
4. Failure to discover needs and wants – All too often sales people rush to make a presentation and proposal without knowing enough about the prospects needs and wants. Discovering needs and wants is the lifeblood of successful selling and is a sales skill you want to develop. Needs are the requirements and desires of the organization. Wants are the requirements and desires of the buyers or the individuals. In the buying process, buyers will make and emotional decision first (wants) and then justify it logically (needs). It is not just enough to know the needs and wants, you also want to know the “why” behind the needs and wants. When you understand your prospect’s needs and wants and why they have those needs and wants, you are in a position to win the sale.
5. Negotiate too soon – Most sales people begin to negotiate before they even know it. For example, if your prospect says your price is too high and you replay that we can work with you on price, you have already started to negotiate. There are four criteria that have to be met before you can start to negotiate. If you start to negotiate before meeting all of the criteria, at best you will not have the best deal you could have gotten, and at worse, you lose the deal. Before you start to negotiate, make sure your prospect understands your original proposal. Consider you really haven’t started selling until your prospect tells you “no.” Don’t just start giving stuff away because your prospect says “no” the first time. This is such an important part of the sales process. Negotiations should take place in a vacuum. Go to www.andreboykin.com and click on The Success Store and order your copy of “The Art or Sales Negotiations.” This sales training program will help you negotiate more “win-win” agreements.
6. Failure to ask for referrals – The best time to ask for a referral is immediately after you have obtained agreement with your prospect to do business. All too often, salespeople let this special moment in time slip away without taking advantage of the opportunity. Another time to ask for referrals is when your prospect or customer gives you a compliment. Instead of just saying “thank you” and moving on to something else, why not say “thank you! Who do you know that could benefit from our products or services?” Always keep in mind that your prospects and customers are portals to other prospects and customers. Look for the opportunity to ask for referrals and develop the sales techniques that allow you to effortless ask for referrals. This is another key sales skill you want to develop
7. Failure to establish relationships – In most business to business selling you will have more than one person who will influence the buying decision. You want to establish relationships with everyone who has a role in the buying decision. Sometimes you can focus all your attention on the person making the decision and forget about the other buying influencers. Failing to establish a relationship with all buying influencers reduces the likelihood of success. The basis of the relationship is to know the wants and needs of each buying influencer.
8. Having the wrong viewpoint – The successful sales person always puts the prospects needs first. If you are looking at things only from your viewpoint, your prospect will think you don’t have their best interest in mind. When you make statements such as: “what I want to do now is…., my next step with you is to …., it demonstrates that you have a “me” centered viewpoint versus a prospect centered viewpoint. If you keep your prospects needs first in what you say and do, you prospect will grow to trust you and view you as a trusted advisor.
9. Not knowing what alternatives are being considered – If you are trying to sell something and don’t know what alternatives your prospect is considering is like trying to drive a car blindfolded. Not a good idea. Consider that your prospect has several alternatives, including doing nothing, to solve the challenges or problems they have. Your solution is just one of the alternatives. You need to know what other alternative are being considered so you can compellingly show why your alternative is the best.
10. Quoting your price too soon – Never quote price to an unsold buyer. In fact change your language to say the investment for our product or service versus the price of our product or service. Quoting price too soon will never put you in a position to win the sale. Many times your prospect may pressure you for the investment for your product or service. You have to stand your ground here because it is not in your prospect’s best interest to hear what the investment is and not know what the investment includes. Simply explain that to your prospect. The time and effort it takes to develop the salees techniques and sales skills to pursuade your prospect to wait to hear your investment is well worth it.