These five sales meeting mistakes which are easily avoidable often cost a company a conversion that looked all but certain.
Great news – after sending out your sales literature and engaging in numerous phone calls you’ve finally got the chance to meet your prospect in person! You probably feel like you’ve done the hard work already but unfortunately in the sales meeting mistakes which are easily avoidable often cost a company a conversion that looked all but certain:
One of the biggest sales meeting mistakes actually happens before you’ve even entered into the meeting! By failing to correctly understand your prospect’s company structure you’ve arranged a meeting with someone only to find that they are not senior enough to make a purchase decision. This happens more times than most sales people would like to admit but can be easily avoided by simply asking key questions during your initial conversations to find the decision maker.
Your sales meeting should rarely be all about you doing a sales presentation, in fact the less you talk and the more the prospect talks the better. Your first sales meeting should be all about building a business relationship. Before you can offer your products to someone you need to first find out more about their business – what problems are they facing? What areas appropriate to your field would they like to improve in? Only once you understand the answers to these questions should you start suggesting how your products could help – and because you listened to them first they’ll be much more likely to listen to you in return.
It is inevitable that during some sales meetings you will reach a point where you disagree with something a customer has to say or they disagree with you. This might be a point you make about their business, their field or about your own product. Our natural reaction is to argue but this does not help build a positive business relationship. Instead ask questions and find out more about what they think – this could be useful information and might help you make a sale later on.
Basic information about the function, price and availability of your product should be easily on hand during the meeting. Ideally nearly all of this information would be inside your head but if your product is too complicated or you have too many products to remember all this information at least keep it with you. Answering every question a client has with “I’ll get back to you on that” can be frustrating and is not going to give your client a positive view of either yourself or your business.
Even sales people who consistently get to the end of the sales meeting without making any other mistakes can fall into the trap of failing to ask for a sale. Not moving a customer further along the sales process is one of the biggest sales meeting mistakes you can create. You are not there just to have a nice chat and then agree to meet again in a month’s time – you need to move the customer further towards a purchase. The best way to do this is simply to ask them if they’d like to do a deal then and there – they are expecting it and will not think you’re being too pushy.
These sales meeting mistakes can be critical – but they are also easy to fix with just a few tweaks to your technique. The best way to find out if you’re doing any of these is to take a colleague with you to the meeting and ask them to point out if they see you committing any of these sales meeting mistakes as we sometimes find it hard to see our own mistakes.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.