In this article, we’ll discuss three key selling mistakes that trip up more than their fair share of sales teams.
Worried about your sales team? Even the greatest sales people occasionally develop blind spots, areas where they’ll consistently make selling mistakes despite all their talent and knowledge. Certain common pitfalls can become especially problematic, poisoning not only individual sales but also the reputation your product develops-that makes it vital that you stamp out these particular selling mistakes quickly. Don’t let your sales team sabotage itself any longer than it needs to. In this article, we’ll discuss three key selling mistakes that trip up more than their fair share of sales teams, including a few solutions to each of these insidious problems.
Egocentric selling. This is one of the easiest selling mistakes for any sales person to make-you almost certainly have at least one person on your team with this problem. So what’s meant by egocentric selling? Sales that talk about the sales person, the company, the product, the accolades and awards and magazine reviews. In the end, you can secure sales with an egocentric approach, but it’s not the most effective route at all.
Focus on the prospect. People want to know what you can do for them. Your sales team should be speaking in terms of potential, benefits, specific improvements your product can bring to a specific customer. That means doing research in advance and asking questions after making contact. By saying ‘You You You’ instead of “I I I” or “We We We”, your sales team members will build better bonds with their prospect, create a far more vivid image in the prospect’s mind of ‘what this product can do for me’, and secure more sales with more satisfied customers.
Shortsighted sales. Sometimes closed sales can count as selling mistakes, if your sales team is using rush tactics. Failing to create a bond with the customer may not have an immediate, obvious impact on your ability to make a particular sale, but in the aggregate it creates countless unsatisfied customers. Unsatisfied customers, in many ways, impact the bottom line of a company worse than non-customers for one simple reason: Bad word-of-mouth. People don’t speak poorly of a company to their friends if they were uninterested in the product, but if they buy the product then regret the purchase that negative impression can make its way through your potential customer base. That’s setting aside other problems, like returns, extra customer service man-hours, etc.
Build relationships, not sales. Customers who like you and want to buy from you, from your company, will not regret their purchase in the dreaded “Final Stage” of the buying process. That means that when it’s time for them to buy again, they’ll buy from you-even if the competition has a better offering. That means that when they leave reviews, or talk to their friends, they’ll be saying good things. And that means that you’ll have fewer returns and your customer service team won’t have nearly as much work-unless your happy customer is calling in to make another order.
Underdeveloped process. Most selling mistakes descend from this one ur-mistake. In failing to establish a reasoned, effective, efficient sales process through insight, trail-and-error, and copious amounts of metric analysis, your sales team will be operating at a consistently reduced level of competency. A well-developed sales process doesn’t stifle creativity or the natural talent of your sales team; it gives each member a baseline to compare data against, to fall back on when at a loss. It’s a tool for constant improvement, not one for stagnation.
Build a process. Getting your team thinking about sales process in a positive light will be half the battle. If you can convince your sales team to start working on their processes, to start looking at data, trying new things, cutting old favorites that don’t help, you’ll see a marked improvement across the board.
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.