Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 10 Mistakes by Salespeople

1) Assumptions - Never assume you understand what a customer is asking. If you think you have a solution to a need the customer has, confirm it. State the solution, then ask if that solution will help them. Remember that just because you like something or your manager likes something, every single customer may NOT like it. Don't point out a "great" feature of your product if you are not already aware that particular customer has a desire for it. When you assume you set yourself up for failure and awkwardness.

2) Wrong Energy Level - Too many sales people haven't grasped the concept of either having a normal energy level or somewhat mirroring your prospect. Way too often it's either over excited sales person or super relaxed low key sales person. Neither is good. Be normal. If you are too many energy levels higher then the prospect, they WILL think you are obnoxious. If you are too low, then you are perceived as aloof and mildly clueless.

3) Not Prepared - If you don't know the basic information about your products, you lose. It's okay and perfectly understandable to not be aware of every detail of every product. That is actually a good follow-up scenario. But, if you are not aware of basic pricing, functionality, process, or how a particular product will benefit that particular customer you should NOT be selling it. Learn first, sell second.

4) Lazy - This one is fairly far reaching. Laziness really encompasses a bit of each category because of a failure to be aware of your deficiencies or lack of knowledge. For the context of this writing, I am going to use lazy to encompass a different meaning. Be on time. If you get to work 10-15 minutes late everyday, you are lazy. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but get to work on time. It just isn't that hard. If a client shows a desire to go see a home, car, product demonstration or whatever else. Take them! Don't give directions. Don't hand them a key. Go take them! What else are doing besides killing a possible sale that is right in your face?

5) Bad First 2 minutes - Does your greeting stink? Try something else. The first two minutes of any conversation are important for a customers perception of you. Make a note: Many customers don't want to talk to you anyway and want to avoid you initially. Why? Because so many sales people pounce on them in the first two minutes. Don't be that guy / girl. NO SELLING ALLOWED in the first two minutes. This is rapport building time. Be Likeable. Be someone that another person may actually want to talk to. If you screw this part up, it is hard to get yourself back to being viewed favorably.

6) Over Selling - Over selling is obvious and boring. It is NOT necessary to point out every feature of a product to a customer. They don't care. People want to know details about the things they find important not you. People have short attention spans and no time to waste, so don't bore people with insignificant details. You will lose them. They will tune out and start coming up with escape mechanisms to get away from you.

7) Confrontational - If a customer makes a statement of dislike, distaste, or dissatisfaction with a product you offer, DON'T take offense. You most likely didn't design it, create it, or invent it. Why are you offended if they don't like it? Find out what they dislike about something and why, then attempt to shift them to something they will like. Confrontation makes the experience bad for the customer and awkward for you. Avoid it.

8) Talk too Much - If you talk more then you listen, you are talking way too much. If you want to be good at selling and I mean better then most other people, scale your talking way back. You should only be talking to greet someone, ask question about your customer's needs, and answer questions that your customer asks. If you talk to fill what you perceive as an awkward silence, get some more confidence and hold your tongue. If you love to tell personal stories while making a sale, you lose. Customers are there to be helped, not listen to personal stories of some random sales person. Listen to your customers and respond with helpful and thoughtful solutions.

9) Wrong Focus - If your sole purpose of being in sales is to make a ton of cash, you will lose in the long run. If your goal each day is too sell your product, you also most likely lose in the long run. Focus on that individual customer that is standing in front you. Only focus on helping them. Don't push any product on any person. People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. Focus on helping the client see the benefits of your product and how it improves their current situation. Sales and money will come consistently when and if you have the right focus.

10) Arrogance - Confidence is crucial. Arrogance is the kiss of death. Arrogance is thinking that you already know everything. In many cases it leads to laziness because you stop learning new stuff. It is annoying and is a major turn-off and it has been a dagger in the heart of many once good sales people. In reality arrogance is false confidence that is created to make up for some personal deficiency in another area. It is basically a personality flaw that covers up a weakness.

Curt Fletcher, is the author of "How To Sell More Homes and Increase Your Income." His goal is to help people gain confidence in their own abilities and maximize their full potential in creating success, wealth and happiness.

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