Over the years you start to see patterns of the same mistakes when you work with and manage enough sales people. Good news, most, if not all mistakes can be corrected with the right attitude and willingness to learn.
Here are three common mistakes sales people make:
- Information dump! – I know you are excited! And you should be! But let’s pump the brakes a bit. Although super common amongst rookie salespeople, this can get the better of vets too. I talk about this often with my sales team, the most valuable lesson I learned while working at Enterprise Rent-a-Car was one of their 8 core values, which was… “listening is the most powerful tool we have”. Just because your prospect says they are willing to give you a few minutes, that does not give you the right to then go on a 5 minute rant about how awesome your product or service is, you haven’t even qualified their need yet! Be clear and transparent with why you are calling or visiting them, ask them if you can ask a few qualifying questions or so you aren’t wasting their time… then start with a few basic open ended questions…and above all else listen more than speak.
- Respect Your Prospect’s Time – Now, some people may not agree with me on this, but hear me out. Too many sales people when they get a live person on the phone or get someone in person, they do not typically ask the prospect if “now is a good time?”, they try to steam roll them into their product or services pitch. This is highly annoying, disrespectful and a quick sure way to get a prospect to be immediately turned off. If now is not a good time for the prospect, no problem, ask, “when would be a better time?” Send a calendar invite, send a LinkedIn request, even a reminder follow up call or text about the appointment the day before. I have gotten more sales, and built better relationships by respecting other peoples time, and using a diligent follow up system once they agreed that I could follow up.
- Not Asking For The Sale – When ever someone is having a “closing problem”, the first question I ask is “how often are you asking for the sale?” You would be amazed at how many people, ask all the right questions, build the rapport, and then complete freeze up when it’s time to ask for the business. Why? Its scary! But being scared does not get you closer to your end result, which is to make the deal for good of the both of you! People will say “yes” way more than you would ever think. Most sales people think with their own wallet, maybe the sales person can’t afford their own service or product, so they assume others are all in the same boat as them. Or even worse they don’t believe in their product or service so they don’t ask for the sale. (another issue entirely). Point is, don’t assume the person is going to say No, and if they do, GREAT! It gives you another opportunity to figure out why they are hesitant, and to cover that area of uncertainty. It also gives you another person to put in your pipeline. A No, does not mean a NO forever, it just means a NO for today, two entirely different things.
All of these mistakes can be turned around quickly, and have a dramatic, positive impact on your business and income!