Stop committing these 15 Costly Sales Mistakes

I tend to read a lot of books on Sales Methodologies. Now that I have read a numerous materials on Sales, I felt let me share a list of Costly Sales Mistakes or Situations which every sales professional should try to avoid in a Sales Process.

As per my experiences, the following 15 types of sales mistakes should be avoided at any cost:

Costly Sales Mistakes 

1. Losing the list of leads when the person from your team leaves

This can happen if your sales reps are maintaining their private list of leads. At some point of time, when the rep is leaving your organization, you might end up losing all the list of leads which he had gathered when he was part of your team. Thus you would end up re-inventing the wheel again by trying to create a new list of leads which is definitely gonna take a long long time. Always ensure your sales team is maintaining a central repository of list of leads which can be at least seen by your team members.

2. Maintaining a physical deck of Visiting Cards

If you have the old habit of maintaining a physical deck of visiting cards, Get rid of this habit as soon as possible. Chances are that your deck would turn up into a stack in no time and you would end up wasting lot of time organizing your contacts. Always use a Contact Management tool which can save your precious time intended for selling.

3. Forgetting the past Customer conversations

It would appear too awkward both for you and your client if you keep forgetting the past conversations you have had with your client during Sales calls and meetings. After conversing with your client, always prepare minutes of meetings (MoM) which contain crucial points of discussions. In order to help you remind your past conversation, add the MoMs in the comments section in your Sales Lead or Deal tracking tool.

4. Calling a Customer only to find that he already got a call from another rep

If your sales team do not maintain a central repository of list of leads and activity logs associated with the lead, then you are very likely to face this problem. Always maintain a centrally visible list of leads and assign each lead to appropriate sales person. You should ensure that the lead is not being contacted by different sales rep every time he gets the call. In case if it is required, always maintain a activity log which mentions the past conversations so that the new sales rep can take it forward from there on.

5. Failing to Understand Client's Problem

The biggest unforgivable mistake a sales person could make is fail to understand the client's problem. If you fail to understand the pain points of your customer, you would never be able to provide an appropriate solution to him which can very well make or break the deal.

6. Not Asking Questions

Not asking Question is like sitting in a flight to Canada while expecting it to go to France. If you ask question, you drive the conversation. If you do not ask question and only answer the questions asked by the customer, then the customer is actually driving the conversation and taking you wherever he wants to go. In these situations you would end up going no where. Thus always ensure you have hold over your conversation and drive it by asking appropriate conversation.

7. Unable to provide Solution to the Client

No matter how much you pitch in, if you are unable to provide a solution to your client, the deal is bound to be lost. Customers are not looking at the list of features of the product they are interested in buying. Instead they are looking at the solution which could solve their current problem. Always try to find out which problem can be solved by your product and then pitch in your product as a solution for that part.

8. Focusing more on Price & Offers during Client Meetings

Many newbie sales reps tend to think that Price might be hindrance to the buying decision thus try to lure their customers by over-pitching on the price and offers associated with their products rather than pitching the benefits of their product. No Customer would ever buy a product even if you offer discounted price, unless and until he is satisfied of the capabilities of the product to solve his problem. Once he is fully satisfied of the product, he would be definitely willing to pay any reasonable price.

9. Displaying less Confidence on your Product

If the client gets to sense a slightest lack of confidence from your end on your own product, the deal is lost instantly. The general notion is that, if you yourself are not satisfied with the capabilities of your product, which they are able to sense with the lack of confidence, then how a customer would get confidence on that solution especially when the client is answerable to his own bosses in his organization.

10. Not Driving Closure

Sales reps tend to lose the deals or delay it by not asking for closure. Always be a closer by asking the right closing questions like "When should I call you back again for the paper work?", "What date should I put in the product trial contract?", etc. Always seek closing signal while interacting with your clients and drive it to closure.

11. Not knowing who are the Influencers or Decision Makers

During your sales presentations, it is important to know who are you presenting to? Are the Influencers or Decision makers present in the room? While in Sales, it's very important that you identify the Influencers and keep them in loop so that they can act as a catalyst for your Deal. If you can influence the influencers, you are good to go.

12. Being too Salesy during Conversations

In olden days, a salesperson with a well dressed attire with his salesy conversation could have cracked the deal easily, but not anymore. Now a days, customers are seeking more and more information on how they can improve or solve their issues rather than the list of product features. Thus avoid trying to be too salesy in your conversations and instead give more and more free information and advices to your customers on how can they be more productive, increase revenue or solve their problems without pitching your products. This would help you build a better relationship with your customer which can bear fruits later.

13. Trying to Sell to an Unqualified prospect

Situations might occur wherein, after a long time following up and communicating with a prospect, you get to realize that the prospect is not the right fit for your solution. But since you have spent a lot of time pestering the prospect, you tend to pursue it further hoping that the client would buy from you. This should be avoided. Selling to an unqualified prospect would bear no results rather than wasting more of your time which you could have employed on other prospect having higher probability of converting.

14. Talking more than Listening

Many sales reps feel, being in Sales they must talk a lot. But one thing they do not realize is "Speaking too much is not Communication". There should be two way communication. Hence, always listen to what your customer has to say so that you better understand his pain points and get him to a solution with your offerings.

15. Not doing prior research about Prospect

If you are not doing prior research about your prospect irrespective of him being a B2B or a B2C Customer, you would end up having a conversation which is not relevant to him. With technology providing access to so much of customer information, you must ensure that you are having a well targeted and contextual conversation rather than discussing irrelevant stuffs with the prospect. Thus, next time you call your client, always make sure you do your home work.

I hope you would avoid these 15 mistakes during your next sales call!

Do let me know your thoughts on this...
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