Foolish Things Salespeople Do
I thought in honor of April fools day it would be fun to do an episode about some of the amazingly foolish things salespeople do. Now, if you’ve done any of these don’t feel bad (most likely we’ve all done at least some of these before) and hopefully…you’re not doing them anymore…I mean if you were that would be pretty foolish!
On today’s show discover:
- …can cause your customer to say no;
- …shake your confidence and
- … are avoided by top sales pros (who probably made these mistakes at one time or another too).
1 Providing Irrelevant Information
You’ve studied your product knowledge and you’re eager to share what you know but raining down information that’s relevant to the product and irrelevant to your customer does more harm than good.
Why is it foolish?
Well, when you provide too much information you could:
- Introduce an objection
- Seem like you’re not listening
- Look desperate (like you’re overselling and not confident)
- And cause your customer to lose interest and excitement.
In sales, “less is more” so hold back all that great information and just bring out what’s relevant to your customer at the right time.
2 Trash Talking the Compeition
Sure you’re proud of your product, you feel it’s the best and when your customer brings up another brand you’re tempted to tell them all the bad things about it.
But that’s a foolish thing to do…why?
Well when you trash talk the competition…
- …you go negative (and people like positive better!)
- …you’re indirectly projecting these negative feelings on your customer. (after all they brought it up and now you’re letting them know what a huge mistake it is, how could they be so naive? )
- … you run the risk of putting your customer on the defensive and If you’re customer starts defending the other product it will reinforce in their mind why it’s the better option. (they’re selling themselves)
In sales, always stay positive, when faced with a discussion about the competition focus on the things that make your product unique and special without trash talking. Here’s how it might sound…
Cust: “I’m thinking about checking out what Acme has…have you heard of them?
SalesPro: “Yes, I have and they make good quality anvils. One thing that makes our anvils different is the heat seeking technology that ensures you get your road runner every time.”
3 Not Asking for the Sale
You’ve poured your heart and soul into one of the best benefit presentations ever. You can tell the customer wants to buy so you present the offer and then….for some reason you stop.
Oh No! You forgot to close!
After working so hard it’s foolish not to ask for the sale.
When you forget to close…
- You give the customer a chance to talk themselves out of it;
- You give them an out…now they don’t have to make a decision;
- You provide the perfect opportunity for them to tell you they “need to think about it”
Sales is about helping the customer make a good buying decision and that means asking a closing question. Give your customer the opportunity to make the right decision and ask for the sale every time.
4 Taking it Personally
You’re enthusiastic about your product and you know it’s a great value so when a customer says “no” or feels it’s too expensive it’s hard not to take it personally. But if you do take it personally it may cause you to do some foolish things:
When you take customer rejection personally
- It can put you on the defensive and cause you to over sell
- When you oversell you look like you have no confidence in the product
- Taking it personally could even cause you to start doubting yourself and lead to a sales slump
Instead, recognize that if you are REALLY good at sales 6 out of 10 people will say no. They aren’t saying no to you they’re saying no to the product. So rather than get defensive and start over selling take a deep breath and ask thoughtful questions.
If a customer feels the price is too high you might say something like “I see, why do you feel that way?” Or “What are you comparing it to?” Questions can help you gather the information you need to overcome the objection, maintain control and preserve your rapport.
If the customer doesn’t agree with an important point, arguing is only going to set that opinion in concrete. Instead, ask the customer why they have that opinion and then listen. You just might learn something.
6 Talking Too Much and Not Listening Enough
Abraham Lincoln said “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Which fits nicely with the 6th foolish thing salespeople do talk too much and not listen enough.
When you monopolize the conversation
- Your customer is not engaged
- They lose interest
- And they can become confused
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason because we should listen twice as much as we speak. When you engage your customer in the sales process they maintain their excitement and are more eager to buy.
7 Judging a Book By It’s Cover
It’s foolish to prejudge customers. In fact, I remember an episode of the Cosby show where the father (who was a doctor) was teaching his son how to buy a new car. He told him to wear a sweatshirt, holey jeans and old ratty sneakers because the salesperson would assume he didn’t have any money and he’d get a better deal. (sounds like a foolish salesperson to me)
You never know who’s going to buy and the best approach is to assume every person is a potential customer. Don’t let race, creed, gender, ethnicity, or appearance stand in the way of making a sale.
Today’s One-Two Punch
Play it Cool and Don’t Be a Fool
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