If you suspect that sales could be better, then perhaps you or your salespeople are committing one of the ten deadly sales sins. Follow our tips to make sure you avoid them.
1. Being pushy and aggressive
Aim to adopt a friendly, service-oriented approach which focuses on customers’ needs. Contact prospective customers at a time when they are most receptive, and if they are unable to speak to you at that moment don’t try to railroad them into agreeing another slot. Simply ask when it would be convenient.
2. Talking too much and not listening enough
The prospect doesn’t need to know how much you know about the product – only how it can benefit them! Ask them relevant questions, and listen carefully to the answers. By showing genuine interest in finding the right solution for the customer you are much more likely to make a sale.
3. Using words that don’t appeal to the customer
Make sure that your sales pitch doesn’t include any words or phrases that could kill the sale. For instance, using the words “sign the contract” can frighten off a prospect, while a more informal approach like “okay the paperwork” may work better.
4. Lack of sincerity
Only try to sell a product or service to a customer if you really believe they can benefit from it. By trying to sell a more expensive model than is required, for example, you may come across as both greedy and insincere. If you do manage to persuade someone to buy an unsuitable product they’ll only end up dissatisfied, and are likely to spread the word.
5. Not knowing when to close the sale
Look out for your prospect’s ‘buying signs’ – and aim to close the sale immediately. Obvious signs include asking to see the operating instructions, delivery details, financing options, or even using the word ‘will’ – e.g. “this will look great with my cream sofa”. And remember – don’t be afraid to ask the prospect if they would like to buy now.
6. Not speaking to the right person
Make sure that the person you are trying to sell to has both the budgetary authority and the need to buy your product.
7. Coming across as unprofessional
Make sure that you pay attention to details – don’t be late for client appointments, always follow-up when you say you’re going to, don’t make typos in emails or letters, and always deliver on time. Remember, missed appointments or wrong orders can destroy in minutes what may have taken months to build.
8. Getting put off by objections
Objections can be a sign that the customer is interested. If you can address the objection (for example, by guaranteeing a delivery date) then there is no longer any reason not to buy. Remember, “no” means maybe and “maybe” means yes!
9. Not recognising a slump
Keep a close eye on your selling cycles so that you can spot any potential slumps. If sales are slowing, find out why. Perhaps your sales pitch needs refining, or maybe a competitor is under-cutting you.
10. Not keeping in touch
Keep in regular contact with your regulars. Don’t let a competitor poach one of your clients by paying them more attention and attending to their needs. Build a friendly rapport with your key customers so that they can expect – and enjoy – regular courtesy calls and letters from you.