4 Of The Biggest Sales Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

29 October 2015

4 Of The Biggest Sales Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Selling is actually a very simple task and can be mastered with some time and preparation. But there are many thorny mistakes that can be made, and which, if carried on, will result in a stagnation or decline in overall sales. Here are the top four selling mistakes to be aware of and how to avoid them.

  1. Failing To Understand The Customer’s Needs.

Remember The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort? The charismatic businessman was seen in the movie training people to sell, beginning with an exercise which required them to sell him his pen. On a 60 Minutes interview he was asked to do this again. The first action he took was to ask the reporter if they needed a pen. She said no. He replied “There is no point in selling to you then.”

A lot of the time, we may assume that the person we are talking to might have certain needs, but unless you listen to them, you run the risk of not being able to convert traffic into sales.

Trouble signs may be: A notable decline in customer retention rates.

Avoid this mistake by: Letting the customer express their needs for the products and service before you begin offering solutions. Trying to provide solutions first, will lead to frustration and annoyance.

  1. Not Knowing The Product Inside Out

This can often be the route of all kinds of problems. If you don’t know your product, (tangible or intangible), then it can lead to all kinds of problems. There is the strong possibility you may begin going off topic and start losing the customer’s interest and attention. Within moments, that window to close a sale, may be gone.

Trouble signs might be obvious when: You are in a prime location and have fewer visitors on average than other stores.

There is a notable decline in customer enquiries about the product.

Avoid this mistake by: Taking 15-30 minutes out of the week to read up and refresh your knowledge about each product. If a new offering is coming in, practice a mock selling situation with a co-worker, family member or friend. This will help keep you on top your performance and indicate where you can improve.

  1. Not Creating Tension

Tension in sales is the backbone behind any successful company. Tension allows you to close sales, it creates anticipation and it lets customers know that today-not tomorrow-is the time to buy the product at the current price. A company’s wellbeing depends on its ability to generate ongoing cash flow. Put simple: less tension results in less sales.

Trouble signs may be: It takes too long to close a sale. Customers may also believe that other companies could have a better offering and decide not to buy.

Avoid this mistake by: Looking for ways to close the sale straight away. If you believe that your offering is a winner, prove it by sealing the deal.

  1. Bad Relationships

Like everything in life, a successful business is built on good working relationships. If you keep your customers happy, they are going to keep you happy by continuing to work with you and may recommend others to you as well. Sadly, companies often make the mistake of believing that their product is the most facet of the selling process. Yet, if the salespeople are unable to build good rapport with the people outside the company, it is unlikely the company will grow.

Trouble signs may be: Customers calling in and complaining about issues. There may be a decline in the company’s reputation. Both of these will lead to reduced sales.

Avoid this mistake by: Learning to be a good salesperson and hiring people who are good at connecting with the customer.

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