The challenge of growing a small or big business often frightens some entrepreneurs. Avoiding some common sales mistakes will tend toward boosting the performance of your business. As per the latest survey, learning sales skills take place in many ways. Most often, we introduce something new or we learn by imitating a best practice, step-by-step.
Sometimes, however, we can make the most progress just by learning to avoid mistakes. That’s especially true when it comes to sales performance. Everyone has something to gain from correcting errors — even veteran sales-people, who often and without realizing it fall into habits that are detrimental to their success.
Starting in sales can be a pretty tough road – it takes technique and a bit of finesse to win over your customers and seal the deal. Below are some sales mistakes which an entrepreneur must avoid in his small business, according to experts:
- Clarify the doubts of customer: Preemptively explaining questions or objections your customer may not have. It’s definitely a great idea to anticipate customer questions, but you should not be the one to surface these doubts and objections.
- Listening is important: Forgetting to listen. Listening to your customer is number one.
- Selling your product: Selling the features rather than the results of the product. Consumers want to know exactly what your product will do for them – as in final result.
- Don’t be a ‘Yes’ man for everything: Do you know what’s the biggest mistakes of sales you can make? It’s off-course saying or developing the habit of “yes” for everything. When a potential customer makes a request, you’re naturally going to want to say “yes” and let’s do it. And once you say yes a few times after , you might realize that you are walking on a slippery slope because the customer will keep on making requests and each one will not only cost you money, but it will let the customer know that they can be demanding and walk all over you. At times we’d just say “we’ll see what we can do” but certainly did nothing! If you can do what a customer wants and it is profitable for you, say yes. If the request is unreasonable, say no. By setting this precedent early on, you’ll have more happiness for yourself, company and always can see a happy customer.
- Offering too much information might switch off: The more information you offer to people, the more likely they will get confused. Restrict the information to the situation and need. When people get confused its natural they won’t approach you and cannot become your customer. Learn to get your message out in a quick and short way as it will be easier to understand. Trying to look smart by using sophisticated language or talking in technical jargon is just dumb. When pitching customers, make sure you only tell them what they need and want to know. Most of the times it is found that when you tell them more than they want to know by trying to throw in something that’s mind blowing, sometimes you’ll increase the likelihood of closing the deal, but in most cases you’ll just bore them to death. People have short attention spans, so be careful about dragging things on. Just address their pain points by talking about what you’re offering is beneficial to them (your prospect) and finally do not forget to ask for a sale! Always approach the client from a ‘what’s in it for them’ angle, get them to the edge and finally offer them a solution!
- Over selling the product is always dangerous: Similar to offering potential customers too much information, you shouldn’t try to over sell product by trying to give strong impression of the product. Let’s say let’s not become too pushy it’s a big turn off. You have to think of sales like dating a girlfriend. Don’t stoop so low, because you end up looking desperate and shoddy, no one will be attracted to you! You have to be very casual with your sales techniques and really act like you don’t care to make the sale. Because at the end of the day, if your product or service is that good, the person you are selling to should be privileged to use it. If you are one of those people who want to be a bit pushy instead of just waiting things out, you can always create a sense of urgency to close the deal… plus it won’t seem like you are overselling. Secondly do not sound like you are just after the cheque alone, seek to build relationships, don’t focus too much on that one transaction!
- On time Sales and delivery: If your product or service isn’t ready, you’ll have a tendency to not sell until it’s ready. The big problem with this is that you can’t predict when things are going to be ready! You don’t have to give your customers your product or service right now, you can give them access to it in the future. And by having them sign up right now, you can always give them a discount to entice them. Or what I like doing is to close the sale ahead of time and tell companies how there is a 30 to 60 day implementation time frame as this buys me time. This works really well in a service oriented business. Start selling a conference or a training 3 to 6 months prior as you plan for it
- Don’t push sales by on past sales experience: After you close a deal, you need to learn to stop talking. Learn to keep your mouth shut after someone tells you they want to be a customer. If you can’t, this is the best time to chitchat about random subjects like sports, music or the Nairobi traffic; kindly note that your views on politics, religion and such subjects could also cost you the SALE!
You just don’t have to be a good sales person to close a deal, try to avoid the possible mistakes which can ruin you and your business or company. If you can do that, you’ll start to close more deals and make more money. So don’t focus your time on trying to become an exceptionally great sales person, just focus on avoiding the common pitfalls.