Today’s post is brought to you by my good friend Marcus Kroek. Marcus is a Master Business Coach for the world’s largest coaching firm. He is located out of Australia.
1. Badmouthing the competition – There’s only one industry where badmouthing the competition is an accepted practice – professional wrestling. So unless you’re Hulk Hogan, you will reek of amateurism the moment you start the mudslinging. Its okay to draw intelligent comparisons and demonstrate why your product, service and company is superior to the competition’s – just be sure to do it professionally.
2. Pricing without confidence – If you sheepishly tell the customer what your price is, or give a wordy, qualifying preamble before quoting your price, customers will interpret your actions as a lack of confidence on your part. They will think that you don’t believe that your product is worth the price you’re quoting. And please, for goodness sake, never use the term “asking price.” By doing so you’re giving them “the price that stupid customers pay” and are inviting price negotiations.
3. Talking too much – There’s a misnomer that talkative people make great salespeople. In reality, nobody likes a chatterbox. Focus on listening so that when you do talk you’re honing in on the customer’s hot buttons. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.
4. Acting desperate – If you’re begging for appointments or orders, you’re doing a bad job in getting the customer to appreciate the value of your offering. Have some dignity for crying out loud.
5. Guessing – If you don’t know the answer to challenging customer questions, don’t make something up that you think they want to hear. Instead admit that you don’t know the answer but you’ll find out right away. Customers will appreciate your candour and professionalism.
6. Vanishing after the sale – If you provide great service throughout the selling process and then disappear after the contract is signed, you’ll leave the customer thinking, “Did that guy just run off with my money?” You’re not a 19th century snake oil salesman who skips town with a pocketful of cash. You’re a 21st century sales professional. Service the heck out of customers – even after the sale – and reap the rewards of valuable referrals.
7. Premature Closing – Closing the sale should be like a traditional marriage proposal. By the time you get to that point in the relationship, the close is simply a rhetorical question because both parties realize the benefits of getting together. Just like a guy wouldn’t give a diamond engagement ring to a new acquaintance at a singles bar, you shouldn’t go for the close until the prospect thoroughly knows how wonderful your offer is.
8. Overpromising – When you tell a customer that the product will ship in five days or that you’ll be there at 9:30 or that your system is 25 times faster, you had better deliver. Nothing destroys trust and generates scepticism more quickly than a salesperson’s broken promises.
9. Treating prospects like numbers – There’s an old saying that sales is a numbers game. Whether you subscribe to that notion or not, it is never acceptable to treat a customer like a number. Without customers, your company wouldn’t exist. Instead of treating customers like the umpteenth person you’re speaking with today, treat them like the important human beings that they are.
10. Knowing it all – You might be an expert on your product. You might be a recognized authority in your industry. But customers are the only ones who are experts on their unique situation. Don’t jump to conclusions and draw assumptions about your customers’ predicament. Let them tell you about it. Ask great questions to draw it out of them. Then apply your expertise to deliver the solution that best fits their situation.
11. Stepping on the little people – Salespeople strive to meet with high-level decision makers because they are the ones with the authority to write cheques. Although the big shot is the one making the decision, your chances for closing the sale increase if you build rapport with the underlings. Receptionists can block your calls. Mid-level managers can make recommendations that steer executives away from your offering. Earn buy-in from underlings but negotiate only with the senior exec. Remember, you can’t lose an election by getting too many votes.
12. Acting like a prima donna – If you’re flashing your Rolex watch, answering your cell phone in the middle of meetings and constantly telling people how busy you are, then you’re turning customers off. Be humble. Be modest. Be polite. Focus on the other person, not yourself. Besides, I am much busier than you are anyway. (See how it feels?)
My thanks to Marcus for this information.
To contact Marcus. Ph: 02 4305 2326
Mobile: 0412 313 733
Fax: 02 8569 2021