As you’ve probably noticed, sales articles usually deal with what needs to be done in order to close more sales. And there seems to be pretty scarce information about the things that you should NOT do, the tactics that are holding you from getting more customers. So, given that during a recent sales & marketing meeting this topic came up, we’ve tried to put together a list of “don’ts” when trying to close a sale. Let’s proceed, because time is money, right? :)
What NOT to do when you want to close more sales
Asking just a few, superficial questions that don’t offer valuable information
Yeah, hitting up prospects with hard questions isn’t fun for either of you. But, doing so is necessary if you want to truly get to know the prospect. Nepal suggest cutting to the chase and asking questions like:
How badly do you need a product like mine?
What are you trying to solve?
What are your expectations of my product/service?
Do you have a set budget and timeline?
Who makes the final call?
Great sales people don’t procrastinate, they always have this sense of urgency that compels them to get things done now, instantly. Great sales people are like beavers. They are always working with a sense of purpose, never letting an opportunity slip by. They recognize the shelf-life of an opportunity can be a nano-second and they hate missing out on opportunities.
3. Think that you’re perfect and everything else is wrong
Blaming everything else but ones self and the strategies that they use is something that I see a lot when it comes to sales reps. Of course it’s useful to a certain extent, to keep your psychy positive, guess what, great sales people dont do that.
They’re not heavy complainers. They don’t immediately say that the customer just doesn’t get it. Or that the quota is too high. The product is too expensive. The product doesn’t have the features I need.
Great sales people, rarely if ever, blame others or their surroundings. Great sales people take complete accountability for selling and do whatever it takes to be successful in the environment they are in. They accept and embrace the fact that they are in sales and have tremendous control of their selling process, selling time, selling approach and more. It’s with this recognition, they feel no need or benefit to blame others for difficulties or their own failure.
4. Be content with where you’re at and what you do
Great sales people embrace personal development. They are the first to identify and absorb new selling techniques, tools, approaches and methodologies. Great sales people live in an never ending paranoia that convinces them that there is always someone or something trying to outsell them or get a competitive advantage. It’s this paranoia the drives them to always be improving, growing, and never accepting the status quo. The greatest sales people never accept where they are as “good enough.” There is never good enough for the best sales people.
5. Lack confidence in yourself and your product
Great sales people don’t sell scared. They build enough value into their solutions that they have the confidence and comfort that they are going to win the deal that they aren’t afraid of losing. Great sales people believe that fear comes from being unprepared, lacking a solid understanding of what the buyer actually wants and why. They know that fear gives away their ability to sell on value and exposes them to the whims of their customers. They recognize selling scared increases the chances they cave on price, miss up-sell opportunities and don’t challenge the customer. Great sales people simply don’t sell scared.
6. Go in unprepared
Preparation is critical when is come to the best sales people. They treat preparation as a competitive differentiator. They never go to a meeting or presentation with having done all their homework. They leave nothing to chance. The greatest sales people use preparation as a way to get a leg up. They know, most sales people do very little prep work. The best know that preparation is where you can pull ahead of the pack.
If there is one undeniable thing great sales people don’t do, it’s quit. The idea of quitting is absolutely foreign to great sales people. They are undaunted by failure. They see roadblocks, as challenges. They see no’s as yes’s. They see rejections as opportunities. Great sales people never quit. They have an insatiable desire to see things to the end. Great sales people see failure as just a transition point to learn, but keep on going. There is no quit in the best sales people.
8. Have thin skin
Great sales people know that they are going to lose far more often than they win and they’re comfortable with this. The best sales people are not susceptible to the continual onslaught of no and rejections. The best sales people have a rejection anti-venom that makes them immune to the sting of the a buyer’s no. Failure and rejection just doesn’t affect them.
9. Sell something the buyer doesn’t need
This one’s a no brainer in my book. The best sales people become the best because they are better than anybody at solving their customers problems and first and foremost, at DISCOVERING and giving EXPERT advice to people who are not familiar with their line of products.
They have an amazing ability to influence a potential customer’s thinking yet they act like a consultant more than a sales agent. They are excellent problem solvers and solution creators. Therefore, great sales people never, ever sell something their client doesn’t need. The best sales people will tell a client when buying a particular product or add-on doesn’t make sense. They won’t let their customer spend money they don’t need to. Great sales people know that it’s not about bring in an extra dollar or two, but rather solving their customer’s problems and selling something to them they don’t need ISN’T solving any problems.
This is going to win you those loyal customers and long term relationships.
10. Try to be the hero
Heroes in selling are more like egos. The best sales people know that selling is a people’s game and that it takes a multitude of people to close the deal. Therefore, great sales people don’t try to take all the credit or swoop and play hero. They do just the opposite. They share the credit and give as much away as possible. They know the nicer they are, the more kudos they give, they more support they will get on future deals. Great sales people are collaborators not, heroes with egos trying to get all the credit.
Selling is a complex game, it’s actually really hard most of the time. Knowing when not to force a sale and to back off versus making that sales target could sometimes make you go crazy, there are a lot of things you can focus on and do. I’d like to know your take on this matter. What have you learned during you career, what are the big “nonos” that can keep you from closing a sale?