Is your sales process leading nowhere? Sales techniques are constantly evolving, and salespeople have to adapt quickly to survive. It’s a tough job! Not only do you need to be confident, proactive and disciplined, you also need to know the latest tricks of the trade, right?
However hard we try, we all make mistakes. And sometimes they’re fatal – you can get stuck and lose confidence, or miss out on an important deal. The sooner you recognise your mistakes, the quicker you’ll get out of that vicious circle and become a successful sales leader. After all, that’s what we’re here for, right?
Below are the four big blunders you should look out for. To help you get your sales story off on the right path, we also asked for a few gems of wisdom from the grandmaster of sales, Neil Rackham himself.
Mistake #1: Focusing on your product, instead of building a relationship
Of course you need a great product. But simply bragging about its benefits isn’t the best sales technique. When buying, customers (especially B2B) want to know they’re making a decision that will solve their problems.
Instead of focusing on your great product, think more about the client. Get to know your customer: identify their problems, find out what benefits they want. Talk to them, survey them, see how they act. Engage prospective customers in a conversation about their business and their needs. Your product is just a solution to their problems. By learning more about them, you’ll be able to identify what type of customer they are – and that’s crucial to deciding the right selling technique.
What are the main types of customer, and how can you identify them? Find out in our free guide here.
Mistake #2: Not creating value for your customers
After identifying what type of customer your prospect is, you need to work out how your sales force can create value for them. Should you increase the benefits of your product, or reduce the cost? Understand their definition of value, and you can customize your product or offering. You’ll be surprised what impact even small additional benefits can make on a decision.
Mistake #3: Offering too much information
Giving your prospect too much information, especially if it’s not really relevant to their business, will just cause confusion. And when people are confused, they are unlikely to become your customers.
So how do you avoid this mistake? Know your customer. Whether you’re making a presentation, call or pitch – always ensure you share only the information that’s relevant to them. And don’t try to look smart by using over-sophisticated or technical language. Remember: human attention spans are short, so make every second count.
Mistake #4: Jumping between different sales strategies
Knowing your customer and identifying their needs is not enough. You must use that knowledge when deciding your sales strategy and choosing the best selling technique. Transactional, consultative or enterprise selling? The wrong choice could cost you the deal. The right strategy will not just ensure a successful sale: it will help you build the relationship and gain a loyal customer.