In the 16-plus years I have worked with salespeople, I have learned that there are many ways to blow a great sales opportunity. Here are nine things that can derail a sale.
1. Arrive late
It doesn’t matter if you are only five minutes late. Late is late. Decision makers are busy and showing up late is a sign of disrespect. Plan your schedule to ensure that you arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes early.
2. Being unprepared
Busy decision makers expect you to be prepared for your meeting. This means planning your questions in advance, knowing what solution is best for their situation and being ready to answer tough questions.
3. Opening with social chit-chat
You may think that talking about non-sales related topics is a great way to build rapport but decision makers don’t want to waste time on social chatter. Get to the point quickly and don’t waste their time.
4. Ask weak questions
I know, I know…you’ve heard this before. But the reality is that most salespeople don’t ask tough, penetrating questions that really uncover a prospect’s problems and challenges. Weak, feeble questions fail to engage people in a meaningful conversation and do little to separate you from your competition.
5. Launch into your pitch right away
You may have the best solution in the world but if you fail to present it in the most appropriate manner, you will lose the sale. Take a few moments to verify or validate your research before you start your pitch.