It happens so frequently, it almost seems as if someone is out there training salespeople to fail.
For example, the woman calling launches into her sales spiel: “Our product is a perfect fit for your needs. When can we set up a time to get together so I can show you what we can do?”
It’s the perfect pitch for failure, setting off bells and red lights in the prospect’s head. There’s no need to do anything but end the call as quickly as possible.
If more salespeople were as good at making sales as they are at losing them, they could write their own ticket just about anywhere. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. Many salespeople are so blinded by their own goals, they’re literally unable to see the prospect.
Following is a checklist of 18 behaviors that contribute to losing sales instead of closing them:
1. Don’t bother qualifying prospects.
This only takes valuable time away from trying to find someone to talk to. Doing research only holds you back. By not qualifying prospects, you can be sure your closing rate will be very low.
2. Start by talking about what you’re selling.
It doesn’t make any difference that the person you’re calling doesn’t have any idea who you are or the company you represent or why you’re making the call, but don’t let that stop you. Just charge ahead. This will be almost 100 percent successful in getting the prospect to hang up.
3. Don’t waste time and money finding ways to cultivate prospects.
If prospects aren’t smart enough to figure out the value your solutions can bring them or how your knowledge and experience can benefit them after talking to you for a few minutes or getting a letter in the mail, don’t bother trying to share your ideas and expertise with them.
4. Never take time to ask questions.
When you’re in front of a customer, use every minute to do as much talking as you can. Asking questions or trying to get the prospect involved in the conversation is counterproductive. There’s one question you should ask, however. Put prospects on the spot and make them feel uncomfortable by asking, “What do you think?” after giving them your presentation.
5. Be sure to drop the names of other clients.
Let them know you are a real operator. Making them feel like they’re small potatoes is a great way to impress customers.
6. Never listen to what the prospect is saying.
Remember, you’re there to make a sale, so don’t be distracted when the customer starts talking about their issues or problems. Even though it can be difficult, stay on track and be prepared to bring the conversation back to getting the order.
7. Always assume the customer is looking for the lowest price.
Have at least a three-tiered pricing schedule in your briefcase. This way you’ll be ready to lower the price when you call back and the customers tell you they’re not interested or your price is too high. A few days later call back with a new, lower, “manager approved” price. This pricing system is certain to create customer confidence.