Once upon a time, sales reps could get by using the same sales pitch on all prospects, no matter who they were and what industry they worked in. However, this practice is long forgotten in the era of personalization and customized approaches.
Anyone utilizing the old approach will quickly realize that it doesn’t work anymore.
But, the new process of pitching to clients leaves plenty of room for mistakes.
Here are some of the mistakes salespeople often make and tips on how to avoid them:
1. Trying to accomplish too much on the first meeting
Revealing too much information on the first meeting can come off as desperate. The client does want to hear what you have to say but they are probably aren’t ready to buy yet or they need time to look over your proposal.
Trying to convince them to say yes on that first meeting could be off-putting to your client and ruin your chances of making a sale. Be respectful and accept your client’s decision to get back to you. Your client might need to review the offer with other decision makers.
2. Relying on PowerPoint or other written material
To be honest, PowerPoint presentations and written material is probably more exciting for you than it is for your client. They don’t really care about your charts and visuals as much as what you have to say and how you can help them.
However, a lot of salespeople read off visuals and presentations as a way to deliver a stronger message when it’s actually doing the opposite. You need to build a human connection instead of reading off a script or going line by line off your presentation. These materials are there to provide support, you’re not here to support the material
3. Focusing on the solution, not the client needs
Another common mistake is when the salesperson only talks about his service or solution without taking the time to address the needs of his clients. You need to focus on your client - it’s all about them. Your product or service is there as a fix for their problem.
Talk about your client’s needs, struggles and challenges. Then you can leverage this information and inform your client of how your solution solves their needs - but again by focusing on the benefits to the client, not your solution’s features. Everything should be about them, not you.
4. Being a “Yes” man
Saying yes to every request your client makes is another mistake that could cost you customer satisfaction and the sale.
“This happens when a salesperson wants to make a sale so bad that he continuously accepts every request the client makes, even when some of the requests are impossible.” says Nate Johnson, a marketer at Originwritings.
Naturally, you want to make a sale - but don’t just say yes to everything. Instead, say no when something cannot be done. Explain why it’s impossible. It can be hard at first but you’ll avoid having an unhappy client once you let them know that something you accepted can’t be done. Being honest builds trust and is the foundation of a long-term relationship with your client.
5. Delaying your sales
This is a common mistake - your product or service is not yet ready and you are not trying to sell it.
However, you should be aware that you don’t have to give the product or the service to your client right away. Some clients may not even accept the sale for the next few weeks.
If you started selling in advance, before your product is ready, you wouldn’t be doing anything wrong. In fact, you would be getting a good head start.
You can get the clients to sign up and then give then a discount when a product or service is actually on the market for being early adopters.
6. Overlooking the impact of your body language
“Your body language often does more than you know. It can be the difference between selling and not selling. A good salesperson knows how to read the room.
Some body language might irritate one of the prospects - you pacing around too much or waving your hands a lot - and you need to learn how to notice it and stop it completely.” says Tamara Metzger, a sales manager at 1Day2Write and Writemyx. Watch your prospect’s mood and body language to modify and tailor your own.
7. Overwhelming the prospect with data
Too much data will overwhelm your prospect and ruin your chances of making that sale. Data can cause confusion and confusion is never good for selling. Stay clear and concise and use simple words and analytics.
Every salesperson should learn that they can make serious mistakes in their approach and hurt their sales. Look at yourself from the client’s perspective and find out what you could do better.
About the Author: Joel Syder works as a business analyst and writer for Academic Brits. His main goal is to help people realize their full potential in the IT field. Joel also likes to write articles on topics he finds exciting.