Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new. ~Albert Einstein [tweet this]
While this is how we all learn and grow, how do we ensure success in sales? If that is your challenge, here are the most common 5 sales mistakes people make that can potentially break the sales process or even damage their reputation. I have made all of these mistakes at some point and I often remind myself to be careful about not repeating them again.
Sales Mistake #1 – Not Taking Time To Know Your Prospect
Countless number of people fall into this trap and repeatedly make this mistake. Have you run into people who connect with you on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and the next thing you know is you receive a business proposal or a sales pitch on product from them? I don't know about you, but I feel like being spammed and immediately ignore them.
When you are selling, you are influencing other people to buy into your idea, your product or your service. You may not succeed in your mission if you don't know your audience. Somehow not everybody selling understands this fundamental and therefore a lot of spamming.
Whether online or in person, trying to sell without learning about your prospect, without doing your research about them, generally creates doubt and friction and a possible loss of sale. Just by doing this little homework, as a sales professional, you raise your level way above the average Joe who is running around trying to sell.
Sales Mistake #2 – Lack Of Self-Confidence
One of the most powerful sales techniques you can have is a strong belief in yourself. On the other hand, not having self-confidence is one of the most fatal mistakes of your sales career. This is mostly caused by two things:
- Lack of conviction in the product or the service
- Low self-esteem
Similarly, taking time to gain knowledge about the products or services you plan to sell can dramatically improve your conviction. If your product or service is really beneficial to your prospects and you know what you are doing, you will never have low confidence. Try this!
Sales Mistake #3 – Failing To Connect With Your Prospect
Early in my business career I had to understand that people do not buy a great product because of its awesome features. They actually buy something because – they feel like that they need it.
Many sales professionals are so excited about their product that they forget to even ask if the prospect has any need for it. Instead, they keep talking about the great features of the product, how other people like it, etc. That is the biggest mistake in the sales process.
You need to connect with the prospect. Brian Tracy says,
If you can see Joe Jones through Joe Jones eyes, you can tell Joe Jones, what Joe Jones buys. [tweet this]
How do you do that? Pay close attention to what they are saying. One of the most powerful technique to influence people, is the ability to ask good questions. Then, listening builds trust and credibility. The more you ask good questions and listen attentively to the answers, the more trust will you earn and your prospects will be more open to value your proposition.
Sales Mistake #4 – Giving Out Too Much Information
Napoleon Hill shared this story where Andrew Carnegie's mother walked into a store to purchase a small furnace. The salesman had great product knowledge and he knew what was best for the lady. Therefore, he enthusiastically told her everything about the product he knew – about energy efficiency and quality of construction, etc.
When he was done talking, the woman politely asked, "But, will it keep a little old lady warm?"
In selling, giving out too much information hurts! Therefore, it is a great idea to learn to ask question, look for the need and restrict yourself to only provide the information that your prospects needs. The people who have the discipline to listen more and talk less, sell much more than those who don't.
Sales Mistake #5 – Not Asking For Sale
Doesn't it sound such a trivial mistake? But a large number of salespeople do not ask for a sale even after knowing that the prospect is impressed with them and their product. They assume that if they like the product, they will automatically buy it.
What I observed in my business career is, I must ask for sale specifically after every presentation in a non-threatening but confident manner. I can't just assume that the sale will automatically happen because I did a great presentation. In reality, sales doesn't happen without asking for the sale.
If you sell a product or service, you have the obligation to ask the customer for a commitment, particularly if you have invested time assessing their needs and know that your product or service will solve a problem for them.
The Greatest Of All Mistakes In Sales
While these mistakes and many others can be corrected. But the biggest mistake of all is to think that you are not a sales professional. Whether you are a student, a teacher, an IT professional, a network marketing entrepreneur, a doctor or anybody who needs to influence other people's decisions – You are in sales! You may want to refer to the blog post – Everyone Lives By Selling Something – Yes, You Too!
The principles of influence are universal and they applies to everybody. We all are selling something to somebody all the time and the sooner we accept that and work daily to improve ourselves, we all can make a huge positive difference in our lives and that of other people around us!
Question: In your experience, have you seen someone making some of these mistakes? Will you share your experience and also, what corrective actions do you suggest when it happens? Please share your thoughts in comments section now.