1. FAILING TO OPEN THE SALE. The first and perhaps the biggest is that they forget to open the sale. In fact 99.9% of salespeople only focus on closing the sale. My friend and leading Australian lead conversion specialist, James Yuille, says this is because the average salesperson simply doesn’t understand the process of the sale.
Either that or the sum total of their sales training consists of memorizing a heap of sales closes or tie downs.
A failure to open the sales results in crises of communication. Because the salesperson is focused on closing the sale he or she often neglects to ask the right questions of the prospect.
They fail to understand the needs and MRF Tyres Dealership wants of the prospect and consequently a communication breakdown results leaving both parties feeling frustrated and misunderstood.
2. FAILING TO PRE QUALIFY PROSPECTS. Several years ago I was talking to a friend who owned a retail outlet when a travelling salesman walked into the store. Grasping my hand and shaking it like a pump handle he launched into his ‘Pitch’ about a new insurance policy for store owners.
I tried to interrupt and explain that he was talking to the wrong person but he held his hand up and said “Sir, please just let me finish”
10 minutes later he went for the close with a classic tie down “Peace of mind is really important when you own a retail business isn’t it? And the policy I’ve just described provides excellent peace of mind and value for money doesn’t it?”
I took a deep breath, smiled and said: “It certainly does and trust me, I would be very interested IF I owned a retail business – but I don’t. I’m an Internet marketer.
The poor man looked as if he was going to have an apoplectic fit. “Why in the world didn’t you tell me BEFORE I gave you my pitch?”
“I tried but you told me to wait until you had finished!”
The Lesson: Always pre-qualify your prospects. If you don’t you will end up wasting time on people that either don’t need your products and services or worse still – couldn’t afford them even if they wanted to.
NOTE: It is vital that you keep this in mind when selling to larger businesses. I always ask people “If you like what I have to offer today, do you have the authority to go ahead and purchase it or does that authority lie with someone else?”
3. NO FOLLOW UP. Write this down. Grab the Yellow Pages, go to the ‘S’ section and hire a sculptor. Buy a huge slab of granite and get him to ‘chisel’ these words in it and have it mounted on your desk… “There is a FORTUNE in the Follow-Up!”
Can I tell you why most sales people never ‘make the grade’ why they are about as ‘effective as screen doors on a submarine’ when it comes to generating repeat business?
The answer is dead simple.
FACT: You will never succeed in sales if you fail to follow up diligently on your prospects and existing clients.
Here’s a question for you… When was the last time you bought a lounge suite or a refrigerator (or just about any number of products and services, then received a follow up Greetings Card (hand written and hand signed with a real live stamp) in the mail a week or so later just to say ‘Thank You’?
A couple of years ago I bought a new car. I lease one for my business because of the tax benefits but this one was for the family so I bought it.
Now right up until I signed on the dotted line the salesperson was treating me as if I was his long lost cousin from Timbuktu.
But then – – nothing!.
Two years later – – still nothing!
Now initially the guy had made a great impression. I was thinking to myself “I’m going to tell ALL my friends to come and see this guy when they need a new car…”
They could have gotten so much work from me but for a total lack of follow-up.
The result is that I wouldn’t buy a car from that dealership again if they were the last car dealership on the earth.
4. TALKING TOO MUCH. I often wonder if some salespeople are frustrated actors at heart. How else can you explain the fact that it is so hard to get them to shut up and listen?
Seriously. Good sales people are good listeners. Exceptional salespeople listen so well they make you feel as if you are the most important person in the world.
HINT: God gave you two ears and one mouth – use them in that proportion and you will make more sales. People will remember how you make them feel long after they have forgotten what you have said.
Being a good listen impacts the way people feel about you.
5. NO TESTIMONIALS. There is an old adage in marketing that says;
‘Facts TELL But Testimonials SELL.” It is so true.
o I suggest that you create a testimonials book.
o Use testimonial videos.
o Use testimonial audios.
o Use testimonial brochures.
o Use testimonial letters.
o Use testimonials on your websites,
o Use testimonials in your Yellow Pages adverts
o Use testimonials on the back of your business cards
o Use testimonials in your newspaper ads.
o Use testimonials on promotional products.
o Use testimonial in press releases.
o Use testimonials on TV
o Use testimonials in Radio and Cinema Advertising
6. IGNORING THE # QUESTION OF THEM ALL. There is a question that every single human being on the planet asks themselves several times a day. Knowing what this question is and just as important, knowing how to answer it is at the very heart of all effective selling.
It is as if every single person on the planet has their brain tuned in to a radio station that plays only one song – the words of that song are “What’s In It For Me?”
Think about it – every time you read a menu your are asking yourself… WIIFM?
Every time you choose a video too watch or even open the fridge to grab a bite to eat you are asking WIIFM?
Guess what? Your prospects are no different.
This might come as a terrible shock to some of you but they really don’t care that much about the bonus you’re likely to receive when they buy your stuff – all they care about is ‘What’s In It For Me?’
Example. When my daughter, Katie Grace, was about 2 years old we needed some new tyres on the family car.
I called into the local tyre dealership and told the salesman that I needed some tyres, pointed to my car and asked what my options were.
The guy launches into this huge spiel about how a certain range of tyres were made with computer designed high-tensile steel and how they represented the latest technology in relation to ergonomic design etc
I stopped him, pointed to my little girl and said “All I need to know is will they help keep her safe on the road?”
He said; “Yes. Definitely.” And I bought them on the spot.
NOTE: The more switched on salespeople reading this will have picked up on the fact that I just told you how to answer this most important of all questions in relation to sales and selling.
For those that need things spelled out in black and white – here it is: “Features TELL But Benefits SELL!”
You answer the question “What’s In It For Me?” With BENEFITS!
Most salespeople miss this and bombard people with features. Features don’t sell benefits do. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use features in your selling but make sure you always point out the benefits of a feature when you do.
7. NO RISK REVERSAL. I recently saw a brilliant example of risk reversal. Earlier today I stumbled upon what would have to be one of the best guarantees I have ever seen in my life.
Here It Is:
“Steamer Furniture Originals, made from Balau wood, is the most durable patio furniture available.
That is why, after 5 years, we are willing to buy your Steamer Furniture Originals back from you for 50% of the purchase price
NO QUESTIONS ASKED!” ([http://patio.co.za/])
8.. NOT LIKING PEOPLE. Can I let you into a little secret that all successful sales people realize? “Sales is a People Business’ and if you don’t like people – genuinely like them – then you shouldn’t be working in sales.
That isn’t to say that you are a bad person or that you are a failure in life but simply to suggest that perhaps you are better suited to a profession that does not require interaction and contact with people.
Motivational speaker, Ron Simpkins, said something to me once that changed my whole life.
“Chris, even a dog knows if you don’t like it – how much more a person!”
Want to sell more? Like people. People like people who like people.
People are naturally drawn to people who like people.
People aren’t stupid. They can tell if you don’t like them.
Conclusion: Whilst these seven points are not the be al and end all to effective selling, get these things right and you’ll sell more of your ‘stuff’ more often. It’s that simple.