Why didn’t you close that sale?
As a sales professional, have you ever actually analyzed why you have been unsuccessful in certain sales? According to a study by Steve Martin, only 12% of salespeople are considered excellent, 23% good, 38% average, and 27% poor. What differentiates salespeople enough for them to be placed in those four categories? For starters, self awareness. Great salespeople are not only highly self aware, they are excellent interpreters of body language. A poor salesperson is not self aware, and they cannot interpret body language. Otherwise, they would recognize their mistakes and improve. But, what about the two categories in the middle? Don’t fret, by understanding and avoiding these 7 points, you can only get better.
1. You are not trusted. Unless it was absolutely necessary, why would anyone buy anything from someone they don’t trust? It just doesn’t make sense. You don’t buy fruit from snakes. I’m assuming your product or service is intended to solve a problem, so consider this: If someone has a problem, are they going to seek help from someone who’s opinion they trust and value, or are they in search of someone who intends to leave them worse off?
2. You don’t communicate effectively with senior execs. Do your homework before you call, and speak to them how they expect to be spoken to.
3. You don’t explain value properly. How will what I’m selling benefit this prospect’s business? Ask yourself this question, and have a clear, concise objective before you enter a discussion. The only thing your prospect is concerned with is how your product will benefit them. All you have to do is explain it to them.
4. You are too self-centered. According to the study, 44% of consumers believed that salespeople are only serving their own agenda. This seems harsh but it’s an easy problem to fix. Stop focusing on the money and start focusing on how your product will benefit your prospect.
5. Your closing strategy is flawed. We’ve all heard it before. “I hope you are well this afternoon, I have a once in a lifetime opportunity i’d like to make available to you. I have million dollars worth of pickles that can be yours for just $10,000. But you’ll have to decide right now because my CEO is only in town for another 45 minutes and he would have to sign off on such an incredible deal. He’s more than willing to help you out but you’ll have to decide right now.” Have you ever purchased anything from this person? I hope not. Tactics like this belong in your spam folder. You are not illustrating any value whatsoever by forcing a prospect into one extreme or the other. Listen to the prospects wants and needs, explain how you can make their lives easier, and suggest. Avoid the “take it or leave it” mentality at all costs. Allow the prospect to feel in control and they will be much more comfortable and ready to make decisions.
6. You don’t alleviate the risk. Some industries are more prone to risk aversion than others. As a sales professional, it is important you understand the certain risk factors for specific industries. More importantly, what can you do to ensure things don’t turn sour? Should things go south, what are you prepared to do in order to make it right? Communicate these ideas to your prospect. Make sure they understand that their concerns are also your concerns.
7. You aren’t establishing a personal connection. People buy stuff from people they like and can connect with. Period. If you are having difficulty connecting with a prospect, do not try and make up for it by being pushy, overeager, or too friendly. 81% of buyers claimed that they would rather have a conversation with someone who shares the same mannerisms. Take a breather, focus on them, and communicate with them simply how they are communicating with you.
Read the full article from the Harvard Business Review Below
Executive Summary When you ask B2B buyers about the skills of the salespeople who call on them, they rate two-thirds of reps as either average or poor performers. New research highlights seven reasons these salespeople garner low ratings, including inability to communicate with top management, appearing self-centered, inability to explain how the client benefits from the sale, and trouble building personal rapport with the buyer.