Becoming a successful salesperson involves a lot of work. You have to be a technician who understands the specifications of the product you sell as well as the engineers who designed it. You have to be a psychologist who can read and understand a customer’s needs and wants better than the customer themselves. You have to be a social host who can entertain the customer and help them relax. It’s a complex job.
Yet, much of the information out there that helps you learn this job is focused on the positive steps you need to take to become a better salesperson. This article takes a different approach and will focus on the three things that will cause you to lose a potential sale every time.
First, always remember that it is you that matters to the customer, not your sales materials. Many salespeople make the mistake of relying on brochures, handouts and specification sheets instead of their own personalities. This is lazy salesmanship. The customer is going to be influenced by you, not some glossy publication. Likewise, no handout or website can take the place of human talent and contact. Your sales materials are simply a way for the customer to begin to understand the products or services you offer. They are not a substitute for you.
Second, you put a lot of effort and time into each and every sales call. Make sure, at the very beginning of the process that you are talking to the person who has the authority to purchase your products or services. A great number of salespeople waste a lot of time spinning their wheels as a result of not taking this simple step. Don’t waste your time by making this same mistake. Make sure that you’re pitching your product or service to the right person.
Third, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to sales. One of the biggest of these misconceptions is that successful salespeople are aggressive, hard sellers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most successful salespeople are actually the ones who have taken the time to hone their game and do the prep work necessary to close a sale. Yet, the misconception continues, largely due to inexperienced salespeople thinking that they actually do have to be aggressive, hard-bitten and callous in order to make a sale. Don’t buy into this myth yourself. There isn’t a single customer in the world that enjoys or responds positively to a hard sell. The only person you’ll hurt if you do is yourself.