Avoiding Sales Mistakes

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In our exuberance to sell services, sometimes we make some unwitting mistakes.   In a recent Inc.com article, Geoffrey James lists “10 Dumb Sales Tactics to Avoid.”  Are you guilty of implementing some?  We share four common sales mistakes here:

  1. Answering objections the customer hasn’t surfaced.  Why prepare prospective clients for concerns they may never have?  While anticipating problems can be good, when you begin resolving them for individuals who never thought of them in the first place, you introduce doubts that may ultimately lose you their business.
  2. Leaving the ‘Next Step’ to the customer. Sending sales letters in which you ask the prospective client to contact you are rarely successful.  Why?  Because you’re asking them to do all the work.  James suggests you “keep the ball in your own court.  Try substituting a closer like this: ‘I will call you next week to discuss whether it makes sense to discuss this matter further.’”
  3. Talking more than listening.  There is a time and a place for the sales pitch, and it shouldn’t happen before you’re learned about a prospective client’s business needs and concerns.  And you will learn more about your prospective client’s needs and concerns by listening to them than you will be sharing a pitch.
  4. Failing to follow through.  What?  You mean that there are professionals who don’t do what they say they will do when they say they will do it?  Yes.  And you can’t be one of them.  James explains, “Drop the ball, even once, and you’re probably out of the game.”   Create a To-Do-or-Die List that includes scheduled times for follow-through.

The economy’s tight and it can be harder to close a sale than it used to be.  However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  Ensuring that you avoid the most common sales mistakes is a great place to start.

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Resource

James, Geoffrey.  “Dumb Sales Tactics to Avoid.”  7 September 2012  Inc.com

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