If you’ve missed the two previous articles containing the first 14 Sales Stoppers, you can check them out HERE.
This week we cover off the final 7 Sales Stoppers people fall into.
Let’s take a look at Sales Stoppers 15 -21 and how we can make sure you avoid them.
- Industry Ignorance (Not staying up-to-date with your prospects field)
In every industry there exists a state of play. If you want to avoid looking out of touch, it’s critical that you are aware of the changing face of the industry. For example, if you were selling to people in the financial services industry right now, you would be wise to pay careful attention to the banking royal commission.
If you show ignorance about the environment in which a prospect is being required to operate, they will quickly lose faith in your ability to help them address the issues they are facing.
Sales success isn’t limited to the moments you are face to face with a prospective client; it’s also the work you do behind the scenes to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the pressures the prospect faces in their marketplace.
- Not Building Rapport
While the skill of building rapport is one of the more commonly practiced sales skills due to the fact people have been required to do it most of their life, there is a big difference between establishing rapport and building professional rapport for making a sale.
In a world where people are often time poor, they don’t want to sit around making small talk with a salesperson. However, they also don’t want to simply walk in and start a sales pitch.
Rapport sits at the heart of relationship selling. This style of selling recognises that the prospect is not just buying the product or service that’s offered, they are also buying the person who is offering it.
When you fail to build rapport effectively, what you’re saying to the prospect is, ‘I’m not interested in building a relationship, I just want to make the sale’. This is a sure-fire way to stop any sale in it’s tracks.
- Trying to Outsmart Your Prospect
One of the most undisputed elements of sales success is we buy from people we like. And we like people who will take the time to understand us, listen to us and respect us.
What we don’t like is salespeople who try to show us how smart they are by showing off their product knowledge. Nobody likes a smart-arse who tries to flex their knowledge and prove they are smarter than the prospect.
The bottom line is, one of the dumbest things you can do is try and make your prospect look stupid. In the end the only person who will lose will be you. So, guide, assist and advise, but do it respectfully or suffer the consequences.
- Becoming Self-Focused
At the end of the day, you (the salesperson) are there to serve the customer – that’s it. You exist to serve them; they do not exist to buy from you. When sales people or business owners become focused on reaching sales quotas, they tend to lose focus on who matters most – the customer.
We all know what everyone’s favourite subject is – themselves. As a sales professional, it’s important to fight the urge to continuously tell your own stories. Instead you want to become fascinated and genuinely curious about your prospect.
The equation is simple: the more interested you are in them and their needs, the more likely a sale becomes. Conversely, the more self-focused you become, the more likely you will run into a sales stopper with a thud.
- Not Understanding the Energy of a Sale
At the heart of sales success lives an often-overlooked element for sales success. Enthusiasm! Now we’re not talking about over the top fake enthusiasm where people are doing cartwheels down the corridors.
We’re talking about genuine enthusiasm for what it is you do and the benefits it holds for your clients. Genuine enthusiasm is infectious and it can completely transform the energy of the sale. Buoyed by the energy you bring to the sales process, the prospect in turns gets excited by the potential results they will experience.
We’ve all encountered the person who was responsible for selling something we wanted to buy, who was clearly not enjoying what they did. I call these people ‘energy vampires’. They not only suck the life out of the sales process, but also anyone who dares enter their environment.
If you want to avoid this sales stopper, it starts with getting excited about what you do.
- Forgetting to Follow-up
Failure to follow up is one of the most common sales stoppers of all. The reason it continues to be such a big issue is because in most cases companies remain blind to the negative impact a lack of follow up has.
Here are just a few of the ways no follow up hurts your business.
- Reduces the chance of future sales resulting in the business leaving a lot of money on the table that will now be spent with a competitor.
- Diminishes the chances of referral business being generated meaning the sales person has to go back out to the cold market where the cost of lead generation is much higher and the conversion process much slower.
- If the customer is not happy, you don’t know so you don’t have a chance to fix it and make it better.
If you want to immediately impact your sales results, start following up regularly with your customers.
- Feature Focused Selling
People don’t buy what you do, they buy what it will do for them. In other words, prospects aren’t interested in features as much as they are in outcomes.
When you bombard your prospects with the features or your product or service, chances are you’ll start to see their eyes glaze over. When you focus too heavily on selling the features, you can actually talk yourself out of a sale.
If I have a problem, and you have a solution that solves 10 problems and instead of focusing on the one problem I have and how you can help, you keep telling me about all the other features I don’t really care about, you diminish your message.
Now instead of focusing on the fact that you can help me, I’m focused on the fact that I’m paying for a lot of services I don’t need because you diluted the message.
If you want to avoid talking people in and out of a sale, just focus on what matters to them.
Well, there you have it… The 21 of Greatest Sales Stoppers. If you pay attention to avoiding the trap of these unfortunately all too common Sales Stoppers, you will see a big jump in your overall sales results.
You can access Sales Stoppers 1-7 and 8-14 HERE.
Wishing you lots of sales success.
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