Sales is the most important part of a business. You might have a great product, you might have a great team, everything might be in order, but it’s all useless if you can’t sell anything! Sales doesn’t just refer to a car dealership: EVERYBODY is selling. Whether it’s a business, a charity, even convincing your kids to do their homework, the world runs on sales. Knowing how important it is, here are five things you must avoid to increase your sales effectiveness.
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1. Not CLEARLY knowing who your customer is.
Firstly before you even begin, you need to know who you are going to sell to. If you don’t have clarity about who your target customer is, you will waste a lot of time (and potentially money if you’re doing paid advertising) trying to sell to people who don’t want or need your product. Trying to convince people who don’t want to something to buy is just wasting their time as well.
2. Not knowing what to say.
When you’re pitching what you can offer to a customer, what do you say? You should know what you’re selling back to front, and you should know how to pitch it perfectly. If you don’t know yet, stop what you are doing! Define the offering, nail the pitch, practice it and then pick up the phone.
3. Not asking questions.
Great businesses are solutions to problems. The same goes for sales - you need to provide a solution to the customer, but how can you provide a solution if you don’t know the problem? You need to find out what they want, asking a set list of important questions, and you will build your pitch and your offering based on their answers. If you blatantly list all the features of the product, they may not even be interested in 80% of it. Before you talk about price or extensive features, make sure you ask qualifying questions, and THEN you can something like: “Well based on everything you just said, what we have seems like a perfect fit for you”.
4. Not leading the situation.
To be an expert you have to be knowledgeable, confident and prepared. You have a system in place and you explain to the client how this is going to work. When you are the one guiding them through the process, you become the leader. You’re showing them how it’s done and how easy you’ll make it for them, but at the same time you are showing them that they will be following your instructions.
5. Not sticking to the sale.
When selling, it’s critical that you don’t divert into random conversations just to make the client happy. You are both here for a reason, and you’re not here to talk about their weekend - you’re here to make things happen and get results. When you’re engaging with an incredibly sharp expert, you don’t find it rude if they don’t want to talk about your weekend. You respect that an expert’s time is valuable. You can still have a very enjoyable experience and a learn a lot without going on tangents. There is nothing wrong with being personal and likable, but you can do that whilst still sticking to the job. They can absolutely love you and be amazed at how efficient you were.
6. Being disheartened by the ‘no’.
You’re going to get rejected. It’s inevitable. Not everybody is going to say yes, even if you were giving out free advice. There are two reasons why the no is a good thing:
- Sales is a numbers game. If you know that your conversions, you’ll statistically see that every no is getting you closer to a yes.
- You can learn the most from a ‘no’. Every time somebody says ‘no’ (or similar language), ask them why. The goal is not to force them into something they don’t want, it’s to find out the reasons why they aren’t buying so that you are more knowledgeable next time, and you can combat any possible rejections in advance.
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If you avoid these six things and master the solutions, you'll take your sales game to the next level!