1. Failing to listen. How frustrating is it to be a customer when the salesperson just doesn’t listen? As a salesperson why bother to learn great questions if you don’t listen to and act upon the answers?
2. Talking at the Customer. Selling is about asking questions, not talking at the client. When the customer answers your questions then actually they should be talking more than you do. Conversational style selling allows for just that – conversation to flow each way. Remember too to tell some stories. ’Facts tell, and stories sell’ is well known in the sales arena.
3. Making Assumptions. If a salesperson talks too much, and doesn’t listen then the danger is false assumptions are made. That’s one very quick way to lose the interest of your customer, and bury any chances of a sale forever.
4. Ignorance of product It is unacceptable for a salesperson to lack product knowledge about what they sell. Information is king. Knowing what is important is crucial. Knowing the benefits is everything. It is ok not to know things such as technical detail and say so, providing the answer is found and communicated back to the customer.
5. Unreliable. Doesn’t do what they say they will. Amazingly this still happens. If a salesperson offers to find out more information, or get back with a design, or quote within a certain time, then that is exactly what should happen. Failing to do so means that the customer is not important and actually the salesperson doesn’t deserve that sale.
Recent personal example:
I enquired about joining a particular gym/spa – I sent an email from their website, got an email reply to telephone them which I did – the person wasn’t available so I left a message with their colleague. Their contact didn’t get back to me, so I drove to the gym and had a tour around. The manager was supposed to call me the following day – again the call never came. I naturally lost interest and they lost a customer.
6. Economical with the truth (lying.) I regularly deliver sales training and often the delegates tell me they think salespeople do lie! Lying also includes; exaggerating the benefits of their product, elaborating, and misleading the customer in a way that makes them want to buy – only to find out later that they have been oversold to…
7. Unable to understand their needs. It is said that only 20% of salespeople get this crucial element right. If no customer needs are uncovered then there is no sale. Once the needs have been discovered, then, and only then can the salesperson offer any solutions.
8. Won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Salespeople have to understand when NO truly means NO! I was taught not to give up until I had asked ten times……I think that could be classified as bullying or high pressure these days………good salespeople understand whether there is a genuine objection or if there is a definite NO. Not everyone will buy – fact. That’s all ok too.