This is something that we tackle every day as we work with small & medium sized businesses, and it’s absolutely amazing to see how many people are doing things wrong.
Now, before we get started… Every one of these things, I’ve done as well. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know until…you know!
So, without further ado, here are the top 9 things we have seen throughout sales departments that really tend to hinder overall growth.
1- Going straight to closing the sale.
The sales process is just that…a process. Too often we try to go straight to the sale instead of following a slower process which is built up through experience. This process will be more in depth in terms of time & steps with the more expensive your product or service is.
For instance, let’s take the first time you met that hot girl/boy. You didn’t go right up to him/her and ask them to be your girl/boyfriend. “Hey there random girl, let’s make this official on Facebook.” That just sounds absolutely ridiculous!
We have learned that if we try to close a deal before sending a proposal, we end up closing 10% less deals!
If a client is so quick to sign up before they see the details of your product/service, how quick will they be to leave your company?
Take this into consideration, take your time, and follow a process. Here is a sample process that we have learned to follow:
- Obtain your lead
- Make contact
- Determine needs
- Send proposal
- Negotiate proposal
- Close the deal.
Follow your sales funnel process!
2- Assuming the problem which the client communicates is the real problem.
In most cases, your prospects are coming to you because you’re the expert in that given industry. With that being said, you should step up as the expert!
Being sales consultants, we have people come to us all the time with problems and what they “feel” are the solutions to those problems. Since we are the “experts,” we have to dig deep to understand the real issue.
I’ll give you another example: I had a client who wanted to relay an issue to me a while back. She immediately told me that she “didn’t see the value in our company.” Now, I could have gone straight into defense-mode and strictly talked to her about our service and product offering, but I decided to dig deeper (luckily).
My first thought was completely incorrect. Her issue had nothing to do with our product or service, but simply the fact that she wasn’t getting the reporting and honestly didn’t know the value in what we were doing.
Because I asked questions, I found the TRUE root of the problem. Always ask questions!!
3- Not using the right proposal system.
So, you finally have a client that is interested in what you have to offer. AMAZING! Are you still sending emails with bullet points regarding your services? If so, you are doing it all wrong!
We recommend systems like Proposify to all of our clients for the following reasons:
- It looks appealing!
- You can tell when your clients open it up. Let’s say they don’t look at it and they are a lost lead, but then 3 months later they open it up! You get a notification, call them up, and BAM, another sale.
- You can see how long the prospect spends on each page and what content prospects care about in order to optimize that content.
- You will look more professional, which will enable you to close more deals!
Check out a complete write-up regarding Proposify here!
4- Selling Logically vs. Emotionally
You may think that people buy things logically, but unfortunately you are wrong. Let’s make sure we understand the difference between logical & emotional before we jump in here.
Making decisions logically would be numerical/factual-based decision making. In marketing it would be CPC’s, ROI, the numbers!
Emotional decisions are made based on feelings such as customer service or history.
Think about it… Why does BMW sell cars? Terrible gas mileage, double the price of the market, and maintenance is crazy expensive. Logically, it makes zero sense, but emotionally it’s most people’s dream car brand.
Another example that I often give: Most people have that sister or cousin who is dating a complete loser. Tattoos everywhere, doesn’t care about education, always in trouble, and definitely looking at prison time in the future BUT he loves her and he’s so sweet to her. Logically, this makes no sense, but emotionally, he’s the “perfect guy.”
It has been said that people make 80% of decisions based on emotional thinking.
Think about how you are pitching your product. Are you focusing on the emotional or logical points?
5- Not asking the right questions
SHUT UP and ask questions that get your client talking! The best part about this is that if you ask the right questions, your prospect will tell you exactly how to sale them.
If the prospect starts telling you that they are leaving another agency because the service was terrible and they could never get in touch with someone, then DON’T sell them on how affordable your solution is. Talk to them about service! Talk to them about your 24/7 customer support.
Sell to your prospect’s needs, not your idea of how amazing your product/service is.
6- Relying too much on price
Unless you’re Walmart, if price is your biggest selling point then you might be in trouble. I’ve always found that there is always going to be some Hippie on the beach in Central America willing to do things cheaper. (no offense to hippies as you are a big portion of our readership 😉 )
Clients may sign up with you or buy your product due to you being more affordable, but they will stay with you forever due to your service.
7- Not analyzing the data
Are you keeping track of your data(the numbers)? Are you testing different techniques and learning which process/pitch works best?
If you aren’t, you’re in the same position most small business owners are in.
We have to start analyzing data quicker and more efficiently so we can scale our company!
Make decisions based on “logical” data as often as possible.
8- Playing the blame game
Stop making freaking excuses! “It’s not the right season.” “I don’t have money for marketing.” “I need a sales team.”
We talk to so many business owners who claim that they don’t have enough business, yet they have 3-5 hours a day when they are sitting and twiddling their thumbs.
Cold calling sucks! I know, I’ve done it and I employ several myself, BUT they get qualified appointments about 1% of the time, and our closers can close about 20% of those appointments.
It sucks! It’s hard work! It is absolutely no fun, yet at the same time completely necessary! Get after it.
9- Being dishonest
We’ve seen this in multiple companies and quite frankly, it makes me sad. We have found that there is one main reason why sales people lie, and it is they are ashamed of the truth.
If you are new, that’s ok! Be new and be honest.
If you’re working from a foreign country, BE HONEST!
There is no point in lying, as most people will eventually discover the truth and it will come back to bite you in the butt! At the end of the day, we are all learning and growing! This is a journey that hopefully empowers us to improve daily.
Let us know your thoughts, and if you have any other things you have seen sales people do wrong!