It’s easy to slip into bad habits and hard to get out of them. When it comes to selling, those bad habits can result in low productivity and poor results. Here are three sales mistakes to avoid at all costs!
1. Failing to provide value
It’s critically important, particularly in the early stages, to communicate something of value at every chance. Too many salespeople still fail to communicate anything of real value in the initial stages with a prospect. Some because they aren’t prepared. Some because they don’t have the required knowledge to provide value. Some by design.
Yes, they probably talk about the company and the product they offer, but that’s not providing value. Features, benefits and advantages are great, but they don’t convey any insight or understanding about the prospects’ goals and challenges and they certainly don’t tell the prospect something they didn’t already know.
Apart from the above, there are a few reasons why this happens. Sometimes, the salesperson is afraid of giving too much away. This salesperson believes that if they arm the prospect with everything they need early on, they’ll go and solve their challenges on their own, or use someone else.
However, there is a key difference between discussing concepts and ideas, and revealing specifics and implementation strategies. Concepts and ideas should be encouraged, especially if that ends with a new perspective on solving challenges. It’s these concepts and ideas that encourage the prospect to actually buy the product or service, before they even think about implementing or using it.
Always think about whether a prospect has got any value from your interactions – ‘does this prospect have a compelling reason to work with me?’
2. Focusing on ‘what’ instead of ‘how’
When it comes to presentations, it’s critical to establish links between the proposal and the specific prospect needs. If a presentation focuses too much on the product or service, and the company, or even the salesperson, then don’t expect good results. You might think it looks good and sounds impressive, but the prospect doesn’t want to see it.
Prospects want to know far more than simply what you are going to do. They want to know how you are going to do it. This needs to be transparent in every presentation. The focus must be on how you are going to achieve what the prospect wants. If you fail to bridge the link between the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, you’ll lose the opportunity to a salesperson who does.
3. Overcomplicating the offering
Overcomplicating the offering is quite a common mistake to make. Either because the salesperson believes the service or product needs to sound more complex to be appealing or because the salesperson thinks that adding more to the offer will make it more readily acceptable from a financial point of view.
Neither is a good idea. You don’t need to make things more complex to establish value. And you don’t need to offer more things to justify the price. Add-ons are nice, but are not key to addressing the prospect’s challenges. They simply bolster the perceived value of the offering.
The problem is, that can distract from the overall goal. What works better is simple, concise, nicely presented solutions. This makes it easier for prospects to connect your offering with the outcomes they want. The easier that connection, the more likely the sale.
Avoiding the mistakes
If these continually plague your selling, ask yourself: Do you want to be a common salesperson falling into these common mistakes? The answer should be no.