A few days ago I was contacted by a salesman. I had already received information about the product, that seemed like a great solution for my company. But the call ended without a sale, and I was left with a bad feeling. Why? The sales person made some real mistakes – here are the biggest ones, that you for sure want to avoid:
Promise big, deliver close to nothing. The call was supposed to focus on a live demo of the product. Instead, I was told to “check out some customer cases on the homepage”. Something I’d already done, and understood very little of.
My advice: Deliver what you’ve promised the customer, and do so thoroughly. Avoid sloppy solutions that signal laziness or a lack of interest.
Let the customer do the job. The salesman didn’t manage to clearly explain product functionality and benefits. Instead, I had to move the conversation forward and repeatedly ask questions in order to finally understand the product and its potential benefits for my business.
My advice: Do your job as a sales person, don’t place the responsibility on the customer. Be clear about the unique advantages of your product, and how they benefit the customer. Make sure that the customer is following along, slow down or back up if needed.
Diminish the customer. During the call I was verbally run over several times. Instead of factually meeting my objections, I was told that I simply hadn’t understood the product, but that I would soon come to realize its superiority.
My advice: Sell considerately. Take the customer seriously. Give objective information. Listen, ask questions and find out what the customer needs. Respect the customer’s objections and final decision, regardless of how they affect your results.
Grab as much as you can. The pricing almost made me faint. A sizeable start-up fee was complemented by a significant monthly fee, and topped off with a large percentage of all product-generated income.
My advice: Selling is supposed to generate a win-win-situation. The customer shouldn’t get a bad feeling just thinking about your company. Your prices obviously need to be profitable – but don’t be too smart for your own good.
The mediocre sales call sabotaged an opportunity for a good business deal. Because we base our purchasing decisions not just on logic, but also on our emotions. Some things really help to close the sell. Like having clear customer policy; making sure that our sales staff is well-informed and interested; and setting well-thought through prices. As for myself, I’ll keep on looking for a supplier that that can deliver both functionality and reliability.