Selling is far from easy, and few are very good at it. Selling requires skills that many fail to put into action, such as:
1. Undisciplined leads process – The sales team is focused on incoming leads rather than spending time proactively making calls to prospective customers. In addition, the sales team fails to organize its leads in a meaningful way or follow-up with leads. Establish systems and guidelines to ensure the leads process is completed thoroughly.
2. Failure to problem-solve – Rather than asking questions about the problems the prospect is experiencing, the sales person is busy trying to sell, sell, sell! By asking the right questions and taking the time to listen and understand the prospects situation, the sales person can provide a more accurate and customized solution that will be more appealing to the prospective client.
3. Failure to build trust – People are more likely to buy from those they trust. Take the time to build a relationship to increase a prospects confidence in you and your product or service.
4. Impatience – Sales people should not push too hard to rush the sale. Some sales cycles can take several months to a few years, and many business-to-business sales involve a number of decision-makers.
5. Assuming that customers have to be tricked into buying – Although this may work occasionally, the prospect will feel cheated and it decreases the chance of getting valuable referrals. Prospective clients that have been speaking with you for some time want to buy, give them reasons why they should buy.
6. Assuming all objections are price objections – When a prospect says the problem is price, it is not always the case. This is just the simplest reason to give the salesperson. An effective sales person must continue to ask questions and uncover the real reasoning.
7. Failing to maintain a relationship – Once your prospect has become your customer by purchasing your product or service. Don’t just leave them off to the sidelines, assuming they will return. You must continue to nurture the relationship, keeping close to customers and ensuring their satisfaction.
You’ve probably heard it before, but this rule-of-thumb continues to hold true: ‘80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients’. This is much more cost-effective, as it can cost up to five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current customer.
Enhance your sales approach by improving upon these areas to become more effective at selling.
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Source: Richard Guha, Max Brand Equity
Inderpal Gill, Firstbase Business Services