Sales are what make or break a business, but unless you're a natural at selling, the process can feel daunting.
Even experienced salespeople trip up at some point between that initial conversation and closing the deal. Often one or two small changes to your approach can make a huge difference in your success rate.
Here are 5 of the most common sales mistakes and some tips to help correct them.
1. First impressions
Focusing on you may be contrary to common sales thinking. After all, sales are all about the customer and their needs, right? While that's certainly true, you won't make a sale if people don't trust you. And in order to trust you, they need to know you.
Research suggests about 80% of buyers will research businesses online before committing to a purchase. You can get a head start warming up your prospects with a website that makes a great first impression. Hire an experienced web copywriter that understands your market. And while you’re at it, take the time to polish up your LinkedIn profile too.
In some cases, you'll have broken the ice before that initial call or meeting.
2. Moving too fast
The goal of each sales conversation is getting to a close, but nothing scares a prospect away faster than pressure or desperation.
It's a fact that most buyers won't commit to a purchase the first time you speak to them. It can take numerous customer interactions before the customer is ready to proceed, so slow down and focus on being helpful.
3. Unclear benefits
If you believe in your product or service, you're well on your way to being successful in sales. But if you get too wrapped up in talking about everything your gadget can do, you're missing the mark.
Buyers need to clearly know exactly how your product or service can help solve their problem or make their lives more enjoyable.
So skip the list of jazzy features and communicate the benefits clearly. This is much easier when you take time to get to know your target market and how they tick.
4. Pricing doesn’t reflect value
Don't get caught up worrying that your pricing is choking sales. Instead focus on whether you've made it easy for your customers to understand the high value of your offer. Show your customers the added value. Make your offer superior to everything out there on the market.
You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that buyers won't balk at price if the superior quality of your brand is obvious.
5. Taking the next step
When you feel a conversation naturally coming to a close, are you ready with the next step? Always end a call with a question appropriate to the stage of your sale conversation.
If you've just met your prospect at a networking event, it may be as simple as agreeing to speak on the phone in a week or two. The important thing is to be prepared so you don't miss an opportunity to stay connected and take that next step.
Before you take action on any of the information above, we recommend consulting with a qualified business advisor that understands your unique needs and situation for your specific business and/or personal plans.