After 24 years in Sales Management, I have seen many ‘bad habits’ creep into Professional sales ‘work methodologies’. ……. Remember, before you start the sales process with any client, make sure that you Stop, Think and Plan. Here are the Top 10 to avoid………
‘Flogging a Dead Horse’ – Tempting as it is to latch on to any lead, you need to ask yourself ‘what are the chances of this lead converting?’ If it’s slim, or not relevant to Strategic direction, make a decision and simply move on.
Putting Prospecting On Hold – We’ve all been there. You focus on one, maybe two Quota-busting deals. BUT….. What happens after this big deal arrives or, worse… when it unexpectedly dies? It is important to keep your pipeline topped up and moving forward. Planning is everything.
Presenting Too Quickly – A customer has just downloaded a key piece of information from the website. They are clearly interested. You call them and launch immediately in to your presentation. Do you know what their business need is? Skipping the discovery process can easily set you up to fail, before you jump in do your research.
Failing To Prepare – Means you may end up ‘preparing to fail’. Before you pick up the phone and reach out, try to learn as much about the business as you can before that first call. The internet has a wealth of information that could just make all the difference. Don’t call blind. Be informed.
Know Your Stakeholders– Five people, on average, are involved in the purchasing decision. During the discovery process, find out who else will be involved in the decision. Knowing them from the start and their different priorities will help you in the long run. The Decision making Process (DMP) is key information- otherwise prepare to be disappointed….
Not Preparing For Objections – Remember… Objections are not skittles to be knocked over, they are Sales enablers. When given, these are valuable pieces of information to be considered and on which you seek solutions based on establishing ‘common ground’. Better you elicit or are given them as part of the process… than not at all and after you have not secured the deal.
Easily Distracted? – Are you often found at the coffee machine or checking Facebook? When your phone isn’t ringing or you’re scratching around the bottom of the pipeline it is crucial that you focus. Plough your efforts into research, prospecting and developing new leads – they won’t just magically appear. Three Rules of Sales ……1.Get on and sell, 2.Get on and sell …….3.Get on and sell.
Giving Up Too Soon – Most customers take up to 4 follow up calls before they commit to buy. With each call, ascertain exactly where you are in their process, understand what they need to take the next step and agree when you will next make contact – this will help you to plan your calls and avoid feeling like a sales stalker.
Badmouthing Your Competitors – Never fall into this trap, as even if they love the product you have, clients’ perception of the company they work with is key. The competition help you to exist – they are the reason you are there.
Bending The Truth – Don’t do it! Over-promising sets up a big fall. Be honest and open about your product capabilities and ensure you position appropriately to address their business needs. It is easy to slip into these ‘bad habits’.