It is all too easy to fall into these traps when selling. Some of you may well have experienced these already; they will be painfully obvious and clear to you. However, sometimes you may also be unaware that you have slipped up or missed some opportunities. There are many I could have selected! Here are five of the most common clangers:
Classic clanger no.1: can happen at that first contact. Maybe you have contacted who you think is an ideal prospect, but they turn out to be uninterested or have no need for what you are offering. This is down to sales & marketing preparation: did you find out enough about them before contacting? Are you talking to the right person?
Remedy: If you haven’t already, plan your approach and START asking them questions!
Classic clanger no.2 Perhaps they stop you in mid pitch, to point out that your offer doesn’t match their need. Did you ask enough questions? Are you too eager to talk about your product and haven’t taken the time to qualify their need by asking simple questions?
Remedy: Start asking now!
Classic clanger no.3 Did you make your pitch and then give them time to consider? If you went back to them over a week later you may find they have gone elsewhere for the product. Unfortunately, customer memory is very short and someone else can end up benefitting from the sale.
Remedy: Agree with them the best time for the follow-up. If you are unsure, call in a couple of days; not necessarily to ask for the business, but to check they are still happy with the offer or if they need more help to decide.
Classic clanger no. 4 You are being pushed on price but you have no more room to manoeuvre. You’re stuck! You don’t have to ‘take a hit or walk away’.
Remedy: Have a contingency; an extra something you can throw into the mix to move the situation forward. This could be more product, or a related product, or an extra service; ideally, anything that costs you little, but will be seen as good value by the customer.
Classic clanger no.5 ‘Let me know if and when you are ready to order from us’. THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE CLOSE! If you leave the deal like this, the most likely outcomes are: they will forget all the good things about doing business with you; they will be persuaded to buy from someone else; they will delay their decision or even the project.
Remedy: Don’t be afraid to close! If it’s the wrong time, ask them when. Better still; ask them what more you need to do to win the business, then do it!
These are just some of the classic clangers that are easy to make when selling, and suggestions for how to prevent or remedy them. As with everything, just a few simple techniques and selling skills can make all the difference when it comes to increasing your success and improving your business ‘conversion rate’.
If you’ve dropped a clanger, or are wondering why you don’t win as much business as you deserve, call Andy at Salient.