Customers are overwhelmed by sales messages every day, how can you get yours through?
In a highly competitive landscape where customers are bombarded with countless tempting offers and proposals, as a sales professional, you need to up your game and make sure each conversation you have with your prospects is meaningful, lasting and secures their trust. To put it simply, you can’t afford any mistakes.
Research shows, that on average, people are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. This daily bombardment is challenging for both customers and salespeople and you need to make sure you come up with an original approach that keeps your prospect engaged.
To help improve performance and reduce the risk of lost deals, we’ve mapped out the most common errors salespeople tend to make, as well as some tips and tricks to help you avoid them.
Lack of preparation
Nowadays, you have access to a wealth of information about every prospect you intend to contact. After all, if you have no idea who you’re selling to, you can only deliver a dry pitch that is likely not relevant to the person you’re talking to.
Remember: personalisation is crucial for gaining customers’ attention and interest. Do your homework, research your leads in advance and use that knowledge to come up with some interesting topics that will warm up your target and convince them to give you their time and money.
When you have hundreds of leads to research and contact, this might seem a daunting and time-consuming task. Thankfully, today’s sales technology has made significant progress and you can use some smart tools to scan the web for all available info on your prospects.
Furthermore, a good CRM solution should be able to add all these details to your database and make it easier for you to keep track of your conversations and development with each prospect.
Talking too much
You’re a passionate sales professional; you strongly believe that the service or product you’re selling is great, so you’re trying hard to convince your prospects that it’s the perfect solution for all their problems.
But that doesn’t mean you get to do all the talking. In fact, you should be aiming for the opposite.
A recent study by SalesHacker revealed that the most successful sales professionals only talk for 46 per cent of the discovery call, whereas average and lower-performing sellers talk for 68-72 per cent of the call.
With this in mind, don’t dominate the conversation. Be a part of it. Listen to your prospects’ opinions and pain points and use them to highlight how your product or services could help them tackle some challenges or improve their lives.
Another significant mistake some sales professionals make is using too much jargon without realising that the prospect might not be familiar with some specific terms or acronyms. Keep it simple! Don’t provide irrelevant information just to show how knowledgeable you are - simply centre your pitch on the client’s needs.
Focusing too much on the sell
Many sales professionals are so focused on targets and goals that they end up pushing the pitch too hard. A successful sale should be a natural progression. If you’re too aggressive your prospect might get defensive and shut down any conversation and potential conversion.
You need to stop pitching on your first call. Focus on building trust and schedule a follow up session to ease the prospect in. The time between calls can be used for learning more about your prospects and how to tailor your offer to their specific needs.
Remember it’s not the features of a product or service that will close the deal but the benefits it brings to your customer’s business or life. Focus on tangible areas you can help with and back it up with concrete proof.
Not picking up on social cues
Selling is also the art of social interactions. Unfortunately, more often than not, sales professionals don’t read between the lines and they fail to realise that their prospects are not in the right state of mind to listen to their offer.
The simplest approach is to ask your prospect if they’re ready to discuss your proposition. If they sound harassed, stressed, or simply not interested, schedule a call at a time that’s convenient for them and follow up with some new, interesting information as an icebreaker.
Being too modest
The role of a sales professional has evolved significantly in recent years. A successful sales conversation is not about technical features, but about the business value and how you can help your client to increase performance and stay ahead of the competition.
If you want to gain a prospect’s trust and respect, you have to position yourself as an expert that provides valuable advice that helps to solve their problems - tailor the benefits of the product or service you’re promoting to the needs you have picked up on during the conversation.
While these communication blunders are some of the most common reasons behind failed sales, they are very easy to fix. Ultimately, the answer is quite simple: do due diligence, connect with your prospect, and arm yourself with a powerful CRM solution. You’ll start closing more deals in no time.
Tara Bryant is SVP of Sales at Pipedrive.
How To Avoid The Five Biggest Mistakes In Converting Sales