The rise of digital technology and the age of the Internet has seen a paradigm shift in sales.
The centerpiece of the exchange is no longer focused on the product or service being offered, but on the customer’s specific needs and how to offer the best-customized solution at the best price to address a customer’s pain points.
The shift in focus from product to customer demands a parallel shift in how sales reps and service providers engage with customers. The old notion of being able to sell anything to anybody has gone by the wayside, as has the idea that a certain product is a must-have. In this article, we’ll shine the spotlight on four common mistakes that sales reps and service providers are making in the modern sales environment, along with tips and tricks on how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Learning Enough About the customer
As mentioned above, the breed of salesperson still exists who thinks he or she could sell ice to Eskimos in the dead of winter.
Mistake #2: Not Reading Expressions Correctly and Failing to Ask the Right Questions.
Mistake #3: Failure to Properly Prospect and Qualify
By the time you’re engaged in a real conversation with a genuine customer, you’re getting closer and closer to closing the deal. But qualified buyers don’t just fall from the sky, even in the digital age where the Internet connects about 60% of the world population.
When salespeople fail to find the right type of person to sell to, they waste their own time, the company’s money, and send its revenue projections sliding down.
The first step is finding leads. To turn a lead into a prospect involves the salesperson qualifying them as such. That is no more complicated a process than asking the questions and extracting the information that lets you know if the customer has both the desire and ability to buy the product or service.
Having one but not the other might be enough to keep them in the system as a long-term possibility, but having both gets them the immediate upgrade to prospect. A problem many salespeople have is that they automatically assume because someone has clicked a web ad or like a social media post, that they are ready to make a purchase. The lack of following through on the qualification process is a sore point that leads to a lot of hours wasted.
Mistake #4: Failure to Properly Close a Sale
When some salespeople think they smell a sale, they act like sharks in the water, circling closer and closer ready to snatch up the payment and put another checkmark on their monthly quota sheet.
This line of thinking is a disservice to the fundamental truth of what sales represent to a customer – making an informed decision and having faith in the company to deliver on its promise.
Every consumer has purchases they don’t think twice about – groceries, gas, their favorite morning treat from the local coffee bar. But when the stakes are higher and the sales process more involved, customers weigh their options more significantly and are known to back out altogether if even the slightest thing seems amiss.
Building trust is a vital cog in the sales wheel. Customers rarely give their business to salespeople or companies who have not earned their trust.
A lot of that comes from honest answers to their questions, from building rapport, and from letting the sales process evolve at the client’s pace. When all desired information has been given, only then is it time to present the customer with the need for a decision.
Reframe their opening pain points, describe how the product or service your company provides can solve those problems, break down the price as needed to make it more palatable, and put the power in the customer’s hand.
Being pushy is a thing of the past. Trying to rush a client into a quick sale is foolhardy in the era where their smartphones can find them prices better or equal to yours at a dozen nearby locations. The key to sales is to value the customer, hear the customer, and guide them towards the best possible solution every time.
What do you do to show your customer value?