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15 Selling Mistakes you should be Aware

By Percy Chong, 14th May 2015

With so many things that can go wrong with selling, it would wise to know what the common mistakes are and avoid making them to compound the chance of losing your sales!

Here are 15 selling mistakes that you need to be aware of:

#1 Don’t ever take things personally when dealing with your prospects/clients!
When your prospects/clients rejects the sale, understand that they are not saying “no” to you, but with the idea, product, or even the role you are playing…and it’s never about YOU!  You will find yourself very depressed and your sales career terminating prematurely if you fall prey to it.

#2 Don’t ever fly ‘blind’ in the area of your personal sales effectiveness!
You need to start tracking and monitoring your sales activities/performance religiously; avoid perceiving them as additional administrative work, but as a tool to help you identify your area of strength, weakness and market strategies & effectiveness.

#3 Don’t ever rush into any sales situation without having any research done!
Research is an integral part of your sales repertoire; from profiling your target market, to identifying your service/product fit with your prospect’s, to identifying the right decision maker to present to. Thorough research helps you avoid barking up the wrong tree. Plus it avoids you looking incompetent for not knowing the business that your prospects/clients are in, when they ask you.

#4 Don’t ever wait for your prospects/clients to return your call!
Don’t wait for your prospects/clients to call you back because they probably won’t. On top of it being good service practice to follow-up with our prospect/client, it is also safe to assume that they are almost never going to take the initiative to call you. So, pick up the phone and reach out to them first!

#5 Don’t ever expect any of your sales appointment with new prospect will stick!
No matter how effective or successful your sales approach is, there is still a very high chance that the prospect will not show up or have forgotten totally about your sales appointments with them. At this sales stage, the prospect barely knows you and are not oblige or dying to meet with you (unless they have an inherent need). So make the necessary follow-up (ie. small gestures, additional touch points of calls, drop-by visits, emails, text messages etc) leading up to the appointment, to build on the relationship and ensure the meeting will stick!

#6 Don’t ever let the buying interest cool down!
Follow-up with your prospect/client conscientiously, never let the buying interest cool down. Keep them warm! When you are unable to judge if you are following up too aggressively (ie. coming on too strong) with them, or not having done enough to keep their interest going…don’t procrastinate further and make the call! It’s better for them to perceive you as persistent, than forget about you totally.

#7 Don’t ever deal with a suspect!
Always qualify your prospect from suspect. There is nothing more painful than to follow-up with a case that will never hatch. Prolong association with suspect will increase the chance of developing a disease of the mind…the ‘Illusion of many sales opportunity’ syndrome!

#8 Don’t ever talk more than you ask during the sales meeting!
Well place probing questions are far more effective at securing the sale than blatant self-promotion.  Speak less and ask more to identify the prospect’s “hot-button” to increase chance for buying opportunity!

#9 Don’t ever try to sell your solution, but sell the prospect’s problems!
The prospects/clients will not see the need for your solution (no matter how effective, how cheap, or how well designed they are) unless it can solve their problems!

#10 Don’t ever rely on offering discounts or promotion to secure your sale!
Using discounts or ‘kick-back’ strategies to lure sales is the start of a downward spiral and demise of your selling skills and professional standing. Prospects/clients will only buy from you because of this pricing consideration and never your professionalism. They will not see value in you or the excellent services you are providing. And you will lose the sale or all future opportunities, if someone offers them a “better” deal.

#11 Don’t ever negotiate the prospect/client’s proposal with yourself, let them do it with you!
Salespersons tend to negotiate with themselves even before presenting their proposal to the prospect/client. Negotiation is the domain of the prospect/client. Let them share their concerns with you before you get involve with the negotiation process.

#12 Don’t ever expect the prospect/client to accept your initial proposal!
Prospects/clients rarely accept or buy your initial proposal. You should expect that some re-work is necessary and not place too much expectation on closing your first proposal; regardless of how much time you have spent in perfecting the proposal. Understand that the prospects/clients will need to re-calibrate their thoughts and refine their requirements; and it is not always possible with just one fact-find meeting.

#13 Don’t ever oversell or sabotage the sale!
Salesperson have been known to allow their insecurity or fear of losing the sale during the closing stage to oversell, over-talk and over-present; they fail to recognised buying signals to seize the opportunity for the sales close. They often “torture” their prospects/clients by extending the sales process unnecessarily.

#14 Don’t ever hesitate to ask for the cheque!
Don’t avoid asking for the cheque (or the contract to be signed). The worst case scenario will only see the prospect/client saying no. You may or may not have lost the case. And sometimes, there are still possibilities for you to redirect and ask for the cheque again. But remember, the sale is never really completely closed until you received payment. Most organisation will only compensate the salesperson after receiving payment; and payment collections is also an important duty of all salespersons.

#15 Don’t ever use a cookie cutter approach when selling!
Don’t expect all your prospects/clients to be the same and have similar situations, preference or interest.  Not only will this approach severely limits your sales opportunities, but the limits your growth as a sales professional as well. Learn to embrace, recognise and handle all the diverse prospects/clients in your market. A one trick pony will soon be extinct in the sales profession.

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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