When it comes to sales, you can’t rely on raw talent alone. Instead, honing your sales skills can give you a leg up when it comes to beating the competition. You’re also less likely to make blunders that can lead to unhappy customers walking out the door because of your lack of sales smarts.
Sales courses can help you figure out where you’re going wrong and how to best avoid a crash. To get you started, here are the 3 most common errors seen in sales, according to top sales trainers, and some useful advice on how to avoid them.
Talking Too Much, Listening Too Little
Research done by Gong found that lower-tier salespeople tend to take up 70% of the conversation with customers. On the other end, top-performing salespeople tend to talk for only 40% of the time and spend the rest of the 60% actively listening to their customers’ concerns.
Falling into the trap of going on and on when trying to close a sale, is typical among salespeople. Rather than a successful sale, talking too much is more likely to leave you with an extremely bored and distracted customer.
Instead, take a step back to listen carefully to what your customer has to say. Not only will you avoid blowing up the sale but listening and asking questions can help you:
- understand your customer
- recognize what your customer is looking for
- use the information from your customer to tailor your pitch
Failing to Address Pain Points
Your customer already has, most likely, a sea of options being thrown at them by your competitors. To stand out from the crowd, a generic pitch is not going to cut it. You need to make it crystal clear to your customer why your solution outweighs all other available options.
Sales pros who have taken the best courses know that listening and asking questions can help to uncover customers’ pain points. Put simply, a customer’s pain points are the problems a customer may be facing, whether they know it or not.
Knowing a customer’s unique pain points can help you tailor your pitch and package your product as the solution to close the sale.
Negotiating With the Wrong People
Picture this. You’re on the verge of closing a deal when the person on the other end announces they’re not the final decision-maker. The negotiations stall. You’ll be most likely shooting yourself in the foot for not reaching out to the source from the beginning before diving into the talks.
Sales courses stress the importance of opening negotiations with the decision-maker. They advise against falling into the trap of negotiating prices with anyone who can’t make the final purchase decision.
Before reaching out to customers, make sure to:
- research your customer’s company
- use sources such as LinkedIn to gather more background about the company
- consider connecting with a “gatekeeper” who can point you in the right direction
- ask qualifying questions with the contact you do have at the company to ensure they are the right person for making the final call
Avoiding the Usual Mistakes in Sales
Knowledge is often connected to power. In the same vein, sales trainers often say that knowing the common mistakes most salespeople often fall victim to can be useful. In your case, rather than following the flock, their errors can be your lessons to walk the road to success.