1. They pre-qualify.
When you play ‘guess who the buyers are’ you are wrong more often than not. Judging a prospect based on the car they drive up in, their dress or appearance is both arrogant and ignorant. If you think you can tell who can or can’t buy based on these factors, let me take the pressure off you: you’re not that good!
Fix: Treat people like a qualified buyer until they prove otherwise. Give them the same respect you expect when you shop. Even if they can’t or don’t make the purchase, when you treat them well you’ll build goodwill, reinforce good habits and gain a valuable referral source for future sales.
2. They don’t control their attitude.
Sales experts estimate that 80% of sales success is rooted in maintaining the right selling attitude, we know it as a winning attitude. Obviously, attitudes come under siege every day from a range of sources. And while you can’t control what happens to you, you can control your response.
Fix: Focus on what you can control. Don’t let negative five-minute encounters ruin an entire day. Associate with positive influences in your business, not whiners, complainers or other victims looking for a scapegoat. Set and review goals that give you a longer term perspective. Realise that everyone has bad days and falls into ruts, but by maintaining the right outlook, you can shorten the severity and duration of these setbacks.
3. They take shortcuts.
When you rush though the sales process or skip key steps you are engaging in self-sabotage. No one does you in; you simply break your own momentum. If you rush through building rapport, investigating needs, provide a sloppy presentation or demonstration in a rush to get to the ‘close’, the close you find yourself in will be tougher, take longer and thus be less profitable—if you’re able to make the sale at all.
Fix: Develop and stick to sales disciplines. Realise that the two times you are most susceptible to skipping steps is when you are on a roll or in a rut. Be aware that your sales process sets the stage for the close and that everything you do throughout the process makes or breaks your closing efforts.
4. They don’t practice.
In today’s marketplace, buyers have extensive access to information and are more highly educated than before. Keeping up with them is a full time job, much less gaining an edge. Any serious professional in any field, continually hones his craft. They learn more about their product, the competition and the art of selling. They practice. They don’t just show up on the day of the game and run out onto the field. When you stop learning you will plateau. Your income then levels off or declines and you are relegated to irrelevance in sales. You can’t raise your income level higher on the outside than you grow on the inside.
Fix: Start working as hard on yourself as you do on your job. Buy books, tapes or Cd’s related to your profession. Read industry journals and become an expert in your field.
People are willing to pay more for genuine expertise. During your journey to work, turn off the radio and listen to your tapes on selling and attitude. It’s like warming up before the big game. When the whistle blows, you’re sharp and can get the prize while those around you are still rubbing their eyes. Re-invent, re-fresh and re-juvinate everything you do.
Become more aware of these four fatal sales errors. You will get off track from time to time, but that’s not the point. The point is to develop the discipline to stay on track more often than not and to identify and quickly correct digressions.
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