6 mistakes that salespeople frequently make

Posted in Sales team management.

As a salesperson, knowing what you are doing wrong is just as important as knowing what you are doing right. By pinpointing your mistakes and rectifying them, you will impress your prospects with your professionalism and ultimately improve your sales numbers.

Here are 6 mistakes that you may be making that you should look out for:

1)  Not listening

Salespeople are often criticised for being too talkative. This may be a stereotype but it still remains true that salespeople sometimes talk more than they listen. However, in order to seal more deals, a salesperson should follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of time spent with a prospect should involve listening and only 20% should consist of talking.

This is probably the most important mistake that needs rectifying since it affects a lot of other aspects of selling as you will see with the points to follow.

2)  Making presumptions

When going into a meeting with a prospect, leave your presumptions at the door. Here is where listening comes into play. Would a doctor give you medicine before knowing what your illness is? No. So, you as a salesperson shouldn’t presume to know your prospect’s needs, wants, expectations and feelings before you have asked about them.

To avoid making presumptions, just take some time to ask questions and really actively listen to your prospect’s answers. This way you will be able to gauge whether what you are trying to sell is truly what the prospect needs and wants.

3)  Jumping into making a presentation too soon

Once again, listening is crucial to avoid this mistake. If you come down on a prospect too hard with a sales presentation they might feel undervalued, misunderstood and assaulted. The prospect may feel like you are only there to make a sale and are not interested in getting to know their needs.

Take some time before even thinking of making the presentation to get to know the ins and outs of your prospect, and then you can even tailor your presentation to suit what you have just learned about your prospect.

4)  Wasting time on bad prospects

Asking certain simple questions can help you to qualify a prospect and will ensure that you don’t waste your time or your prospect’s time. Find out what they are specifically looking for, what their budget is and when they are planning to start in order to figure out whether a prospect is worth investing the time in.

5)  Giving too much information

Only give the prospect information that they need. Avoid using overly complicated jargon or talk when giving the needed information to a prospect as they may just feel confused or feel disconnected from the message being conveyed about what is being sold. Don’t dumb it down but avoid giving information that would be relevant to a salesperson.

6)  Failing to uncover the budget up front

Talking about money is often seen as taboo or an uncomfortable subject to broach with a prospect. However, finding out what a prospect’s budget is up front can be tremendously helpful. A budget can help you figure out who is ready to solve their problem and who is not really committed. One can help ease the discomfort of talking about budgeting by discussing the cost of the problem versus what it will cost to solve this problem.