Your sales team’s actions impact your brand and reputation. You get one chance to make a first impression, are your salespeople maximising opportunities?

There are certain selling mistakes which your sales team must avoid in order to improve their results:

1. Chasing unsubstantiated leads.
You must earn the right to sell to someone. Carefully consider who you target and how to build trust before pitching. You only get one chance to start a relationship; make sure you make a great first impression.

2. Being unprepared.
If unprepared, you’ll instantly be on the back foot and prospective customers will sense it. Create scripts and email templates to polish your delivery, save time and energy, and ensure consistency.

3. Not qualifying leads.
Not every opportunity is equal. If your prospective customer can’t afford your product or service or doesn’t actually need it, you’re wasting your time trying to sell to them. Qualify your prospective customers and focus your energy on converting key decision-makers. Ask a few simple questions to find out what they want, what their budget is, and when they need it.

4. Turning up late.
This is rude, annoying, and reflects poorly on you and the business.

5. Giving too much information.
Before launching straight into your pitch, consider what the customer wants and what they need to know. Information overload causes confusion; not sales. Be concise; don’t bore the prospective customer into submission. If they ask for more, give it to them.

6. Not listening.
Stay focused and attentive. Don’t go into a sales pitch with preconceived ideas of what the customer wants. You could miss an important opportunity, sell them something they don’t want or lose the sale. Ask questions, listen attentively and solve the prospective customer’s problems.

7. Not explaining the value.
Technical jargon and product specs will only get you so far. People want to know what’s in it for them. Show them the value to them personally. Emotional factors will influence their choice to buy.

8. Saying yes without being able to back it up.
Saying yes can lead to unrealistic expectations. Before agreeing to a customer’s request, be sure you can deliver and it makes sense. If it’s reasonable, possible and profitable (either immediately or in the future) then say yes.

9. Closing the sale before you’ve established the value to the customer.
Every customer is different. Appeal to the individual you’re selling to. Establishing the value or benefit to that specific customer builds trust and rapport, demonstrating that you understand their situation and want to help them.

10. Ignoring the sales process.
Rushing a sale can backfire. Following the sales process ensures you’ll sell the right product to the right person. Skipping steps in the process may result in an unhappy customer who thought they were getting ‘X’ but instead got ‘Y’. This results in the loss of trust, reputation, and future income.

11. Product pushing / overselling.
Forcing products onto customers who can’t afford them or won’t benefit from them will damage the business’s reputation. If you believe in the value of your product, you don’t need to oversell – your customers should be stoked (not strong-armed) to use it.

12. Failing to upsell/cross-sell.
Upselling is when a customer spends more money by upgrading to a more expensive model or purchasing additional features. Cross-selling is when a customer buys additional unrelated products with their purchase, e.g. ‘do you want fries with that?’. It’s essential the salesperson gauges when an upsell or cross-sell is of value to the customer.

13. Not delivering on your promises.
Every salesperson should under-promise and over-deliver. Not vice versa! Consider realistic timeframes and availability. If there’s a hold-up, communicate this with your customer asap.

It’s essential that you coach your sales team and ensure each salesperson follows your sales process. Your sales team reflects your business’s brand and reputation – make sure they’re advocates for your business.

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