More great advice from Simon Hazeldine, author of "Bare Knuckle Selling: Knockout Sales Tactics They Won't Teach You in Business School", which we're proud to publish in audio book format.
Have you ever dug a big, deep hole and then been stupid enough to fall into it? Countless people unwittingly dig fatal sales traps for themselves that kill off any chance of a sale being made. Five of the most common traps that you must avoid if you want to sell more of your products and services are:
1) Thinking about the sale too much
When you are in the selling process you must stop thinking about the sale. My book ‘Bare Knuckle Selling’ does stress how important it is to set solid objectives for every sales call. However, once you have done this, put your objective out of your mind and concentrate on the customer and what they want. Get the dollar signs out of your eyes, forget your objective and focus on the most important person – the customer. Help them to get what they need and the sale will take care of itself.
2) Failing to probe
If you truly want to help the customer then you must probe their needs thoroughly. Failing to ask enough questions and failing to clarify customer’s requirements leads to sales proposals that are off target. If your proposal doesn’t meet the customer’s specific needs, your chances of success are slim.
3) Negotiating before selling
Selling is convincing someone to purchase your product or service. Negotiation is agreeing on what terms the purchase will take place. If you start negotiating before you have followed the correct selling process then you are, quite literally, selling yourself short. If the customer does not fully appreciate how much you can help them then they are unlikely to be prepared to pay what you ask. Sell first, negotiate second. If you sell well then you may not need to negotiate at all.
4) Price dropping
Many customers, particularly trained buyers, will always tell you that your price is “too expensive”. Many salespeople immediately drop their price (and cut their profits) in an attempt to close the sale. This only encourages the customer to ask for further price cuts. One of the many counters to “It’s too expensive” is, “you are absolutely right, it’s not cheap. Would you like to know why?” And then re-commence selling the benefits of your product or service to justify your price.
5) Failing to follow up
A sale isn’t a sale until the money is in the bank. Failure to do what you say you are going to do will lose you more sales than anything else. Always do what you promised to do, make sure the customer gets what they want, and make sure they pay you for it. The selling process is far from over when the customer says ‘Yes’. Follow through and make sure you don’t lose the sale through poor customer service.
Simon Hazeldine is the bestselling author of four business books that have been endorsed by famous business leaders including Duncan Bannatyne from BBC TV’s ‘Dragon’s Den’ and multi-billionaire founder and CEO of Dell Computers, Michael Dell.
Simon is in demand as a keynote speaker; performance consultant and facilitator in the areas of leadership, organisational performance and sales force effectiveness. He has a Masters Degree in the Psychology of Performance and extensive international business experience.
For more valuable information on leadership, sales, negotiation and persuasion including sample chapters from Simon Hazeldine’s bestselling books please visit http://www.simonhazeldine.com