Negotiating Mistakes That Kill Sales
With the accessibility the internet provides, today’s customers are able to investigate and fact-check at the speed of light. Combine that with the ability to virtually purchase any good or service online and you’ve got entrepreneurs who are struggling to meet demand and make quota. In my work consulting with business owners, many make the same four mistakes and assumptions that cause them to lose sales and clients. These losses add up and can cause a major negative impact on the longevity of their businesses. In this article, I am going to present you with a perspective that will allow you to see your business from a more transparent view. In the end, you will get to look at your sales and marketing processes and answer the question: If I were selling myself, would anyone buy?
#1 Lack of Trust
When offering a product or a service to a client, you, as the seller, must consider two things in order to make a sale: first, what does the client want/need that relates to what you are selling? Second, can the client afford it? If a client has a need that you provide and can afford to purchase it from you, he/she is a viable candidate for what you’re offering. As an entreprenuer, what sets you apart from a virtual store where a client can shop around is that you can build a relationship with a client and establish trust. I have found that entrepreneurs who lack experience working for commission either do not emphasize this relationship with a client or they assume the clients trusts them already. This is not the case. When approaching a client for a sales meeting, the first thing on your radar should be building rapport and exemplifying integrity and stellar work ethic. Think about it, have you ever bought something from someone that you didn’t trust?
#2 Under Qualifying
In 1978, country singer Kenny Rogers had a hit called “The Gambler”. The famous line in the song was, “you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to talk away, and know when to run.” When it comes to the sales process, qualifying your prospect is key to closing the sale. “Qualifying” simply means to make sure that the client has a want or a need that you offer. Sometimes it is obvious when the client wants or needs your product or service. Other times, it’s your responsibility to create the need for your product and create the urgency to BUY NOW! Here’s a hint, being pushy doesn’t work. Constantly telling your client how great your product is doesn’t necessarily increase the urgency to act right then. Now, let’s go back to when someone was trying to sell you something and they just kept telling you how great their product or service was and you kept thinking to yourself, “they sound like a used car salesman!” If a person doesn’t have a desire for your good or service, and you can’t create that need, then as Kenny Rogers would say, “know when to walk away”. No need or want equals no sale.
#3 Polish Your Presentation
So you’ve discovered that your client has a want for your offer and they trust you. That’s great but don’t head to the bank just yet! Have you ever had someone try to sell you something and he looked like he didn’t know what he was doing or he couldn’t answer any of your questions confidently? Has a person ever tried to sell you a product and the packaging looked half done? How did that make you feel? Many entrepreneurs feel that all they have to do is show the client the product and the client and will buy it. Nope! Professionalism and great quality is key when it comes to the sales process. The icing on the “sales cake”, is when you can present your product or service fluently and thoughtfully to a client in need. You have to be polished in your presentation which means that you should practice, practice, practice! Find someone to role play with until you’re confident in your presentation and put in the extra effort in marketing your goods and services.
#4 Offer More Options
The days of price haggling are gone. Entrepreneurs are losing sales because they’re using the “take it or leave it” method. The result is that clients are leaving it! Keep in mind, our good friend Google will show us everyone, local and international, that is offering the same thing as you. Don’t give your client the opportunity to back out of a sale because there is only one way to buy what you’re offering - give them options. Examples are different packages that have different prices, varied terms of enrollment, or different payment options. Instead of take it or leave it, the client gets to pick the deal that’s best for them based on their budget and circumstance.
The next time you’re getting ready to enter into a sales meeting keep these tips in mind and ask yourself:
Does the client trust me?
Does the client have a want/need for my offer?
Am I presenting confidently?
Am I giving my client different options to buy?
Work these skills into your sales process and watch your sales numbers soar!
Joel A. Dawson
Author, Speaker, Business Consultant
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