4 Common Sales Mistakes You Might Be Making


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4 Common Sales Mistakes You Might Be Making

It can be so frustrating to put weeks of effort into your sales strategy only for it to fall flat. What’s more frustrating is that it often falls flat because of simple, unavoidable mistakes. This isn’t just an issue for those new to sales. Even veteran sales professionals can still fall into common mistakes. Even you could fall into any of these common sales mistakes.

Part of the issue is that the market is always changing. Culture is always changing and consumers are always changing. If you’ve ever had to explain to your parents that no one brings their resume in person to local businesses anymore, you might know the feeling. What worked before in sales might not work anymore. However, some of these mistakes have existed for as long as sales.

Let’s dive into some of the most common sales mistakes that might be dragging down your numbers.

#1 – Talking Too Much, Listening Too Little

It’s easy to talk as a sales professional. You know your pitch and you’re able to practice it. You can prepare all the talking points about the product or service you’re selling. You don’t know exactly what the prospect will say, which makes it hard to prepare for. But in your eagerness to give the perfect pitch, make sure you’re not talking too much. You need to leave room to listen, too. In fact, you should be listening a little more than talking.

No one likes to feel steamrolled over, especially in the midst of a sales discussion. If you talk too much and leave little room for your sales prospect to talk, you won’t understand their needs as well and they’ll likely be turned off. On the other hand, if you let them talk and really show that you’re listening, they’ll feel valued and more interested in your product. Surveys show that top sales professionals spend 57% of the sales conversations listening while their prospect talks, and only 43% actually talking about what they’re selling.

#2 – Too Much Focus on Pitch and Presentation

Sales professionals often pride themselves on having the perfect sales pitch, the perfect slideshow to present whatever they’re selling, and so on. But this is only the beginning stages of the sales process. The most important part is the long discussions that follow in which you attempt to turn a sales prospect into a customer. You have to be able to close the deal.

As counter to the job as it may seem, some sales professionals simply don’t put a lot of effort into closing the sale. They may even go into sales discussions assuming that they won’t be able to close the deal. By focusing on their pitch and presentation, they may have been able to impress or show off to their colleagues, but they won’t get the numbers in the end. This is a waste of time and a waste of your talent. Instead, focus on sales discussions that have a likelihood of closing and put all your effort into that.

#3 – Emphasis On Features, Not Solutions

Your product or service might have a lot of cool features that you’re eager to talk about. These could be popular selling points, but without the context, they’re bound to fall flat. You need to be focused on how your product or service can serve as the solution to a problem that your sales prospect has. Will this product or service save them time or help them to be more precise in something that’s important to them? How will it impact their work or their daily lives?

For this, you have to understand what your sales prospect needs. Do your research beforehand and ask questions during sales conversations so that you’re better prepared to represent whatever you’re selling as a solution.

#4 – Too Much Information

When you reveal too much information upfront, it can overwhelm your sales prospect and you may spend too much time on things that they don’t care about. A little bit of mystique can go a long way in marketing; but even in sales, it’s better to portion out that information.

That doesn’t mean you should be cryptic about your product or service. You should be open and transparent, but be careful not to overshare. Instead, go over the most important points and then let your prospect ask questions. As they ask questions, you can reveal more information about your product or service. You’ll also be able to know that it’s relevant to their interests or needs.

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