Archives for 2nd March 2011

Are You Falling Victim to these Five Sales Traps?

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.  Once you have set your sales objective for your call put it 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.

The Three Rules of Successful Selling

Rule 1: Your customers (and customers to be) are not stupid

In today’s world people are more educated and informed than ever before.  People are more sophisticated and discerning.  People just don’t fall for blatant and manipulative tactics.  We all get a little frustrated when we are told that “the sale ends on Friday”.  We all know that it is immediately replaced with a new sale that starts on Saturday!

People know that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  No-one is very surprised when they get selected to enter the Reader’s Digest free prize draw.  The successful salesperson treats their customers and customers to be with respect.

Rule 2: Sell how you like to be sold to

When people are asked how they like to be sold to, they always give a similar responses.  People like to be treated with respect and courtesy.  People like to be listened to.  People like the salesperson to be interested in finding out what they want.  People want the salesperson to put their interests first.  People want to be helped to make a decision that is right for them.  Why then would anyone attempt to sell any differently?

Rule 3: People are convinced that salespeople want to sell them something.  They are right, so tell them!

Perhaps because of previous encounters, people can be rather suspicious of salespeople.  In the back of their mind they are worried that the salesperson will try to push them into buying something.  To overcome this fear, just tell people what you are doing.

Tell them that your company exists by engaging in commercial transactions or relationships with customers.  You provide products and / or services to customers and they pay money for them.  However, what you do first is to understand what is important to the prospective customer.  When you understand this, you will see if your products and/or services can help them.  If they can, then you will recommend an appropriate solution.  The customer can then decide to say “yes” or “no” to the proposal.  By being up front with the customer you remove any fears they may have and establish trust with them.

Do You Use These Powerful Negotiation Questions?

Why not download this handy list of Powerful Negotiation Questions and try them out in your next negotiation?


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