Everyone in a selling profession will miss sales for a variety of reasons. It is a part of being a sales person. Failure will happen more often than success (another topic, another day). Not being totally aware of why, and failing to analyze and fix those reasons causes an unnecessary loss, resulting in sales slumps, anemic paychecks, bad attitudes, and even low morale. With Big Time Thinking and consideration of the following ten realities of why we lose sales we can make immediate corrections where necessary and get back to Big Time Results.
1. WE miss sales because we fail to properly engage our customers.
en•gage – (verb) 1. Occupy, attract, or involve (someone’s interest or attention). 2. Participate or become involved in.
Properly engaging our customers will set the tone for the entire sales process (positivity/optimism is key). It includes the following:
A. A warm greeting, complete with eye contact.
B. Greeting everyone in the buying party.
C. Looking, sounding, and behaving like a pro.
2. WE miss sales because we fail to connect with our customers.
We connect with customers by building rapport, finding common ground and not “going right for the throat”. Just because the internet has caused the buying processes to move faster today is not a permission slip to treat your customers like a number.
3. WE miss sales because WE do not listen, appreciate, and diagnose our customers’ unique wants and needs. (Customers have concerns, we create objections).
Imagine our reaction if a doctor or lawyer didn’t ask us questions, didn’t try to understand our situation, and instead offered a one-size-fits-all advice when trying to sell us on their service. The sales adage is true: CUSTOMERS DON’T BUY WHEN THEY UNDERSTAND, THEY BUY WHEN THEY FEEL UNDERSTOOD.
4. WE miss sales because WE do not speak the customer’s language.
Speaking a customer’s language means that we must find out their buying motives and interests and then focus our presentation on those things; not on the things we like or think others are impressed with. When we present features and benefits our customers become more interested and we raise the value of our product; when we discuss issues our customers are indifferent about we raise the price and give them a reason to keep shopping.
5. WE miss sales because WE do not get the customer involved enough in the process.
It is easy for customers to remain indifferent when they are not emotionally or mentally involved in our process. Asking the right questions helps us accomplish this important part of the sales process. Mental ownership happens typically when our customers are involved because they take mental ownership. We will sell far more with questions and genuine interest than we will with speeches and lectures.
6. WE miss sales because WE do not ask for the sale.
If we are in sales, then we are not just in the business of giving presentations and passing out business cards (I call them dismissal slips), we have got to ask properly for the sale. WE HAVE TO EARN OUR SALES. Sales not asked for are sales not closed (Everywhere we go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
7. WE miss sales because WE do not overcome objections.
For as long as we are in sales we will hear all kinds of concerns that become objections. 80% of the time, they are the same six or seven things. Know this in advance, practice them all at least once per week for as long as we are in sales for as long as we want to succeed.
8. WE miss sales because WE don’t ask for referrals.
Referrals are exponentially easier to close than a fresh customer, yet most salespeople DO NOT ask for them. We must never consider that we have maximized an opportunity until we have turned one sale into at least a minimum of three (Five should be the goal).
9. WE miss sales because WE do not REALLY follow-up in a timely manner, with proper enthusiasm and equal determination.
Consistent, systematic sold and unsold follow-up separates sales amateurs from the professionals. Purposeful same-day follow up with working prospects is essential to maintaining sales momentum. Purposeful, long-term follow up with existing customers is the bridge that connects an initial sale to a profit pipeline of future income (Go to work to wait = PIPE DREAM. Go to work to work = PIPE LINE).
10. WE miss sales because WE do not think these points apply to us.
Living in denial, ignorance or bliss is dangerous; especially for us in sales. It causes us to repeat the same mistakes (as a cycle that never ends). For the record, repeated mistakes are no longer mistakes, they are our bad decisions.
“Success breeds arrogance which leads to complacency. Complacency is a disease that breeds failure at a dangerous rate. Only the paranoid professionals continually succeed more often than their peers.”