Nobody is perfect. No agency does everything right, and there is no perfect way to always sell your products or services. We totally get that. However, there are some tried and decidedly untrue practices that every salesperson needs to stop doing immediately. Put down the phone. Step away from the opportunity. Read the following before returning to your regularly scheduled activities:
Stop Sounding Scripted: I know I’m going to get some pushback on this one, but I have to be clear: scripts are for actors. There is nothing, not a single thing, wrong with using scripts to become comfortable with a company’s approach, to get familiar with talking to leads on the phone, and to have some go-to language for overcoming objections or getting past gatekeepers. However, if your script work involves verbatim recitation, or worse, reading off someone else’s words, please stop. You sound like a robot or worse…a phony. Everyone can tell when you are genuinely trying to make an effort to connect and when you are going through the motions. Please practice the former, not the latter.
Stop Hiding Behind E-mail: This is coming from someone whose voicemail literally tells people to hang-up and text instead because I won’t listen to the message, so understand I know how hard this is to do. However, your personal preference for communication isn’t as important as reaching key decision makers and being able to infer intentions from things like tone and build rapport, neither of which come from sending an e-mail. If your contact is getting inundated with e-mails, you will stand out with a phone call. Practice being on the spot under these conditions rather than when you are proposing and closing. You’ll thank me when you pitch smoothly.
Stop Trying to Close Too Soon: Yes, your job is to try and get a sale. However, you need to establish a relationship, find out what that specific customer’s needs are, and let the cycle be a natural one where you close at an appropriate time. If you wouldn’t propose marriage on the first date, why are you trying to close a sale in one call? Stop that please.
Stop Being Too Soft: There’s a time to be timid, but it is never when you’re with a customer and you’re the expert on the subject matter. If your approach is weak, if you appear timid, if you’re not confident in your recommendation, don’t expect the client to be strong and confident in his or her decision to go with your product over the competition’s. The decision to buy is approximately 40% about the product or service and 60% about the salesperson.
There are a lot of ways to do sales right and make you and your client come out feeling like it’s a win-win. If you’re practicing any of the four behaviors, that’s not going to be the case. Be the genuine connection in your company that communicates effectively, speaks confidently and closes only when the decision maker is ready. Get your sales records to reflect sales efforts by avoiding the kind of poisonous habits that are deal killers.