Part 1 of 3By Jeff Mowatt, JeffMowatt.comSports bloopers are often about preventable errors that favour the other team. The classic is when players score against their own side. In the world of business, there are similar blunders – particularly during buying conversations with potential customers – that end up favoring the competition. As I explain in my seminars for sales teams, it’s not always a shortfall in your company’s product, price, or service that ruins a potential sale. Often it’s inadvertent comments that put customers off just enough for them to choose your competitor. Unfortunately, sales reps are usually unaware they commit these offenses so they keep repeating them. See if you or your team members ever make these selling gaffs.
- Insulting their intelligence
Let’s assume that if a customer is in a position of authority in their company (meaning they are trusted to make significant buying decisions) they must be somewhat streetwise and smart. That means that any kind of pushy, manipulative sales approach is going to backfire. You need to enter a buying conversation presupposing that this customer is an intelligent, well-intentioned grown-up. Your comments should include a healthy dose of, “You probably already know....” and “At your level, you’ve likely experienced….”
- Not listening
Contrary to popular opinion, the most important part of a sales pitch is not your value proposition. The most important part of a pitch is demonstrating your understanding of that specific customer’s unique circumstances. That requires asking pointed questions that help customers see for themselves where there are opportunities for improvement. Then verify your understanding with statements like, “Sounds like you...[summarizing their situation].”This article is based on the bestselling book,
Influence with Ease, by motivational speaker, Jeff Mowatt. For more information, visit JeffMowatt.com.
Parts 2 and 3 will appear on Wednesday and Thursday.