In twentyfive years (has it been that long?) of sales training, I’ve never had a salesperson come up to me and say, “Jeffrey, I didn’t make the sale and it was all my fault.”
Salespeople make the fatal mistake of blaming other things, circumstances and people for their own inability to create a buying atmosphere. And that mistake has double jeopardy one you’re blaming the wrong party, and two because you issue blame instead of taking responsibility, you fail to see the urgent need for more selfimprovement training.
I have identified 12.5 fatal flaws of selling. Real reasons why salespeople fail to make the sale. Painful as this exercise may be, why don’t you rate yourself instead of just reading them.
And for your maximum enjoyment and benefit, a one sentence “flawless” remedy or suggestion follows each flaw. PLEASE… save this article and reread it several times until you admit that it’s you, not them.
Here are the fatal flaws How many of them are fatal to you? Go get a red pen and as you read, put an “F” by the flaws you may want to improve.
1.Being a puppy, puppet or pawn “Send me a brochure!” “OK! I’ll do it.” or, “Send me a proposal!” “OK! I’ll do it.” Salespeople are too happy to oblige without getting a commitment or adding an idea or thought. Flawless: when you send a brochure, make an appointment at the same time. When you get a request for proposal, try to change some of the terms to favor your selection.
2. Speaking before asking Does a doctor tell you where he went to medical school? No. How many years he’s been practicing? No. He asks, “Where does it hurt?” Flawless: Ask compelling questions. Ask questions that reveal pain or emotion. Ask questions your competition doesn’t ask.
3. Making a verbal agreement for services to be provided. Nothing more fatal than a prospect thinking there is more to the deal than you do. When the prospect says. “I thought you said…” whatever follows is a problem. Flawless: Write down and repeat back ALL promises and terms.
4. Negatively referring to the competition. OK, they’re a bunch of dirty rotten creeps. What’s your point? When you put them down, you degrade yourself. Flawless: Always refer to the competition as: “industry standard,” and “my worthy competition.”
5. Following up to see if you “got my literature,” and to see if you “have any questions.” The salesman thinks he is being seen as helpful and professional actually he is a pest and looks dumb. Flawless: Call with ideas and smart questions.
6. Asking “what will it take to get your business?” THE worst question in sales. Will ALWAYS lead to lies, lower price points, and a loss of respect from buyer to salesman.. Flawless: I’d like a brief opportunity to share with you why some of our customers bought from us because we were NOT the lowest price.
7. Assuming the prospect hasn’t heard this crap. It is likely that the prospect has a preconceived notion about your company, your product, or both. You may want to change this before you start. Flawless: make them ask for a demo or a sales pitch. Flawless: Ask “what’s been your experience with _______ so far?” or “How would you describe my product to me?”
8. Assuming the prospect hasn’t made up his or her mind Your reputation may have preceded you, or your prospect may have already decided to buy from someone else OR your prospect may have already decided to buy from you, and is using your sales presentation to “conform” rather than “decide.” Flawless: Make friends as fast as you can before you start. Ask a few questions about where they are on the decision making scale.
9. Adding nothing of interest or value to the prospect when making a followup call. Followup calls are loosely defined as “checking on your money.” “Did you make a decision yet?” “yeah pal we picked you, but we weren’t gonna tell you.” Hello! Flawless: After the proposal or presentation is the best time to create, shine and be memorable. Think of information of value to the prospect, not just questions about how to fill your wallet.
And here are THE BIG THREE:
10. Trying to overcome objections with your words rather than customer testimonials. An objection is a statement that says “you haven’t sold me yet but I’m interested” Flawless: Use testimonials to overcome objections. This is a complex process, but the most (only) powerful way to put the doubt of the prospect to rest. NOTE: if you are forced to use your words, ask compelling (not sharp angle oldworldsalestype) questions rather than make statements.
11. Making a verbal agreement for the next step of the sales cycle The most falleninto sales trap is agreeing to let the prospect “get back to you with an answer” Letting the prospect call you (aka: giving away control of the selling process) “I’ll get back to you tomorrow,” is the biggest lie told to you by a prospect besides. “I can get it someplace else cheaper.”
Flawless: Make a firm appointment for a follow up call make your prospect write it in his or her day planner YOU make the call at the appointed time fax a reminder with something of value (an article about employee productivity or something
12. And the worst of them all: Giving the price before someone asks for it The biggest buying signal in the world is “How much is it?” Most salespeople go right past it or never allow it to occur. Wanting the price is an indication of interest to buy. Flawless: don’t give a price until someone asks for it, and ask for the sale at the same time.
12.5 There is one flaw that I have found to be the most damaging to both the prospect and the salesperson but it’s not an outside flaw it’s an inside flaw.. Thinking you are smarter than the prospect. Condescending, interrupting, assumptive, crass, and impatient salespeople are the ones who lose sales and blame others. Flawless: Polite humility. Employ the Gitomer Diamond Rule of Sales and Service: Do unto customers as you would like to be done unto when you’re a customer.
FREE GitBit: Want the list of what the customer really wants? A list of realistic desires that once you know and master them, more sales will be yours. Go to www.gitomer.com register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words CUSTOMER WANTS in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2000 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112 www.gitomer.com