You can connect with more prospects and close more deals by avoiding these costly sales mistakes.
Rejection isn’t the career-ending monster it’s made out to be. It’s a part of life, so it only makes sense that you’ll come across it in any sales position. However, you can significantly reduce the amount of rejection you experience by identifying and correcting the sales mistakes you may be unwittingly making.
This doesn’t just go for rookie salespeople. No matter how long you’ve been selling life insurance over the phone, it’s easy to fall into some of these sales mistakes, especially when you’re making a lot of calls in the same day.
The good news is that most errors are easy to dodge once you know what they are. Sure, it might take a little practice and getting used to, but the result will be well worth the short time you spend refining your call sales strategy.
Let’s take a look at some of the worst sales mistakes. Then find out how you can change your approach for more successful sales calls.
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8 Common sales mistakes to stop making right now
1. Too much (fake) enthusiasm
Enthusiasm for your product or service can be an asset, but at the same time, first impressions mean a lot. If you start your calls with too much sales-y enthusiasm, or if it sounds forced, your prospect may decide right away that it’s a sales call, and then their defenses go up. While you certainly don’t want to sound dull or boring, being too upbeat can cause more harm than good. Focus on a warm, friendly, and calm tone rather than one thought to generate excitement. Let your natural charisma show through your words and the questions you ask. This will also help build trust, which is necessary for closing any sale.
2. Discussing price before building value
Even some of the most experienced salespeople introduce price too soon; often within the first 15 minutes of a sales call. It may seem like a good idea because you’re demonstrating honesty and transparency. However, there is some research that shows top performers don’t reveal price until 38 to 46 minutes into an hour-long sales call. What are they doing for the majority of the call? Building value. Show a prospect why your product should mean something to them so when they find out the cost, they’re already sold on your capabilities and offering.
3. Too much talking, not enough listening
One of the most common sales mistakes is talking too much when you should be listening. How else will you learn about a prospect’s pain points if you’re not asking questions and collecting information? To build value, you have to first know what’s valuable to the prospect. Take some time to get to know the person you’re selling to so that you can help them meet their need or solve their problem.
4. Neglecting to follow a call script
It’s essential that your sales calls stay focused and don’t wander to topics or information that isn’t helpful in closing a sale. To help keep you on track, use a call script. Doing so gives your call structure and it helps you makes sure you don’t leave out any critical points.
5. Sounding too scripted
Odd is it may sound, this doesn’t negate the necessity of using a sales script. One of the challenges of reading off a script is that you might sound, well, scripted. Be mindful of this, as it’s one of the sales mistakes that can end a call before it’s even begun. Even though you’re using a script as your guideline, you still want to come across as genuine and personable. Practice your script before you start making your calls. Record yourself. Listen back. Try it with your colleagues. Would they buy something from you?
6. Forgetting to schedule next steps immediately
Before your call is over, take a moment to agree on next steps and time for a follow-up call. Failing to do so leaves everything much too open-ended, and that can cause a prospect to lose interest. When you have action items, it gives everyone something to look forward to and helps keep prospects excited about moving forward in the sales cycle.
7. Interrupting the other person
It’s easy to want to jump in and talk over a prospect when you feel you have something important to say. Resist the temptation. Make a note of your thought and come back to it after they’ve finished speaking. Interrupting is a surefire way to lose a prospect not only because it’s rude, but because it conveys the message that you weren’t fully listening.
8. Neglecting to create urgency
There’s a fine line between creating urgency and putting a prospect under pressure, but it’s a necessary line to walk if you intend to close a sale. If there’s no urgency to buy, a prospect has time to decide that maybe they aren’t interested after all. Come up with a reason for why now is the time to buy and explain it to your prospect. Convincing them that time is of the essence will make them more likely to buy sooner than later (or not at all).
Learn from your mistakes
Making some of these sales mistakes once in a while isn’t going ruin your sales career. In fact, making some mistakes is pretty much unavoidable. The important takeaway is to learn from those mistakes and take action to correct them in the future. Spend time analyzing your phone call strategies and discover your weak areas. Then invest the necessary time and effort into strengthening those areas so that next time, you’ll be ready. Before long, you’ll find that you’re closing more sales.
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