The most successful salespeople constantly seek out opportunities to improve their selling strategy. Unfortunately, even the best reps can find it difficult to identify the biggest sales mistakes they’re making. After all, if you knew what you were doing wrong, you would’ve stopped doing it long ago … right?
For better or worse, the vast majority of salespeople make the same few mistakes over and over when they sell. And you might be making these same widespread and deadly selling blunders without even knowing it.
Don’t be one of the many salespeople who makes these mistakes again and again, never realizing they’re sabotaging their entire sales process. There are three particular crushing sales errors that many salespeople make which you must actively work to avoid, starting now.
Take an honest look at your own sales approach and decide: Are you making one of these three deadly blunders preventing you from dominating your competition in sales?
1) Talking more than 20% of the time.
When you’re in a discovery meeting with a new prospect, you should speak as little as possible. This might sound counterintuitive, since most salespeople are taught to avoid silence, constantly tout their qualifications, and always pitch their products. But in reality, prospects are turned off by salespeople who talk a lot.
Watch this video to find out more about this common sales pitfall:
If you talk more than 20% of the time in sales meetings, you’re talking too much. Instead, aim to speak for closer to 5% of the time. Focus your energy on getting the prospect to talk more. As a general rule, you should only ever speak when you’re setting up a question topic, or asking the prospect a direct question. When it comes to talking in the discovery process, less is more.
2) Neglecting to establish the prospect’s budget.
Many salespeople are too scared to ask prospects for their budgets. This is a huge mistake. Failing to find out the prospect’s budget before you present your solution is the worst scenario you can put yourself in. While there's usually some wiggle room, especially if your prospect is highly influential within her organization, you need to know whether you're even in the same ballpark.
Without an established budget, you’re more likely to undersell your solution -- and you’re likely to lose the sale entirely. Asking for the prospect’s budget isn’t all that difficult. You just have to hold your prospect accountable to giving you real guidance on what they’re willing to invest in your solution.
3) Answering questions without first understanding their intent.
In an effort to seem knowledgeable and helpful, many salespeople rush to confidently answer every question. However, answering a question without first finding out why it was asked can backfire -- and devastate your chances of closing the sale.
For example, say a prospect asks, “Do you do a lot of work in my industry?”
There are two possibilities here: The prospect might want you to say “yes” and demonstrate that you have expertise in the industry. But the prospect might also want to ensure you’re not working with any competitors in the industry. These are two completely different intents behind the same question.
Never assume you know a prospect’s intent -- just ask!
Try a soundbite like, “You know, that’s a really interesting question. Why is that important to you? Why do you ask that question?” Once you get your answer, you can present your response as a solution that meets their specific challenges.
Each of these three deadly mistakes is fairly simple to correct, once you know you’re making them. Have you been making one of these three crushing sales errors? While you’re improving your sales approach, check out this free ebook on 25 Tips to Crush Your Sales Goal for even more powerful advice.