Last Updated Apr 10, 2008 7:10 AM EDT
Here are the ten common mistakes that most sales professionals make, with some quick advice for fixing them:
- Ignoring your selling skills weaknesses. Fix: Notice what you don't do so well and get training to fill the gaps.
- Not keeping your pipeline primed. Fix: Schedule quality time for cold-calling and asking for referrals; then do it.
- Insufficiently researching a prospect. Fix: Use the web to discover where your offering fits before the sales call.
- Failing to follow-up on prospects. Fix: Schedule follow-up activities immediately after the customer contact.
- Calling on contacts that have no budget. Fix: Qualify your prospects in your first conversation with them.
- Presenting in a non-stop sales pitch. Fix: Ask questions that draw out wants, needs and opportunities; then address them.
- Failure to listen to the customer. Fix: Focus on everything about the customer: words, gestures, tonality and context.
- Developing an account but not closing it. Fix: Make a final check for agreement and then close. Just do it.
- Continuing to sell after you've closed. Fix: When you get a "yes," stop talking, smile, and take the order. It's that simple.
- Forgetting to ask for a referral. Fix: At closing, obtain a promise of a referral; request one after you're sure the customer is delighted.
NOTE: Some that I missed (and were sent by readers) are in the post "Ten MORE Common Sales Mistakes"