Many sales are lost because of "sales." To be successful in this profession requires listening to the customer. Unfortunately as salespeople, we often hear so many different things that we feel the need to provide solutions for all of their problems. When this happens, sales professionals can overwhelm the customer, causing them to become confused, and, ultimately, losing any sale.
For the salesperson, it all begins when Marketing comes out with what they perceive as the greatest new product or service to hit the market. Marketing will proclaim that their latest creation will solve all of the problems any customer has or could possible ever have. They continue to lay it on with an assortment of product characteristics all matched to whatever issues the customer has.
Meanwhile, attentive salespeople absorb this information and subconsciously begin to look for ways to apply everything Marketing has proclaimed. It's only natural for sales professionals to believe the information and to assume that it applies to everyone. Once they adapt this mindset, one of the biggest "quiet mistakes" in Sales occurs. It's not an error made in front of a customer such as misquoting a price or missing a key date. Rather, it's a "quiet mistake" because it happens long before a sales call, and, therefore, becomes hard to see how it could result in a lost sales.
Anytime a salesperson is dealing with a customer, patience must be exhibited to not only find out what their needs are, but also to discover which particular need best matches what is being offered. Unfortunately, salespeople often do not take the time to validate the needs they hear. Instead, they treat all of the needs as being equal, remember what Marketing has told them, and begin to think they've come across the perfect customer for their product/service. This is where many sales are lost because the salesperson does not narrow their focus. Therefore, it is critical for sales professionals to think "sale", not "sales."
Top performing salespeople are confident of their skills and their ability to close a sale. They focus on helping the customer fulfill their primary need. Average salespeople, on the other hand, attempt to satisfy numerous needs and in so doing, end up losing the sales by overwhelming the customer.
The key to being a successful salesperson is to focus on selling to the primary need of the customer, not on multiple needs. This will result in a higher closing percentage and, in the long-run, allow you the opportunity to continue the relationship by helping the customer solve the other issues they have identified.
Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter," is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit http://www.TheSalesHunter.com.
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