The other day I was interviewed about what I believed were the 6 things salespeople should never do.
As soon as I heard this question, the following guidelines popped into my head so I thought I’d share with you.
1) NEVER argue with the customer – salespeople should follow what I call the ‘alongside’ rule. For me, this rule means that if a confrontational situation occurs during a sale, you should imagine yourself standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your prospect, heading in THEIR direction and figure out a way to help them achieve their goals in a way that is suitable to you. You can always disarm someone through agreement, then add your point once they see that you’re LITERALLY on their side. Remember there can be times where you break rapport, but in general, agree, then lead, never disagree and then try to change someone’s mind!
2) NEVER see failure as a negative – Failures are gifts of experience in disguise! Each time you come up against a tough customer, you get experience, much like in a boxing match. The more punches are thrown in the face, the more low blows you receive, the more prepared and the more likely you are to be battle-hardened and come out on top, the victor the next time! So in sales, be happy when the phone or door is slammed in your face, just make sure you analyse the situation, write down what you think you could have done differently, and move on with a grin… QUICKLY!
3) NEVER enter a sales situation / deal without at least an idea of your intended OUTCOME – So often we’ve heard the sayings, “If you don’t know where you’re headed, how on earth do you think you’ll get there?” or something along similar lines with nautical themes. Why? Because if you don’t know what you want, the chances are you won’t get it… Sales is about mutual benefit. You customer sure will know what they want – A GREAT DEAL and to get as much for as little money as possible – they’ll ask all the right questions and keep pushing towards achieving what THEY want. However, you? YOU need to do the same, and like a monumental battle of rope-pull, you need to put your back into it and shift the momentum in your direction to achieve a great outcome. Do yourself a favour and go in with a plan of action; what your ideal outcome is, what you can offer as an incentive that isn’t going to break the bank, how you will overcome the key objections, and most importantly, how you intend to move toward closing the deal.
4) NEVER stop listening. This one’s pretty simple. Salespeople should never stop listening for buying signals. They should never stop listening out for what the prospect NEEDS and DESIRES. They should pay attention to their LIKES and DISLIKES, what team do they support? Who do they mention a lot in their conversations with you – their wife? Try and make a note of all the things you think will help build a picture of this person in your mind. When you have a great picture of how someone thinks, and what attracts them, then you can design your sales pitch around them using this customised MAP you have created! More details on this in the TTS ebook.
5) NEVER waste time on email if you don’t have to – Calling is ALWAYS preferable except when initially contacting warm leads to assess interest. If you can, call or talk in person face-to-face. The rich tapestry of information that can be gleaned from a sales telephone call or during a direct meeting is far and above that of an email. I’ve know the nicest people, who, when they write an email, seem angry or very off-hand just because of their style of writing – it sends a confusing signal to the salesperson. Not only that, but talking is easy, writing is hard, and you cannot hear the nuances of HOW things are said or hear/see reactions; all of which help make you efficient at deciding whether you should chase a lead for 1 day or 1 month! Calling is a big time-saver AND gives a big clue about how to handle your sales pipeline.
6) The final one – NEVER stop building your pipeline. What is a pipeline? It’s the imaginary pipe that delivers new prospects to you. If you get lots of new leads, you’re filling your pipeline. If you deal with just OLD customers or don’t generate any NEW ENQUIRIES then your pipleline is running dry. NEVER let your pipeline go dry – this is a big mistake. Each day you should aim to bring on board AT LEAST 1 more customer into your sales pipeline. Trust me, it will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE to your monthly target and I don’t want to hear excuses about having too much ADMIN. Admin can wait! Sales can’t.
OK, so that’s 6 things salespeople should NEVER do – I hope you enjoyed it.
Apply these lessons and I guarantee, you’ll be yet another SALARY STEP forward to earning more than you did last week. Happy selling.