3 costly sales mistakes and how to avoid them

3 costly sales mistakes, so easy to commit. Unfortunately, they result in expensive sales losses.

Costly mistake, 1: Not paying attention to the business card

This costly sales mistake is more common than you think. You exchange cards with the prospective buyer (prospect) as good business etiquette dictates. He puts yours away without so much as a glance and you return the favour. Costly sales mistake. Whether he studies your card or ignores it altogether has no bearing to how you treat his. Recognizing the card and acknowledging its contents is a gesture of respect and avails an opportunity to thaw any ice still frozen, or further build bridges of connection. The sincere acknowledgment could be of his tile or the business or both. “You are the GM here? Congratulations!” (Assuming you didn’t know this and he looks too young to be so). “I see you also do Coaching too.” Any of these comments can only serve to bring warmth toa typically tense encounter. Now why wouldn’t you want that?

Costly sales mistakes, 2: Assuming attraction is conversion

Sales attraction is not conversion. At least not automatically. For some businesses, prospecting is done differently from what is generally known. These business largely prospect by marketing.

For instance, a moving company can only inform prospects of its existence in the hope that when they do want to move they will contact them. At the point of moving them however an opportunity to sell does present itself with the curious onlookers or, nearby neighbours. The same goes for selling land. Just as with moving, it’s highly unlikely you will call seeking an appointment to sell land or moving.

Costly sales mistakes

More likely you will wait for the prospect, attracted by your marketing (advertising, referrals, exceptional service) to reach out to you. And when they do, such prospects are not merely warm (likely to buy) they are blazing hot (wanting to buy). However, the assumption that they will simply sign the dotted line or, that they will remain perpetually hot and so can be converted, “When I get to them” is a costly sales mistake. Strike when the iron is hot without coming through as too eager to close, which for some reason, creates suspicion, nor, too distant as to make the prospect feel unworthy.

Costly mistake, 3: Putting selling ahead of service

“Do you sell airtime for Airtel?”, the prospect calls the supermarket helpline to confirm. Targets driven, the seller on the other end of the line states, “Yes. We do” The prospect presses, “Are you sure? The last time I was there you didn’t, and I would hate to come and find this is still the case.” The seller, remembering her internal sales training stating, ‘Just get them into the supermarket. Once they are here they’ll find something to buy’, states: “Yes, I am.” It’s a lie. A costly sales mistake. Perhaps the most expensive one. The prospects arrives, is told no we don’t sell it, it’s thoroughly ticked off and calls back to tell off the seller. No sale happens. Likely never again.


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