4 Reasons You’re Losing Business
As a sales person, this has to be the most painful part of our job. We do the hard work, we find the right prospect, we get past the gatekeeper, we secure the first meeting, and we put on an amazing presentation. Yet for some reason, unbeknownst to us, we do not close the sale. Our prospect decides to go with someone else, and all of our hard work and the promise of badly needed revenue goes down the drain.
Sales are the lifeblood of business. Without sales, you can’t win customers. Without customers, you can’t keep your doors open. Your ability to build a business and grow a company is directly related to your ability to sell. You have to really master the art. This is a shifting economy. Things like competition, regulation, and constant advancement in technology can put pressure on your margins and negatively impact your bottom line. You have to get good at increasing revenues, and that means you have to get good at sales.
One of your largest expenses for any business is bringing in new business. You have to actually turn a prospect into a customer. It can cost six times more to land a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. It is great to keep and expand existing business. But in order to grow, we need new customers.
All the more reason it is so painful to do all the hard and expensive up front work only to lose the sale and not close the business. So why can’t we close the sale? If we get past the gatekeeper, get our prospect to meet with us, why can’t we close?
Understand that closing the sale is a skill. And as a salesperson, you need to devote time to learning. Getting past the gatekeeper and getting that first meeting is a lot like getting a first date. It is not easy to do, and you are a long way from a home run. What you do and how you handle that first date will determine if you ever get a second one. Your sales calls work the same way. It takes one set of skills to open the door and another set to close the sale.
4 Reasons You Can’t Close The Sale
& What To Do About It
All too often, we are focused on our goals instead of our prospects. We go into a sale having an “idea” of what services would work best for our prospects. We know what products we want to sell. There are two problems with this. First, it keeps us from being present and focused on what our prospect is saying. Second, it keeps us from asking broad, open-ended questions and really listening. Ultimately, our prospects sense that we are more focused on our goals than helping them achieve theirs. To close the sale, we need to enter that first meeting completely intent on learning and listening. We need to be completely open to wherever the conversation goes. If we do that, we will hear what our prospects most want, their urgent need. We will also send a strong message that this relationship will always be more about them than it is about us.
Talking Too Much
A sales call, especially the first sales call, is really about listening. There is a good chance you are going to close the sale when your prospect is talking 80% of the time. This means you are talking no more than 20%. One of the biggest reasons we struggle to close the sale is that we talk too much. Our prospects feel we are talking at them rather than listening to them. Understand that people, our prospects, like to talk about one thing: themselves. And the more we let them talk about them the more they will like us. The more they like us, the more they will trust us. The more our prospects like and trust us the more likely we are to close the sale.
Not Following Up
The likelihood you call a prospect at the exact time they are ready to buy your product is slim to none. Believe me, when it comes to sales there is no instant gratification. As sales people we give up too fast. We assume if by the second or third call someone has not bought our product or service then they must not want it. However, that cannot be farther from the truth. Our prospects have lives, businesses to run, and personal things to attend to. Just because buying our product is not at the top of their to-do list today, does not mean it won’t be a week from now. If we want to close more business then we need to follow-up and follow-through. In other words, we need to continue to build and add value to the relationship. Then, remain visible with our prospects so when they are ready to buy we are the very first person they think of.
Not Overfilling Your Sales Funnel
The hardest time to close a sale, the very hardest is when we need a sale to close. I don’t know what it is about Murphy’s Law but the moment you need a sale to close, no matter how sure you are it is going to close, the moment you need it to hit your goal or meet your quota believe me that sale will not close. In today’s economy, you need to sell from a place of power, not from a place of need. While you can influence the sales process, you cannot force a sale to close. You will lose it if you push. The only way to remain patient is to overfill your sales funnel. Sales is a lifestyle, not a task. Just because it looks like you will hit your sales goal does not mean you stop selling. If you want to turn more prospects into customers then overfill your sales funnel.
Yes, selling today is a challenge, and turning a prospect into a customer is not always easy. But if you adopt these sales strategies you are sure to avoid these four sales mistakes. Understand these solutions, and you will better connect with your prospects, build stronger relationships and close more sales!