In today’s episode, we will review those ten sales mistakes that people make, and we will also share some insights on how to avoid them. If you are into sales, you will probably recognise some of them. Are you looking forward to our best tips? Just stay tuned!
- Mistake number one: not listening and talking too much. This is a very, very common mistake within the sector. Our best tip here would be the rule of the 30 seconds: if you find yourself talking more than 30 seconds, you need to cut it down. Just try to let the other person participate in the conversation, observe the situation, and if needed, act to engage them!
- Offering too much for nothing. A classic mistake for those who work within the services sector. You will always want to please your clients/customers, but at the same time, you have to think of money. The best thing to do here is a mutually profitable agreement: when both parties win.
- Not focusing on the solution. You have to find out what your target public needs, what is the solution: those products/services that they need. Just observe them and give them what they need.
- Focusing on price as value. It is obvious at this point that you have to believe on the value of what you are selling. It is difficult to sell something which value you do not recognise or know. You need to be able to be transparent and honest about what you are selling.
- Making promises you cannot keep. Making promises that you cannot accomplish it is not a good idea within sales. Always, always try to go to the extra mile when you are selling. E.g. under-promise something and then, make it even better.
- Selling without having an intention to sell. This mistake takes place when you have to agree on a budget deal, which is the hardest part. All the fun comes with the sales pitch and the presentation, but you know, talking money is a complex issue for most of the people.
- Not being ready to overcome objectives/obstacles. This is when a customer is not upfront with you and does not point out those objections he/she might have. Due to this, you miss the opportunity to overcome that negativity. It is key to success to carefully listen to those objections the client/customer might have. You will be able then to overcome and respond to them.
- Arguing with the customer. If they do not like you or, if there is some kind of frustration within the sales process, then there is no way the sale will go through.
- Not doing your homework. Selling a product or service entails knowing every little detail about it: you cannot sell a high-end product and let your customers behind not answering their questions. Therefore, you will need to be an expert on the product.
- Not getting to the decision-maker. Another classic sales mistake. You need to be able to speak to the decision-maker because otherwise, your messages won’t arrive where they need to. And also, is not always a senior person involved within the sales process: juniors have the last word many times. On the other hand, you have to be able to manage a big group (if you have a group to pitch). Just make sure that every single one of them leaves the meeting happy.
To sum up
There are so many sales strategies that we do not know yet but what we know for sure is that we have to be able to use our physiological resources to make the good (and right) impression when selling.
The WATCHTIME show sponsored by digital agency MintTwist.
Hi everyone. And welcome to another exciting episode of watch time sponsored by ReStream. I’m Alexandra King
And I’m Elliot King. And we’re both from MintTwist the digital agency at minttwist.com.
As Alexandra said, the show is sponsored by ReStream and we’re using this software to stream this episode and all episodes in the series to multiple channels. So, live to LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and repurpose as a podcast, and ReStream.io is an amazing piece of technology I would suggest, so check it out.
Definitely makes life a lot easier.
Absolutely. So what have we got today?
Today’s one of my favourite topics in the whole world sales. So, we have 10 sales mistakes, that people make and how to avoid them. “The question” We’re going to go through them all and give you tips.
Yeah. Looking forward to it. But the question is, how many of those mistakes have you made in your career?
We’ve all made them. We’ve all made at least one or two of them. You’ll recognize them as we go through.
I’ve got to hold my hands up and say, I made a lot of sales mistakes in my career, especially early on being a self taught sales person. You have to learn from your mistakes. Don’t you?
You really do. That’s the best way to learn. However, it’s also good if you don’t make so many!
Absolutely. So hopefully today, by listening to some of the common sales mistakes I made, you can skip them out. If you’re early on in your career, if you’re further on in your career, you’re probably give a knowing nod to the audio or to the video wherever you’re watching this. And sort of, you might recognize some of them.
Right. Shall we start with the first one, which is relevant? Yes. Right. Mistake number one, not listening and talking too much.
Well, it’s a classic isn’t it?
It is a classic. You know, the way that I look at it is an easy way to remember if you’re talking too much is trying to think about the second role. So 30 seconds, if you find yourself talking for more than 30 seconds, you’re probably rambling on a bit too much. So, cut it down. And if you’re not sure how 3o seconds feel time yourself, literally time yourself at home.
I guess it’s that if you’re using your mouth more than your ears in a sales meeting, then it means there’s something going wrong, I guess.
Yeah. I mean, what you say is also really important. So if you’re saying something relevant, that’s brilliant, please do use your mouth. But if you’re rambling on and you’re not checking in with the other person along that communication journey, if you’re not saying, “Oh, what do you think about what I just said?” Or “do you agree with me?” “How about this idea?” If you don’t see whether they’re on board, they might’ve got off that ship a long time ago and they’re completely cruising another highway and you’re still rambling on. So, rambling on, is a terrible thing.
And I guess that’s where the empathy comes in. If you can take those visual cues and understand whether someone’s engaged in what you’re saying or not, and if you can see them moving away, then, then you can correct it.
Not so much empathy, but more observation. And, you know, you’ll have a better idea. If you do check in, if you ask them a question, “Oh, how do you feel about what I just said? Do you agree with that?”
Yeah. What about, let me just ask you, cause I know you’re good at this. What about if you’ve got someone who’s not particularly engaged and you need to draw them in, if you’ve got any tips for that situation?
Well, that’s when you need to talk even less. So really the questions you ask are opportunities to open up a door to some brilliant information that they are going to give you about themselves. Even if they introverted, if you ask the right questions, they’re going to give you something. And when they give you that something you’ve got to look at, what do I have and how can I use this to make a sale? Every time they open their mouth, it’s a golden opportunity. And it’s golden nuggets of information that you can use to get that sale done. As long as you’re listening and taking it in and applying what they say to make that sale, you’ve got to constantly be, you know.. so the more they talk the better for you, right?
Yeah. And then you ask a follow up question. “Yeah, that’s it.”
You keep, you know, you get that information and then you utilise it to make the sale, which is ultimate. That’s why you’re there.
And what about the close? Where, when is the right time to go in for that closing question?
Again, if you’ve been checking in and you know that you’re making progress, you will have a very, very good feeling as to whether they are ready to, complete that sale or not. If you’re aware of them, if you’re really analysing them. And I don’t just mean what they say, I also mean their body language. Are they open? Are they facing towards you? Do they have an engaged face or are they a bit distant are their arms a bit folded? Are they asking a lot of questions or there negative questions? How are you managing the negativity? I mean, you can think you can over analyse as well, but really a salesperson is almost like a psychologist. You gotta analyze your material.
Absolutely. Yeah. Really some really wise words there. I feel like I’m learning from a Sage. Yeah. Okay. Should we go on to number two?
Number two, offering too much for nothing. And you probably have the most to say about that, because you run a business and you…
I think, for those of those of us up there who work in services, businesses, it’s a classic issue. Where you, you engage, you know, a client or a customer in some form of, you know, service, which is a deliverable one. And because it’s a service, what actually needs to be delivered can be somewhat subjective. And you sort of open yourselves up to customers saying, you know, “can I have this and can I have that? Can you just throw in this and not the other?” And I guess it’s, it’s an easy one to fall into for any sales possible. Particularly if you’re selling services, what do you think?
Because you, you always want to please the client. I mean, I’m definitely a client pleaser. You want to just give them the world so that they say, “Oh, you’re wonderful. You did such a great job for us and dadada” and you would you’d work forever and do absolutely anything for them, but at the end of the day, your responsibility is to run your business. The objective of the business is to make money. Yes, you’re offering service, but if you’re not making money, then you’re not in business you’re in charity. So either you go to charities and sort of charitable trust, or you go into business, what’s it going to be?
To me, the past sale is when it’s a mutually profitable arrangement. So, you know, that was given to me by an advisor a few years ago. And if you can seek genuine, if both sides, you know, customer and sales person seek to obtain a mutuably profitable arrangement, then you should be in a good place. “Of course. Yeah.”
Right. Next one, mistake number three, not focusing on the solution.
Yeah. Again, particularly relevant for if you’re selling a service, but increasingly relevant products too. It’s that age old thing of understanding that the customer is buying the solution to a problem rather than your product or service per se, I guess
That’s right. And, and when people purchase something, they’re obviously purchasing it because they need it or they might not even need it. They just want to associate themselves with that product or that service for whatever reason. And you’ve got to find out what that is, you know, what is the solution? What’s their problem? How can I apply the solution? Again, when you’re talking to them, you’re listening and you’re observing everything. Every single thing the client does when they walk into that room, you should be observing, not like, you know, just be aware and really put yourself in a position as much as you possibly can. Forget about you it’s not about what you think it’s everything about what they think and what they want. So you really understand them, get into their life, into their head, become them for that minute or two and then give them what they need.
Yeah. And again, I think the way that you get to that, that pain point, that the problem that the customer is trying to solve. It’s questions, questions, questions, questions. It’s a bit like what you were saying. The question for the 0.1, I remember sales training. The guy said to me, keep asking questions until you get to the source of the problem. And once you get to that point, then you can play back to what your service and products can do in order to solve a specific issue that they’re looking for.
Okay. Focusing on price and not value. I suppose that’s similar to what you were saying and what is the value in what you’re giving them?
Yeah. I mean you know, it’s all very well knowing the price of everything, if you don’t know the cost and obviously cost is relative. It depends very much on, if you’re a B to B business and you find that your potential customer has a problem, what is the cost of that problem, you know, to that particular customer and you need to re-evaluate your solution so that it provides an answer to their problem. But if it doesn’t give them more value than the current cost problem that they’re having, then it’s, by itself. Is not a solution..
Yes. You know, for me as well, when I think about value, I just, I would find it incredibly difficult to sell someone, something that I don’t believe in that I don’t believe is worth it, or some sort of shady product or something like that. I really have to believe it because, you know, you can see it in my face. I can’t pretend. So if I don’t like it, you’re going to know. And then the clients can know. So, it’s incredibly important for me to believe with every single cell in my body that what I am proposing here is the right thing, the absolutely right thing for that client. And you can’t go wrong if you’re authentic and you really believe it. And you know, based on the research that you’ve done, that that’s the right fit for them then…
Yeah. I think that’s a great point because, because if you don’t believe in the value of what you’re selling, then you’re not going to be able to be honest and transparent in a way that you’re you approach will likely be see-through. So yeah. Focusing on value as opposed to price is crucial.
Okay. Number five, making promises, you can’t keep. Yeah. I think that happens quite often.
This can be a bit of a rookie era and you know, I’ve certainly made it, you know, in my time it’s where those customers throw in those final requests just before they sort of agreed to the deal. “Oh, can you just add this? And can you just add that” the temptation is always to say yes, yes, yes. When sometimes you have to say no.
Yeah, that’s right. You can’t. And also we had an interesting experience actually recently we’re getting our offers in for our windows to be done. And one man who is extremely professional, he was saying, “Oh, well, I’ll get you the quote, you know, or hopefully by the end of next week, I’ll try and do that by the end of next week”. So you get it in your mind. Yes. Qoute coming by the end of next week. Now, if they didn’t bring that quoting by the end of next week, that would be a really bad Mark against their name, but he delivered it a week early. And that’s a lovely little tip. Just always say, you’ll do something and just do that extra bit better. Always, always. “Yeah, absolutely.”
It’s better to under promise and over deliver is how the saying goes. Instead of don’t say yes to anything that you’re not sure that you can deliver.
Throw that little thing in later on if you can. Yeah. Okay. And this is a strange one, selling without not actually having an intention to sell. Have you ever…?
So, this is an interesting one. When we were looking at this article early on, what they’re getting at here is that there are a certain number of salespeople out there who live for the sales presentation as opposed to living for the club, which is a problem.
So have you encountered that?
I personally have, we’d like to think global has been focused on the end objective on quite focused person, but when I read this, I thought I’ve recognised that in other salespeople who I’ve worked with yeah. It’s, it’s an easy one to fall into because the sales pitch, the presentation, that’s the exciting part. That’s the fun part. Sometimes when it comes down to the actual numbers and asking for the money, there are a lot of sales people.
It’s when you have to talk about someone’s budget and when you feel like you’re asking for money, that doesn’t come naturally to people and it’s a bit embarrassing. And so it was like, O..h, you know, cause you have this lovely relationship there, you’re talking about all these benefits. And then you say to someone “actually, can you… can you pay for that?”
But actually you’re not doing yourself any favours and you only want to do the favour for the customer because at the end of the day, if the customer is going to get your wonderful product or service, they need to be able to tie up a deal with you.
Value. Yeah. Number seven is, not being ready to overcome objectives or obstacles.
Yeah. I think this is, this is a great one because if a customer, if a potential customer’s being honest and upfront and direct with you and pointing out those objections, they have to your product or service or potential obstacles that they’re facing. If they don’t point them out, then they’re not helping you because they’re not giving you an opportunity to overcome. If they do point them out, don’t take that as a negative. Take it as an opportunity to find a way through that objection with alongside that point.
That’s it. It’s almost always, they’re going to say “Oh… the price, what can we do about the price?” And you can go, “Oh, nothing.” And then someone else comes along with a better price. You’re just out. So you’ve got to be ready to be flexible. Talk about actually expected, always expected.
And actually this is where your points around asking the right questions, getting the right information. Because then when you do give them an objection, whether it’s about price or anything else, you can sort of play back the problems that your solution and product is going to solve, which will then bring the customer back to the value that you’re providing, as opposed to the price.
You’ve really got to listen to that objection because when they going through it, when you’ve left them and you’ve got no more control over them in your environment, that objection is going to be running through their head. And it will be the potential reason you’re not getting that deal. You have to prepare for it.
Absolutely. I don’t always do this myself, but I’ve experienced being sold to by good salespeople very often they’ll end a conversation by saying, “yeah, is there any reason why you won’t buy this product or service or can you see any reason why you, why you wouldn’t want it”
What holds you back? It’s a very good question. Very, very good indeed. Right. That brings us onto an interesting one about arguing with the customer. Have you ever done that? Don’t answer it! Probably not in the Sales progress.
Yeah. I mean, you know, it can only end in one way and that’s badly and in no sale.
Yes. Don’t argue. We don’t need to dwell on that one just yet.
I think even any form of frustration, if you’re starting to feel that frustration.
Show your frustration and your stress and sweaty forehead, it’s just like, if they don’t like you, there is no way they’re going to buy from you. No way, no chance.
People buy from people
Number nine, not doing your homework. I watched nest seekers the other day on Netflix. I’m not sure if any, if anyone watching the podcast has watched this, but there’s a classic mistake. When one of the estate agents who’s setting a $33 million home is asked, you know, really quite obvious questions about the property because you know, you have to justify, for example, what are the acoustics on the glass? “Hmm. I don’t know.” What, you know, what are the benefits of the, the solar system? What, are you getting? What sort of energy you’re getting? “I don’t know.” I mean, it’s Oh, it’s just so bad. If you’re sending something that’s such high value, you better, now every single thing there is on this earth about it inside out.
Yeah. Absolutely. The modern day sales person needs to be an expert on the product and service so that you can, so that you can sell to your customers in a consultative way. And if you don’t understand, at least the basics of your products and service, then you’re not going to make a very effective sales person.
Not at all. Right, last one is, not getting to the decision maker.
Yeah. So this again is it’s classic sales strategy. You need to understand the decision making process and ultimately you need to be able to pitch or at least speak to the decision maker because otherwise you can’t convey the messages that you need to convey. If you try. And if you’re relying on going through someone else, then they invariably went wrong.
It’s very difficult, but it’s not always possible in every sales process to speak directly to the buyer that, so that changes things a little bit. So when you’re analysing, you’re not perhaps analysing this person, that’s representing them as behaviour, but you need to through them into the buyer’s life and what the buyer could be thinking. You’ve got to still ask the right questions. You’ve got to still put in all that work, but yes, it’s not that easy if you, if you don’t have someone, if they are in front of you, that is an easy sale. Someone standing in front of you wanting something is an easy, easy sale.
An easy sale for a good salesperson, “No, for everyone.” Well, the interesting thing about the decision maker, if you’re a B to B sales person, it’s not necessarily always the most senior person involved, I’ve encountered plenty of times when we’re junior people in a process actually have, a lot of trust within the organization that ultimately give them the decision. So be warned, don’t always play and give all of the verbal and visual attention to the most senior person would be careful and spread it around and…
So even if you’re selling to a big group of people, you have to then manage the whole group as a whole when they leave that meeting, they’re going to be discussing whether they should do business with you. So, you want to make sure all of them are happy.
Wow. Just talking about sales like this, makes it sound like a psychological minefield that we have to navigate.
It is and it isn’t. Because at the end of the day, people are saying to people you’ve got something that they want. So just communicate in the right way and make it happen. Just make it happen. Enjoy it.
Yeah. It can be a fun process.
Well, that concludes today’s episode of WATCHTIME. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. Hope you’re going to be a better salesperson after hearing this podcast.
Yeah. We hope you got some value out of all of this stuff. And please remember to check out minttwist.com. If you’re interested in digital marketing, if you’re looking to set up podcasting, videocasting, restreaming, anything to do with that, go and check out Restream at ReStream.io. Thank you very much for sponsoring this show.
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