How to Avoid these 4 Dumb Sales Traps

28th January 2013 | By Frances Pratt


In my time in helping people with sales tips questions and advice, some common mistakes have emerged ... to start out 2013, I thought I would share these with you and more importantly some sales skills how to avoid them.

  1. Leave the client hanging…

It’s your job to call and keep in touch with the client. So many people that I work with say that they get frustrated when people don’t call them. Well frankly … it’s not their job, it’s yours. If you want the client to buy from you then it is your job to get in touch with them. Often people don’t do this because they don’t want to seem pushy or think it may be too soon.

Answer: At the end of each interaction, get permission from the client for the next call or visit.  It’s so much easier to pick up the phone once you have organised the time and been given permission by your client.

  1. Assuming you know the problem

You have great experience with clients in the same industry and you are pretty sure you know what their problems are. Right? Wrong!  You may know … but assuming that you are right and ploughing through to the solution will alienate the client because you haven’t taken the time to listen, learn and understand the clients individual concerns and therefore haven’t established rapport.

Answer:  Your first job – always - is to you need to understand the problem as the client sees it and what their individual priorities and experiences are.  Once you have an understanding of the problem, then you can explore potential solutions.

  1. Talking about yourself

So many sales pitches I hear and proposals I read start with a long spiel about why you should buy from us …. Who we are, who we work with etc etc etc. Stop it !  People will buy from you when you can clearly demonstrate that you understand and can fix a problem that they have.

Answer:  An effective sales pitch or presentation should start with their problem and what you know about it and then demonstrate as accurately as possible how you can help them fix it and what the outcome of doing that will be for them.

  1. Not talking to the decision maker

As a sales coach for people new to sales, they are often keen to talk to anyone in the organisation … and whilst getting in front of clients is always good practice, too many people fail to find out who the real decision maker is and try to present to a solution to others in the business.

Answer:  The most efficient use of your time and way to sales success is to understand what the decision maker wants and to present your solution to them.

If you need some advise on another question - please email me.

Feel free to share your ideas, questions or comments in the area below.

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