Wednesday, 24 September 2014

10 Common Sales Mistakes



It's no secret that the main goal of any business, regardless of its size and shape, is profit. The profit, in turn, depends on the number of successful transactions that you enter into with your clients, or, more simply, the number of sales. They determine how long your business will exist.
If case you have noticed that the sales went down in your company, try not to start blaming government or economic situation. Have a look at your sales in the lens of common mistakes made by sales departments. 

MISTAKE 1 - NO PLAN
Success in any business is impossible without a clear plan. Imagine that you have set a goal - to learn Russian. Sounds too vague, is not it? Firstly, it is unclear in what time frame you plan to achieve this goal; Secondly, it remains a mystery how you will evaluate your progress. If your goal is too fuzzy, you'll always postpone it for later. 

If your plans will be more concrete (SMART), then it is likely that you do start to put it into reality. "Learn Russian in the next three years, then to go to visit Russia without a guide" - is much better. 

However, your overall plan should also be divided into intermediate steps, so that you know what steps you need to take at the moment. In the case of the Russian language, they should read as follows: "language classes three times a week" or "devote at home every day for half an hour." 

In business, blurred plans generally are not allowed. After all, you are targeting a specific income, expressed in figures and not on abstract income. Therefore, the target profit that you aspire to receive, for example, after 5 years, must be shared on an annual, monthly, weekly and even daily profit. 

Let's say your goal - to earn 5 million dollars for 5 years. Then your interim targets will be as follows: 
Earn 1 million dollars per year; 
Earn 83,333 dollars a month; 
Earn 20,833 dollars a week; 
Earn 2,976 dollars a day. 

Of course, your income will not always coincide with those numbers. The main thing that it was not much different from them down. 

Having before it the specific numbers, you will be able to improve your business processes. For example, if your company's daily profit will be far from the desired value, you will realize that your current sales tactics do not work, and you will begin to look for a new ones to replace current. 

MISTAKE 2 - NO TOOLS
Every businessman must have tools that help him in sales. These primarily include the so-called system of customer relationship management, or CRM-system. They store important information about your current and potential customers, and also help to monitor the different stages of the sales. 

Secondly, it is a good quality website that provides detailed information about your trade offer. It is necessary to pay special attention to the design its landing page. After all, this very page is able to turn your potential customers into actual. 

And finally, you need good professionals in sales. They interact with your customers directly. Their professional and personal qualities build the success of your company. So be very choosy when hiring employees in the sales department. Make sure that they really have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience. 

MISTAKE 3 - NO LISTENING SKILLS
Saying a word is silver, keeping silence is gold. Most of the time, you should listen to your customers and not tell them about the benefits of your products and services. 

What issues concern them the most? What keeps them awake at night? How to change their lives, if they are able to solve their problems? Not knowing the answers to these questions, you will not be able to offer our customers solutions that will benefit their demand. So try to thoroughly examine all of their complaints, requests, problems to be aware of how you can help them. 

MISTAKE 4 - TOO MUCH DETAIL
When you have listened carefully to your clients, and you will have the opportunity to be heard, it is not necessary to go into too much detail of his offer. For example, if you are helping a company to develop its online marketing strategy, it is not necessary to explain to them how AdWords works and how you will do promotion in social networks. 

Customers pay you not for your knowledge, and for the ready-made solutions. It is not necessary to overload their heads unnecessary information. The main question that interests them - how you can solve their problems. If they need more information, they will ask for it. In general, you should not run ahead of train and inform clients about  details that in most cases they are not interested in.

MISTAKE 5 - NEGATIVE ATTITUDE TO CUSTOMER REFUSAL
Entrepreneurs lose a lot of profitable opportunities, perceiving rejection customers as the end of the sales. In other words, they just give up, without attempting to convince potential customers in the benefits of their product/service. 

In fact, customers do not reject your offer. Saying "no," they try to hint that they do not understand your offer and do not know how it can help them. They just have not enough experience to assess its real value. Show and explain the value of your product&service - it is just what they need. 

Imagine that your company is involved in sales of new models of vacuum cleaners with a number of clever features. Customers do not use them yet, so their first reaction is expected as rejection. Surely, they will give many arguments not to buy your product, for example: "It costs too much", "It's too fancy" or "I do not believe in its efficiency." What will be the short-sighted actions of entrepreneurs? That's right, they immediately put these clients aside and will not try to teach them the benefits of being their clients.

Wiser businessmen do otherwise. They will try to convince customers. For example, if a potential buyer confused about the price of the vacuum cleaner, they will say to them: "In fact, the price of our product is fully consistent with its quality and function. Let me explain to you, what are the advantages of our vacuum cleaner. "If the client is confused by the number of functions of the vacuum cleaner, you can give the following answer: "Vacuum Cleaner of our company really has a lot of features that significantly enhance the quality of cleaning. Our experts will help you to understand them. "

In general, use every opportunity to change the negative perception of customers about your product. If the client is deaf to your arguments, and insisting on his own, well, then you are already powerless. The most important thing is that you have attempted to convince a potential buyer. A final decision depends upon himself. 

MISTAKE 6 - NEGATIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS COMPETITORS
Even if you can not stand your competitors and just want to get on their failure, do not talk about it with your customers. Otherwise, they'll think you're not sure of the quality of your products and services and want to show off by costs of your competitor. 

This does not mean that you should make every effort to praise your competitors. Just try to be diplomatic when you talk about them. For example, you can say: "Yes, this company also provides similar services, but I'm not sure whether it will solve your problem. You should contact them and to clarify all the details." Let the customers decide which company is better. Help with a free trial of your service/product.

MISTAKE 7 - INABILITY TO SEE&USE OPPORTUNITIES
Your meeting with a potential client may have different outcomes. The best can be is you'll be able to convince him of the benefits of your product and immediately have deal done.

However, not everything turns out right the first time. Even if the client is not "pecked" to your offer immediately, you can agree with him on another meeting in the future. 

If, however, you realize that the customer is not interested in your services, you can benefit from this situation. Ask him to recommend your services to their friends and colleagues and ask WHY he is not interested. Thus, you will be able to attract new customers your company and figure out what features are not there that may attract wider range of customers for you. 

As you can see, no hopeless situations. Being a reasonable entrepreneur, you can wrap all the circumstances in your favor. The main thing - to think bigger. 

MISTAKE 8 - NO FOLLOW UP
According to statistics, only 1 out of 10 potential customers buys goods or services of the company immediately after the first meeting or conversation with her representative. In the remaining 90% of potential buyers sales person needs to take further steps, such as re-schedule a meeting or to call them again. Otherwise, you will miss a lot of profitable opportunities. 

If you think that this category of customers is not so important, let us return to the statistics. Imagine that you meet with 10 potential customers every working day. It turns out that you are dealing with 200 new faces every month. Suppose that you make a deal, only 10% of them. Thus, each month is accumulated 180 potential customers that you have not yet managed to persuade to buy. And their annual number will reach 2160 and you still want to give up the opportunity to convince them? 

MISTAKE 9 - DOMINANT WISH TO SELL RATHER THAN HELP
In some situations, the potential client needs goods and services that you can not offer them. It also happens that your prices simply exceeds the capacity of his budget. You understand that the client can not resolve your problem. In this case you do not receive material benefits if assist him. What to do in such situations? To pretend that "none of my business, and I do not know anything?" Or is it to try to help the person, even if it will not make you a dime of profit? 

The second option is much more reasonable. After all, not everything in this world comes down to money. No wonder they say that the earth is round: today one person is in need of your help, but tomorrow he may help you. So if your company is not able to solve the customer's problem, recommend him a company that can help him, even if it is your direct competitor. 

Imagine that you are managing a large network of bookshops. In one day comes to you middle-aged man who wants to buy a rare textbook for his son-student. Unfortunately, in your stores there is no book. If you know exactly it exists in store of your competitor, why not tell that to the buyer? Thus, people will save a lot of time and effort getting rid of pointless searches, and will be very grateful to you.

MISTAKE 10 - CLOSING DEALS TO REGRET ABOUT LATER
Unfortunately, you can't avoid contact with the category of "difficult" clients, which want from you too much. For example, they ask you to do them a great discount or take other actions that are contrary to the standards adopted in your company. 

The only solution in such situations is a polite refusal. Try to explain to these customers that your company have rules no violation accepted. 

In any case, does not compromise its principles, just to make a deal. Such actions can ruin your reputation, and potential customers will no longer trust you. Constantly learn - from others and from their mistakes 

Being a Sales man is an art that needs to be learnt throughout life. It only comes with experience - no academic degrees and titles will not be able to replace it. The experience of other people can keep you to learn from just some mistakes, but not all. After all, the way every entrepreneur is building his business is unique, so it is impossible to foresee all the difficulties that you may encounter. Monitor and fix what you is going wrong on the go. This makes you an entrepreneur!