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5 Critical Sales Mistakes
By Curt Tueffert   Printer Friendly Version

There comes a time when you have to look at the things sales people do wrong and write about them. Be it a warning or a plea, I've seen sales people make these common mistakes repeatedly

We in sales usually get really busy with the demands of the day and fall into areas of comfort. That is when we begin to make mistakes in our selling process that can cost us the sale.

1. Not Asking Enough Questions - We who have been in the selling game for a long time begin to "assume" we know all the needs of all the prospects and customers based on us doing this for so long. We ask just enough questions to cover the basics and then launch right into our presentation, shooting from the hip, pounding our prospect with features, advantages, and benefits. What if the customer is not ready? What if you have not identified a problem to solve? Who's time are you wasting?

2. Not Having a Signature - Tom Peters said it best; "Become Distinct, Or You'll be Extinct." What sets you apart from your competitors. What sets you apart in the customer's mind? Today's selling environment is tough. You need a hook, or a statement, or something to set you apart. Without it, you'll be just like the rest, and that is death in today's Internet Economy.

3. Not Having Focus - In one word; scattered. That is what I've seen too often in today's sales professional. Being too many things to too many people, without having a single minded purpose for the customer. Our companies bring this on us at times, yet the blame falls squarely on the sales professional. I know the demands are great and the time is shorter. If you are not focused on the needs of the customer, on the tasks of the day, and of the goal at hand, your chances of closing the deal are slim.

4. Not Having A Success Library - Call it what you want, I call it a success library. A place where you can gain additional skills, insight, and motivation for your career. Do you subscribe to any magazines geared toward the sales professional? Do you have a list of books you can reference for stronger techniques? The selling game is changing quickly and you need the tools to compete.

5. Not Following Up - How do you follow up on a meeting, phone call, or presentation? Do you write hand addressed Thank You cards? Do you clip articles and insight for your customers based on their personalities? Do you commit to calling at a certain time and date, and fail to make that commitment? Follow up an area where your chance of success increases simply because you are there. Simply because you called, wrote the note, offered to be there, etc. It might sound too simple, yet I continue to hear about the sales professional who never calls, never lets the customer know of something new, something that would add value to their business.

As you read these (5) Critical Sales Mistakes, you might have a few of your own to share. Please let me know what they are. I would love to hear about them.


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