Sales Mistakes That You Need to Know

Making a sale isn’t always the easiest task.

From finding leads to closing deals and signing contracts, the entire sales process can be long and exhausting. One wrong move, and you could lose a huge lead. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to improve your sales game and get past many of the challenges you’ll face along the way.

Ready to become a better salesperson? Here are 11 major sales mistakes to avoid from now on.

It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the task at hand — making a sale — that you forget to look at your potential client’s needs.

“What matters most — when prospecting, during a sale and even after the contracts have been signed — are their problems, their time,” said Rory Channer, chief business officer at CircleBack.

Channer also warned that neglecting the client’s needs could destroy his or her trust in you and shut down all communication.

Mistake: You don’t follow up quickly enough.

Businesses should follow up immediately when a lead is generated because waiting too long could cost them sales, said Brandon Stuerke, president of Advisors Edge Marketing.

Stuerke’s advice is supported by research conducted by James Oldroyd, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That study found that the odds of leads becoming sales were 21 times greater if businesses were contacted within 5 minutes.

Mistake: You’re leaving it up to the client.

When you have a lead, you need to take ownership of the next steps and avoid leaving it in the client’s hands, said Chris Johnson, CEO of Permission Click.

“For example, when you’re leaving a voicemail, try adding, ‘If I haven’t heard back by XYZ time and date, I’ll try you again,'” Johnson said. “This can yield surprising results.”

Johnson also noted that it’s important to leave things open to follow up if there’s no response.

“This reinforces that you’ll do what you say,” he noted.

Mistake: Your advertising calls to action are all or nothing.

Most salespeople offer only a face-to-face meeting or a telephone appointment as their call to action in their advertising, Stuerke noted, but that’s asking a lot of prospects who are simply exploring options and aren’t yet ready for that level of commitment. Those are leads that, three to six months later, may become sales — but they’re lost early in the process.

Instead, Stuerke suggested offering an option involving less commitment, such as the ability to download a free report in exchange for the client’s information for follow-up.

Mistake: You’re on the defensive.

It’s important to anticipate that customers and clients will have questions about your products or services. Don’t be quick to overexplain — instead, ask thoughtful questions, Channer advised.

For example, if a customer were to complain that a product is too expensive, rather than launching into an explanation about what the product does and what features make it worth the cost, try asking questions like, “Why do you feel that way?” and “What are you comparing it to?” This is a great way to maintain control of the conversation and avoid scrambling to keep the sale on track, Channer said.