11 Common Sales Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Close a Deal
Everybody makes mistakes, and it’s human to do so. However, mistakes are good as long as you can identify, fix, and learn from them to move ahead.
Often, salespeople are clueless about why they cannot convert their leads. And since they are not aware of their mistakes, they keep repeating them.
This article discusses 11 common but fatal sales mistakes that most salespeople make and ways to correct them.
So, without further ado, here are the 11 most frequent sales mistakes to avoid to increase your conversion rate.
1. Using The Cookie Cutter Approach for Every Sale
If you manage teams and workflows, you are more likely to continually deploy the same old tactics in every situation. Most managers are habitually inclined to a template-based approach because most situations demand quick, standard responses. Sadly, it doesn’t work in sales.
Sales require a personalized approach and an understanding of the buyer’s psychology. According to sales experts, cookie-cutter sales pitches don’t work every time. The buyer’s interest soon vanes when you sound too salesy.
Not listening to your customers leads you into a lethal trap of cold, frozen leads. In many cases, a salesperson becomes aggressive and pushy with cookie-cutter tactics, completely overlooking your prospect’s needs.
That’s why “super successful formulas” and “generalized approaches” seldom work in sales. It’s crucial to make the prospect feel unique about your deal. However, this doesn’t mean that you should reinvent the wheel with every customer. Instead, improvise a bit and keep different talking points ready in your spreadsheet to appease different kinds of customers.
2. Absence of a Robust Follow-up System
Most salespeople don’t have a sales plan ready to approach the prospect after the first meeting. However, the aftermath is more important than the meeting itself. Creating a plan on the go can be a big strategy disaster.
People generally need a lot of ‘touches’ before they convert. Hence, to successfully convert a lead, you should focus on:
- Building a priority sales plan
- Setting up a robust follow-up system
According to Harriet Chan of CocoFinder, a good sales plan includes many follow-ups. The first meeting or contact can be exciting, but a follow-up is necessary to keep the prospects interested. Staying in touch with your potential customer is essential for lead nurturing.
Due to the increasing complexity of social and buying behavior of the individuals, the number of communications initiated by the salespersons can vary. However, it’s undisputed that a robust follow-up system should reinforce the entire sales process. And you should prioritize it based on the funnel stage and activity.
3. Talking Prices Too Early
You shouldn’t kill your customer’s curiosity, but highlight the value you offer before disclosing the price. If you don’t maintain this balance, you’ll not be able to close the sale.
Customers are often interested in knowing both the value and price of the product. It’s, therefore, crucial to reiterate the value you’re offering before you disclose the price.
The customer should know how the product can address their problems before you even start discussing the price. Cost can be a concern when your product offers little value, but most customers often agree to a higher price, given that the product provides a compelling solution.
Here is a word of caution. If the prospect asks for a discount or demands additional services, you might have coined the price too soon. Here, it’s essential to shift the conversation back from the money to the product itself.
Also, don’t project your views and perceptions such as, “it’s a bit expensive.” Your prospect is a different human being altogether, and they may hold an entirely different viewpoint.
4. Not Having Good Listening Skills
The blunder people sometimes make in sales is talking too much and not allowing their prospects to speak. They continue to brag about their brand, product, and services. Your prospect is not interested in any of these. Highlighting a bit of branding is fine, but it sounds repetitive when you start overdoing it. First of all, you should listen to your prospects and try to understand their needs and pain points.
But, this doesn’t mean that you should be tight-lipped throughout the conversation. You need the right balance between listening and speaking, and according to the experts, it should be 60:40. A survey showed that the top salespeople allow their prospects to speak 57% of the time.
Every sales rep wants to hear the “yes” words from their prospects, but that’s quite unrealistic. Objections are pretty natural in sales, so first of all, you shouldn’t get disheartened. If you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, you’ll realize that it comes as an opportunity. Good salespeople often show their best products in the end, so if you get a flurry of “Nos,” you can expect a sigh of relief.
Use your common sense, stay calm, welcome the objections, exhibit receptiveness, and understand the concerns your prospects raise.
5. Lack of Strategy for Handling Sales Objections
Handle the objections and questions honestly and provide satisfactory answers. Still, if they are not convinced, it’s best to quit the sales process as the prospects may not be in the buying stage yet.
Pro Tip #1: Sales objections are natural and normal components of sales. The prospects have the right to ensure that they get value for money.
Pro Tip #2: Identify the most common objections in your niche and prepare honest answers for them.
If you want to learn how to handle sales objections, learn it from the best resources within your organization. Listen to the conversation between the sales reps (of your organization) and the prospects during a sales pitch.
Use the conversation AI software to filter out calls to listen to the objections and how the agents handle them within your organization. You can use it for agents’ training to mend their ways if there is an anomaly.
The better you become at handling objections, the more confident and successful you become at sales. Pricing and competition are among the most common objections people raise.
You can also use enthu.ai to configure the system to capture specific call moments easily.
6. Focusing on Products Instead of Offering Solutions
Most sales reps think that features alone are sufficient to convince prospects to buy your product.
Sadly, they aren’t.
It’s one of the most dangerous mistakes salespeople make.
Most customers are smart, and they conduct thorough research before they even invite you for a discussion.
In most cases, they know your product’s features and your competitor’s features beforehand.
So, you should instead focus on solving their problems and present your product as a solution.
Let’s discuss how we do it at DashClicks.
Instead of bragging about the SaaS technology that we use to offer the central dashboard-based agency platform to help manage their campaigns, we stress the usability of our platform.
For example, we can tell them that it allows them to manage their CRM, run campaigns, generate reports, manage sales funnels, and build stunning websites.
Above all, we tell the agency owners how DashClicks helps them scale their existing resources and workforce.
So, we should talk about benefits instead of features.
7. Taking Objections Personally and Arguing With a Potential Customer
Salespeople easily slip into arguments when their prospects don’t agree on something or if their opinions differ.
But it’s pretty standard for two people to have different opinions on something.
Sometimes, your potential customer is not exposed to accurate data, and they get the wrong picture of your products and services. So, the objections they raise can be unreasonable and annoying.
When you try to prove your point, an argument may erupt. It happens because people’s egos often don’t allow them to take a contrary view, even if it’s logical.
Remember the golden rule – the world is full of negative and positive data. As a sales rep, it’s not a personal interaction, and you’re just representing your organization.
Furthermore, you need a specific approach to deal with such situations. So, steer clear of arguments.
Empathy can help you in a big way in these situations. Stay silent and empathize with their concerns. Ask questions if you don’t have clarity.
If you need some time to resolve their issue, inform them upfront and stick to your timeline. The idea is to keep your prospects informed and offer excellent service.
But, if you feel that you are heading towards a dead end with the prospect, it’s better to wrap up and move on.
The golden rule is – stay away from any verbal spat or arguments, even if you are right.
Sometimes, we lose small battles only to win the war.
8. Behaving Like a Sloth
We live in the 21st century, where things are happening at a rapid rate. With faster lifestyles and fast-moving businesses, people consider multiple solutions to their problems. Keep up with the pace of your customers if you don’t want to lose out on sales.
A slow response time almost ensures a killed deal. The most successful salespeople admit that the secret to success in sales is a faster response time. If somebody else responds even faster, they will likely grab the deal.
There is a famous misconception that you may appear desperate and not too busy if you respond too quickly. On the flip side, experts say that they never lose sales by reacting promptly.
If you don’t have the right or detailed answers, assure your prospects that you will get back to them ASAP and give them a time frame in which they can expect a response. Lack of response can be dangerous for sales. Response time should be a part of your productivity KPI.
9. Not Knowing When to Stop Selling
Sometimes an object is already sold, but the salesperson keeps pouring details. It can kill the deal.
When your prospect has the necessary information, they only need to give the nod to close the deal. Highlighting more features and giving unnecessary details might raise further questions, leading the customer to change their mind.
So, as a salesperson, you should know when to stop selling. Sometimes, prospects like a specific feature so much during the sales pitch that they immediately decide to buy. You should identify this moment and stop selling quickly, moving on to the next stages of the deal.
10. Not Asking Tough Questions
Believe it or not, complicated questions can make your job easier than ever, especially if you work in sales.
But, according to a study, sales reps avoid hard questions simply because they think they may sound offensive and rude.
Sometimes, they lack the experience and self-confidence to ask tough questions. However, most of the time, they are not prepared enough.
It’s simply an opportunity lost as it helps build rapport and increase trust.
Here are a few examples of tough questions.
Q 1. What prompted you to choose us after your long-term relationship with our competitor?
Q 2. What’s your opinion about our price?
Q 3. Do you know about our company’s policies?
Asking such questions will help you understand the mindset of your prospect. It will also help you close more deals.
11. Allowing Your Prospects to Take Control of the Sales Narrative
After your first sales meeting, when you start doing follow-ups, prospects may come with several excuses such as:
- They are traveling
- They have to discuss the product with someone else
- They will get back to you in a week
- They will do a thorough analysis before they buy
It’s a common practice to avoid further sales pitches. So, you shouldn’t allow it to happen. Otherwise, it will ruin all your prospects and decrease your conversion rate drastically.
You should take complete control of your sales narrative and request the prospect to fix up an appointment ASAP. Maybe in the forthcoming week! If they still say “no” or show hesitation, your prospect is still in the initial stages of the funnel and not ready for the sale.
Sales managers need to train their teams consistently to meet their sales targets. The best sales reps are eager to learn from their and others’ mistakes. If you can spot your mistakes in time, further damage is unlikely to happen.
Sales mistakes & revenue performance are closely linked to each other — that’s where rep coaching and mentoring become essential. It yields measurable results and helps you improve your team’s overall sales performance.
Did the article help you identify the mistakes you make in sales? Let us know in the comments. Also, feel free to share the tactics you use to close sales at your own company. We’re happy to learn!