Your Third Biggest Sales Mistake

…On your Marks, Get Set, GOOOO!!!

All too often I see Sales Agents in a HUGE hurry to talk to their next customer. They have no idea WHO that customer is, WHAT that customer Wants or Needs or WHY the customer might want or need it.

Not knowing anything about your prospect is a BIG sales mistake.

Don't rush your sale
Rushing into a sale is a sure way to lose it

 

Slow Down and Smell the Roses

[bctt tweet=”Honestly, Sales is not a race.”]

I realize you might have sales quotas and a boss breathing down your neck, but it is not actually a competition on how many customers you speak to, but really it is about how many sales you get.Is it not preferable that you speak to 5 customers and sign up 4 rather than speak to 30 customers and sign up 1?

I often see it with rookie sales agents. They are in a tremendous hurry to knock on that door, or pick up that phone and they have no idea who they are calling or why.

If you read my earlier article where we discussed Newton’s Law, then you should know that when you rush headlong into a sale, you are going to get the equal and opposite reaction of the customer rushing headlong AWAY from the sale.

It is not a pretty sight.

Do your Research

Before you approach a customer, do your research. You need to know who the customer is, what he does, why he is there, why he might need your product and any other data you can glean about the prospect.

E.g. did he ever buy a similar product, did he hate it, love it, etc.

Does he have a wife, a child or children, what is his age, what are his likes and dislikes? ANY data you can obtain about the customer is going to help you to talk to him. Does he live in a big house, a small house? Is he frugal, is he a spender, is he married, divorced, etc.?

Why do you need all this information? Well, think of it this way; if you found out that 30 people were in a bus in some remote village somewhere in the world that you have never been to and never heard of and ran off the road and they all died, does it really ruin your day? No? Exactly!

But what if you found out that a bus that contained 30 kids from your kid’s school. You find out it ran off a road and they all died.  Then that makes a HUGE impact.

Why? Because that school is YOUR kids school, you know that school, you have seen that school, you have walked the grounds, you may not know the kids personally, but you might have seen them. It is a completely different story.

Familiarity breeds affection.

If you discovered something killed your worst enemy you would be more shaken up than finding out something killed someone whom you have absolutely no idea about. You have more affection for your worst enemy strangely enough.

The more you know about the customer the more you will like him. And the more he will like you. Whether you like someone or not has a lot to do with whether you want to speak to them or not.

You are not really interested in speaking someone that you do not like. And how familiar that person is to you determines whether you want to speak to them as well.

By way of example, if you are Chinese and you are walking around in China where there are 1.4 billion other Chinese people, you are not inclined to go talk to everyone you see.

But if somehow you find your way into the middle of Africa amongst nobody but Africans and then one day you see another Chinese person there? You are going to have a huge smile on your face and immediately run over to talk to them. They will be just a happy to see you.

Knowing something about your prospect makes it a lot easier to talk to them and them to you.

Why Else Should I slow down?

Well, nobody appreciates being pushed into things. Taking your time, not rushing into the sale, and spending some time just getting to know your prospect s not only more fun, but pays handsome rewards. We all trust friends more than strangers, right?

Don’t just rush into the sale. Make friends with your prospect, be interested in him or her. I tend to not even talk about what I am there for until I know the prospect and I are getting along.

The Lady on the Porch

I was once training some door to door guys and I had them go and try sell our product to an African American woman. She was sitting on the front porch reading a book. She shot the first rookie agent down in flames. He went up and immediately started pitching the product.

After he came back defeated, I sent the second rookie. Of course he received an earful because she had only just managed to kick out the first chap. The third poor victim had it even worse!

I went in and closed the sale once they were all completely convinced that the prospect was impossible. First, I approached her and told her that I was sorry that we had disturbed her reading. I mentioned that it looked like a book about Africa and that I had been born in Africa. She said yes. She remained irritated.

I concentrated on the book and asked about the title, and the author and whether it was any good. Then I wrote down the information and thanked her. I then pointed out the broken drain from her gutter and suggested that the water might damage her foundation. I asked her if she wanted me to do a temporary repair.

Of course she did and I did a 10 second repair that would last a few months until she found someone to fix it properly.

I then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling me why she thought the first three guys were so irritating. She happily obliged. We were friends before long and I told her why we were selling the product we were selling and she happily bought it.

It’s not magic

There was nothing magic about this. But the third biggest mistake I see sales people make is being in a hurry. Maybe it is laziness, maybe it is not. But in Sales, slow down, research, learn about your prospect and make more sales from fewer prospects!

 

Your Second Biggest Sales Mistake and how to avoid it

We all can make a Sales Mistake

A small sales mistake can cost us the deal.

“Back in the day…”

“I used to have to walk uphill there AND back, in the snow, with no shoes…”

No, it’s not that kind of story, but really, back in the day when they wrote all the old sales books and sales advice there was one thing that they drilled into sales people’s heads … Always be enthusiastic.

Now, with all due respect and regards to those old sales masters, I am here to tell you that this is one piece of advice that you can just scrap. Yup… take that concept and hit the “delete” button in your head.

[bctt tweet=”“Always be enthusiastic” is the biggest lie in sales!”]

Enthusiastic Salesman - a sales mistake
Always be enthusiastic is the biggest lie in sales!高智能 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Always be enthusiastic is the biggest lie in sales!高智能 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Back in the day, we had just won the Second World War, the economy looked great, employment was abundant and the future was just rosy! Of course people were happy. The news had no chance to depress them yet and so if you arrived all depressed trying to sell them something, you were not well received.

But…

“How do you like them apples..?”

There is this lady sitting in her house mourning the loss of her husband and you walk in there all enthusiastically and say, “Let’s go party!”. How do you think she is going to receive this enthusiasm on your part? Not too well, right?

Likewise, if you just won the lottery and are “over the moon” about it and come home to see everyone in the house looking completely gloomy and depressed, what happens to your mood?

In this case, opposites do NOT attract!

People can handle someone being at roughly the same emotion that they are in. If your emotional level is too high or too low, you will receive a bad response.

So where is the Average Westerner today? Are they highly enthusiastic, or a bit on the gloomy side? Well, judging by the phenomenal sales of the pharmaceutical companies, especially of their anti-depressants, I am just going to hazard a guess that it is not enthusiasm!

The fact is, today, mild interest or boredom is more easily tolerated by the public at large than enthusiasm.

Observe your prospect

When you approach that next prospect, take the time to see where he is and approach him at the same emotion or slightly higher. Don’t overwhelm him with enthusiasm. You will terrify the poor fella and make him not trust you. In fact, he just might think that you are out to kill him!

Have you ever observed a kid that is a bit on the timid side? If you approach that kid enthusiastically, he is making a bee line for his mother’s skirt to hide under!

On the other hand, a small and timid smile on your part followed by looking away, and then looking back shyly yourself and smiling again will draw the kid out. If you slowly raise your emotional level, he will follow along until the kid is happily interacting with you.

[bctt tweet=”Adults are just grown up kids!”]

We can learn a lot about adults by observing children. Don’t make this sales mistake!

5 Key Tasks Your Small Businesses Should Outsource Overseas.

Small business owners often make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves.

Let’s face it, starting or running a small business is a lot of work and keeping expenses down is always a critical factor. But trying to do everything yourself to save money is not always the best idea. But you can outsource overseas.

[bctt tweet=”It is better to concentrate on what you are good at. Don’t become a jack of all trades.”]

Small business outsourcing

But outsourcing is often expensive. Is there a cheaper alternative? Yes! Do what the big boys do and outsource overseas.

Bookkeeping

Doing your own bookkeeping or paying an expensive bookkeeper in the USA to do it is not the best idea. With rates for bookkeeping services in the USA ranging anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour, sending that task overseas for $15 an hour just makes good financial sense.

Bookkeeping is a task that requires accuracy but does not require a degree in Finance. However, in the Philippines one can find a University Graduate to do your bookkeeping at a small fraction of the salary a worker at MacDonald’s receives in the USA.

Payroll

Just like bookkeeping, payroll can also be outsourced overseas at similarly low rates. Doing payroll yourself is an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Not doing it properly can make it even more expensive. The IRS exacts heavy penalties for failing to pay payroll taxes.

Making a mistake in this department is not something you want so let someone else worry about it.

A professional outsourcing company will ensure that yo are meeting allet  the current rules and regulations freeing up your time to do what you need to do – growing your business!

Marketing and Sales

All businesses live or die based on their ability to sell and market. But we don’t always have time to do all that is necessary to increase sales. You can outsource overseas Lead generation, Email Marketing, Website Maintenance and SEO, Inbound Sales Calls and many other aspects of sales saving you a lot of time and money.

Administrative support

You can outsource Invoicing, collections, data and order entry, maintaining your schedule, appointment setting, voicemail, email management, legal research, booking travel arrangements and a host of other tasks you are probably doing yourself right now for a lot less.

When you first start a small business the time it takes to do these tasks can consume a quarter of your day or more. Having someone perform these tasks for you gives you a lot more time to get things moving.

There are many administrative tasks to outsource.

Telephone Answering – you can also outsource overseas

It is very clear that a telephone answered by a live person is much better received than one answered by a machine. Outsourcing your phone answering overseas will not only improve customer satisfaction but also increase sales.

By outsourcing these tasks to an English Speaking country like the Philippines you can cut your costs dramatically and improve your sales.

We are now in a Global Economy. This self evident fact definitely affects Small Business as well. Fortune 500 companies have been outsourcing these tasks and becoming more competitive. Small businesses need to find a way to realise the cost savings of outsourcing overseas too. You can outsource overseas!

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Your Single Biggest Mistake As a Sales Person

Biggest sales mistake
Looking to increase sales? Don’t make this sales mistake!

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Sir Isaac Newton said it best: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Funny how people will look at the laws of physics and never even wonder if perhaps the same laws might apply to them on a mental level. However, this one most certainly does. The Psychology term is “Reverse Psychology”.

Why reverse psychology? Why “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

Well, look at it this way; Being approached extremely enthusiastically by a sales agent in the store, what is your reaction really? Is it returned enthusiasm?  The answer is a resounding NO!

The sales agent’s overly enthusiastic approach will definitely meet with you cringing and telling the sales agent that you don’t need any help thanks. And that is a big sales mistake.

Let’s look at it another way. If I tell you I have something in my pocket that can explain the complete mystery of why some sales people close almost everyone and some sales people don’t close anyone but I am not going to show it to you.

Sorry, no matter how much you beg, it just is not going to happen.

Now what happens is that you become very curious about what I have in my pocket. See? The equal and opposite reaction to me telling you that you can’t see it is that you very much want to see it.

[bctt tweet=”In sales: For every Action there is an Equal and Opposite Reaction.”]

Overselling vs. Taking it away

I so often see sales people convincing and persuading and pushing and shoving to get a sale. Sure, sometimes you can succeed using the tactic of completely overwhelming your customer and forcing him into submission.

But that sale is likely going to try cancelling later on and you will have to force the poor prospect into submission again.

Sales people are often despised because of this, and rightfully so. Nobody wants to feel forced into anything!

A good sales agent lets the customer think he bought the product on his own determinism, not because a sales agent forced him to!

Three Possible approaches to the customer on the sales floor.

Approach One: High enthusiasm: “Hello Sir, How can I help you today”.

Seems reasonable. So why is it so frequently met with the customer backing off and muttering “I am just looking thanks”? Or worse, the customer practically running out of the store!

Approach Two: Don’t even talk to the customer. Well, it is an option, but then the customer feels ignored and the boss is none too pleased either.

Approach Three: In a mildly interested tone: “Hi, I see you are looking at the stereo systems. If you need any help, I will be standing over there and so feel free to come ask me. I am kind of the expert in the store on the subject”.

And then walking off a few steps… and then in an almost curious fashion and kind of over your shoulder “By the way, are you looking for yourself or someone else?”

What’s the point here? First, the force of high enthusiasm is like a brick hitting something and the equal and opposite reaction is that something becoming thrown backwards.

A bored approach is not nearly as high energy and so does not create such a force hitting the customer. So while the customer will back off a bit, it is not nearly as much as he would back off if hit with high enthusiasm.

Second, when the sales agent delivers his pitch and then withdraws a bit, it creates the equal and opposite reaction of a reach from the customer. When the agent then asks a mild question, the customer is still on a reach and so is more receptive.

So what is the biggest mistake?

Well, the biggest mistake a sales agent ever makes is over-reaching. Back off, take it slow, don’t be afraid of losing the sale, and let the customer reach instead.

My goal in sales is always to reach at least an 80% close rate. Keep checking back for more articles about how to make that happen and more about sales.

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