By Arnold Sanow, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional)
Closing sales is an art not a science. Everything we do from our communication style, our dress to our understanding of the customers wants and needs can affect our success or failure in closing sales. The way you close a sale depends as much on the product/service you’re selling as it does the customer you’re dealing with. There are many reasons why sales don’t close…. Here are 7 of the most common mistakes:
- Not Asking Questions
Too many times we pre-judge or jump to conclusions about what our customers want or need. By asking open-ended questions to determine such things as lifestyle, hobbies, spending limits and previous experiences we can get a true picture of what our customer really wants. By understanding the customer we can then focus on the right products and services to offer.
- Not Communicating in the Communication Ingredients Important to the Customer
If we communicate to everyone in our primary communication style then we will lose about 75% of our sales. In other words everyone is different and therefore everyone needs to be treated differently. For example, some people just want the facts and details about a product or service where others may be more comfortable if you tell stories or anecdotes. So, to persuade, motivate and influence others, communicate in the ingredients they find important.
- Interrupting the Prospect
Whenever you interrupt someone, sensitivity, commitment, closeness and rapport are lost. In addition, by interrupting we may miss what benefits the customer is really seeking
- Not Paying Attention to the Prospect
To develop the like and trust that are essential in developing any relationship, we must give our full attention to the prospect. Taking calls, talking to other customers, looking bored or uninterested can detract or enhance from the relationship we develop with our potential customer.
- Showing No Empathy or Sympathy
Empathy means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. For example, if a potential customer wants to go on an adventure trip we offer, but has had bad experiences in the past, we must first understand those experiences before we can discuss why our trips are a best buy.
- Not Selling Benefits… Only Features
Understanding the difference between features and benefits is crucial to your success. Features are about you, your product and service. Benefits are the specific results your product or service offer to your client or prospect. When meeting with a prospect we need to address the buyer’s critical self-interest questions such as, “So what?”, “Who cares?” or “What’s in it for me?” You see people don’t buy things, they buy results like happiness, making and saving money, saving time, comfort, safety, security and easier ways to do things.
- Pressuring Prospects
People don’t like to be pressured. They like to buy but they don’t like to be sold. By planning your presentation carefully and understanding the wants and needs of the potential customer, you’ll make more than your share of sales.