1. Repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results
The biggest enemy to sales is the status quo. When sales trainers say this, we are usually referring to prospects. The idea is that most prospects find it to be very difficult to change (even if something is not working for them). Hence, the biggest enemy to sales is the status quo.
What is interesting is that the same rule is true of anyone in sales. The biggest enemy to your sales is the status quo—your status quo.
One can always sell more. One can always streamline an approach, become more efficient, develop new skills and/or refine existing skills. Yet all too frequently I have witnessed sales professionals adamantly insisting that sales habits which do not produce results for them “ought to” work. And I have witnessed others refusing to try different approaches because they don’t believe those changes will work for them.
Sales is crystal clear. You are either selling or you are not. You are either closing or you are not. When prospecting, you are either scheduling appointments or you are not. If what you are doing is not working for you, it’s time to do something else.
2. Not doing the homework
Some prospects are better than others. Before conducting any sales activity it is imperative to know that you are focusing only on your best, most qualified prospects. By best, I mean those who are most likely to buy, buy a lot and keep coming back to buy more. Too many sales professionals spend too much time courting prospects who are unlikely to become customers.
Ask yourself: What are the specifics that make a prospect qualified for you? The prospects that you pursue must meet those parameters. And one of those parameters must be that you are speaking with the decision-maker. If you are not speaking with the decision-maker, you are not speaking with a qualified prospect.
3. Expecting instant results
Selling is a process. Your prospects, more than likely, will not instantly say, “Yes.” Too many sales professionals give up far too soon. They believe their prospects are not interested when the truth is that the selling process simply needs more time. Every sale has a cycle and depending on what you are selling, it could be a short cycle or it could be quite lengthy.
Selling is your number one priority. Buying is not your prospect’s number one priority. It is your job to help your prospect stay focused and on track and understand the value that you have to offer.
4. Letting fear and preconceived ideas stop you
“I don’t want to be pushy.” I have heard this phrase over and over and over when working with clients. It’s a phrase that always frustrates me. What exactly does it mean? No one knows because everyone has a different definition.
What’s interesting is that the only definition of “pushy” that actually counts is your prospect’s definition. Now we’re into mind reading territory. To truly not be “pushy” you’d have to discover what your prospect means by that word and whatever that is, not do it.
The problem with worrying about being “pushy” (or too “salesy” or too “aggressive” or any of the other things sales people worry about) is that it stops you from taking action. Without action, you will not sell.