5 Common Sales Mistakes And How To Avoid Them!
If there’s one area besides marketing that people tend to HATE doing it’s sales. The image of a stereotypical used car sales comes to mind for so many people. Or maybe you’ve worked retail at stores that have commission and everyone is rushing to get people to buy something so that they can see a bigger pay day.
Hang up or not, sales is CRUCIAL to your business’ success. Without paying customers, you don’t have a business at all. You have an expensive hobby. So how do you become an expert at sales? The short answer, time and practice. And as you are continuing to book and conduct sales conversations, there are five common mistakes that people make. Luckily this post is all about how to avoid them.
SALES MISTAKE #1: THINKING SALES CONVERSATIONS ARE ABOUT SALES
Well they’re called sales calls Nikki, what do you mean they’re not about sales? Here’s the thing about sales calls, discovery calls, whatever you want to call them. They’re really more like seeing if someone is a good candidate for your scientific study. Here’s what I mean…
The person signing up for the call likely has a problem, has heard about you or your program, and is hoping that you (or your program) can help them solve their problem.
You have a solution, just like a scientist doing research may have an experimental drug or something along those lines.
The intention of these calls (or meetings) is to determine if the person who has reached out is actually a good candidate for your solution.
Based on a series of questions - do you think this person will actually get results with your program.
Where people often make a mistake is that they are either (a) so excited (or desperate) for the potential sale they don’t focus on if the person is actually a good candidate or (b) believe they can help anyone and focus more on if the person is willing to pay the money.
They key thing here is to think about sales as an opportunity for you to truly help people get results if they seem like someone who is going to do the program the way it’s designed. If they’re someone who’s going to do the work.
When you’re looking at these calls through the lens of “can I help this person with the system I have designed”, the call becomes less about “gotta close the sale” and more of an evaluation.
SALES MISTAKE #2: NOT BEING PREPARED FOR THE CONVERSATION
In order to effectively evaluate if someone is right for your program, you have to first identify what would make someone a good candidate for your program. What would you need to know about the other person in order to make this decision?
What do you need to ask, look for, get a sense of?
And once you know what you need - it’s about determining how to get that information.
What information do you need to make sure you have before hanging up the phone? What questions do you need to ask during the call?
How can you ensure that you get those questions answered during the call? Do you need to have them written down? Do you need to ask some of them in advance?
And once you have your questions down, what do you need to do right before a call so that you show up the best way possible?
Do you need to meditate before each call? Listen to music? Dance around? Do you need to meditate? Look up the person on the internet? Review their website?
Do you have time blocked off on the calendar to do what you need to do?
Making sure you show up to the call prepared, allows the call to go smoothly.
SALES MISTAKE #3: NOT PREPARING YOUR LEADS FOR THE CONVERSATION
You showing up to the conversation prepared is GREAT! Your lead showing up to the conversation prepared is even better!
Ensuring they are in the best state to answer your questions and make a decision as to if they want to move forward with your program is key.
So how do you prepare your leads for sales calls? Here are some ideas:
- Give them an idea of what the call will be like right when they sign up. Let them know about how long the call or conversation will be, that you’ll be asking questions, that at the end of the conversation they’ll have the opportunity to say yes to doing your program and a deposit (or first payment) will be taken at that time.
- Let them know if they need to bring anything. If you’re going to ask them detailed information about their business or life, allow them to get the information they need so that they have it handy. This is particularly important if you’re going to ask them how much money they’ve generated.
- If there’s a survey or questionnaire you need them to complete before the call, make sure it’s sent to them in a timely manner and give them gentle reminders to complete it if necessary.
- Send them any information on your program (ie. a link to your website) to review in advance so that they know what they’re signing up for.
- Send them reminders about the call so that they show up on time.
SALES MISTAKE #4: NOT WEEDING OUT PEOPLE BEFORE GETTING ON THE PHONE WITH THEM
Sometimes you know someone isn’t a right fit for your program before you get on the phone with them. Maybe they are looking for free help. Maybe they don’t meet the “basic requirements” of your program. Whatever the case may be, getting on the phone with people who are not a good fit for your program can take away time slots from people who are a great fit.
One way to avoid this is by having people answer some basic questions before they even get on the phone with you.
Take a few minutes and identify who your dream client/customer is.
Then identify who they are not.
Create a series of questions that will help you sort through who is and isn’t an ideal candidate for your program.
Turn the crucial questions into a short questionnaire that people need to answer before booking a call with you.
Then only hold sales calls with people who are a good fit.
SALES MISTAKE #5: ASKING QUESTIONS THAT ARE IRRELEVANT
You did it! You’ve booked a call with an ideal candidate for your program. And now you’re looking to ensure that they’re ready to start your program and make their first payment.
But how do you do that? What questions are important for you to ask on your call.
The truth is, you don’t need to have a ton of questions in order to get clear that someone is right for your program and is ready to sign up.
What’s common at this stage is to feel like you need to fill your call with a series of questions that will hopefully get people to swiping their credit card. Or that you have to do most of the talking.
But after confirming for yourself that your lead is a good fit, the call is really to have your lead feel confident in their decision to move forward.
To do this I ask questions that have them thinking about the results they’d like to generate after working together.
Here are some examples:
- Let’s say we worked together already and it’s now a year later, looking back - what would you like to be saying that you were able to accomplish as a result of completing this program?
- How would you know that this investment was worth it? What would your life look like?
- What resources or assets do you currently have but are not utilizing that could help you generate stronger results while you’re completing this program?
- What have you tried in the past to solve this problem? What’s worked? What hasn’t? What will be different this time?
The key will your calls is to not only confirm that you have a strong candidate for your program, but that they’ve thought through taking the next step so that they are set up for success from the beginning.
Having someone sign up who hasn’t convinced themselves that your program is a good investment does not start the relationship on the strongest foundation.
So spend your time wisely and weed out any questions that are not crucial for your call. It’s okay to only have 4 key questions if they are KEY questions. In fact, it’s often much better than having 8-10 meh questions.
Just remember - you don’t have to be everything to everyone and this sales conversation is the beginning of your relationship with your dream clients so it’s a great place to make sure things are going the way you want them to.