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Common Questions and Answers
Many sales are lost because of “sales.” To be successful in this profession requires listening to the customer.
For the salesperson, it all begins when Marketing comes out with what they perceive as the greatest new product or service to hit the market. Marketing will proclaim that their latest creation will solve all of the problems any customer has or could possible ever have. They continue to lay it on with an assortment of product characteristics all matched to whatever issues the customer has.
Meanwhile, attentive salespeople absorb this information and subconsciously begin to look for ways to apply everything Marketing has proclaimed. It’s only natural for sales professionals to believe the information and to assume that it applies to everyone. Once they adapt this mindset, one of the biggest “quiet mistakes” in Sales occurs. It’s not an error made in front of a customer, such as misquoting a price or missing a key date.
Rather, it’s a “quiet mistake” because it happens long before a sales call, and, therefore, becomes hard to see how it could result in a lost sales.
Any time a salesperson is dealing with a customer, patience must be exhibited to not only find out what their needs are, but also to discover which particular need best matches what is being offered. Unfortunately, salespeople often do not take the time to validate the needs they hear. Instead, they treat all of the needs as being equal, remembering what Marketing has told them. The salesperson begins to think they’ve come across the perfect customer for their product/service. This is where many sales are lost because the salesperson does not narrow their focus. Therefore, it is critical for sales professionals to think “sale”; not “sales.”
The key to being a successful salesperson is to focus on selling to the primary need of the customer, not on multiple needs. This will result in a higher closing percentage and, in the long-run, allow you the opportunity to continue the relationship by helping the customer solve the other issues they have identified.
About the author
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He is also author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.”