Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs make in Sales
Over my two decades of experience in sales, I’ve worked in various industry verticals
interacting with different circles of people. It all summarises to a simple fact that you are either selling a
product, service or a concept. We ought to realise that selling is not just a commercial
activity, there is much more than price, payment terms and delivery!
Sales is an important activity that every business owner has to recognise and acknowledge.
It is not the last stage in the business. You are in business because you have sales!
We all have heard the famous maxim: “A greatest sales person can sell a refrigerator even to
an Eskimo”. Well this is the old theory! The current world demands; “You have to sell what
the customer wants, and not what you have!”
Business owners and organizations have to change the way they handle customers in
today’s highly volatile market. The old techniques of selling are changing and the
organizations have to be innovative and think differently from competition to sustain the
onslaught of the business.
I have collated certain essential selling ideologies that most sales people and sales
organization either get incorrect or don’t implement:
1. Not selling the solution
Individuals and companies buy products/services only with the sole intention to solve their
problem or improve productivity. Sales people spend too much time on the offer rather
than assuring the customer what the product can do for them and how it will benefit them.
When you sell the solution, the product or service gets sold automatically.
2. Excessive dependency on the “sales presentation”
I have seen sales people spend hours creating colourful presentations with data, graphs,
charts and then become so dependent upon the slideshow and other details, that they are
no longer aware of vital buying signals the prospect is demonstrating. Remember personal
meetings are an opportunity to build the rapport and not to demonstrate one’s
presentation skills. Personal meetings can take your business to the next level based on how
you build your rapport.
3. Price is not the deciding factor.
I have not come across one customer who selects a product/service just because it is cheap!
No one buys a price, ever! I have been in sales my entire career and have seen customers
use the term “your price is high” just to buy time or to gain advantage on negotiations.
There is no such concept as “higher price” or the “least price”. It is just the “right price”. So
don’t be jittery when someone says your price is higher. Take that objection as a step closer
to closing the sale.
4. Overlooking the influencers
Are you barking up the wrong tree? One mistake many times we do is to put too much
attention on the decision-maker and missing the influencers. You will agree that most of the
decisions are based on certain influences from others. Ask the customer, "Who else other
than him will influence decision making or that you would like involved?” Find out why they
are important to the decision and what is most important to them. Always remember, two
heads are better than one!
5. Not knowing the customer well
Although business happens between two companies, in the deeper context, the business
actually happens between two individuals. You are selling to the person first and then to his
company. Hence, one of the primary determinants of success in sales is to be
knowledgeable on customer likes, dislikes, and preferences. Building a rapport with the
customer and continually using exploratory queries to find out more about them can help
you find a common chord. This is foundation of great relationship building, which can
ultimately help you close the sale.
6. Not updating skill sets
What sells today is obsolete tomorrow. During my mentoring sessions, I find that
entrepreneurs invest very less time to update their skills sets. Self-development can be
possible only through books, articles, videos, podcasts, or attending professional sales
training. Successful sales professionals attend sales seminars and workshops and make it a
habit of reading about sales practices on a regular basis. Reading newsletters and visiting
websites that help in improving the selling skills is also a healthy practice to follow. In the
present age of information and technology, the customer is well informed and aware about
your competition more than you know. Hence be well informed.
Selling is not an Art! It is Science!!
LEADING SALES TRAINER
FOUNDER– LEAP CONSULTING
You can contact Ravindra on firstname.lastname@example.org