“Everything speaks. Period.”
Did you sell yourself first, before you sold your product?
Yes, in business, everything speaks like,
- Your email style, typos and courtesy
- Your tone on the phone, your interruptions, from empathy to your smile
- Colour of your shirt, creases of your shirt to your perfume
- Your laptop bag, your shoes to your hairstyle
- Your handshake, your eye contact and your words coming out
- Your product — from its features to your customer service
The problem is humans are imaginative yet very judgmental creatures.
Customers while interacting with you over any medium are not only imagining what it would be like doing business with you but also doing a rapid judgement scoring of you.
So make fewer mistakes vs doing something incredibly right.
In sales as well, the famous 80–20 rule applies; 80% of soft skills and 20% of hard skills.
Your hard skills are
- Product knowledge
- Objection handling
- Pricing negotiation
- Technical know how
Your soft skills are
- Listening skills
- Written and verbal Communication skills
- Storytelling skills
- Consultative approach
- Holding hands beyond the sale
Let’s see how we screw up good leads, prospects and business that was meant for us.
Mistake # 1: The Onboarding experience
The way you show up on the very first interaction with your client paves the way to your sale or not the sale.
The screw ups:
- You show up late to meeting, looking hustled and in bad clothes.
Don’t complain that your contact wasn’t paying attention to you.
- You don’t respond to emails or chat conversations, leaving the lead to figure out themselves
Have seen so many times when people don’t even respond to customer’s messages or emails within 24 hours.
- Not making enough effort to introduce yourself and your company.
Most of the times it’s either the over confident sales man / woman or the not-so-hungry person takes it for granted and gets complacent.
- Rushing to conclusions, not getting to know their pain areas
I met a sales guy who started regards conversation asking me what my budget was, and when I was looking to give him the order.
Slow down Paul Walker!
- Not getting to know your customer genuinely
Asking enough questions makes the contact feel, you truly are interested in him or her and want their Business
The trick is to create a wow-effect from the very word Go and see how sales falls in line.
Mistake # 2 : the middle portion
The most vulnerable part where the best slip and fall.
This is where the client wants to understand how you and your service can solve their problems.
The screw ups:
- You go too fast with your presentation
- You don’t acknowledge others in the room
- You have a ppt that that talks about you and you are about to bore them to death
- You aren’t listening
- You are interrupting over the phone
- You are way too slow in coming back to your customer because your finance or technical team is slowing you down
- You are imposing
- You aren’t prepared for a close
- You are over prepared and rushing to a close
- You haven’t mapped the organisation
- You don’t know who the signing authority is
- You don’t know whether you are just another quotation or they really like you
Rings a bell? We all have been guilty of one of many of the above.
Mistake # 3 : the Post sale experience
This is the real meat of your business.
How many customers you close shows how good your sales guys are. And how many customers renew business with you show how good you are as an organisation.
- You handover abruptly to the account management
- You believe there is going to be cashflow all the time
- You don’t pay attention to committed agreement terms
- You stop following up and touching base with your customer
- Your technical team is just lousy
- Your customer care hardly cares
- You don’t solicit more business
- You don’t solicit referrals
- You don’t suggest enhancements
- You do just enough to fulfill commitment
- You don’t go that extra mile
- Your billing screws up on the invoice
- Your collections team is like a pitbull
You are the CEO of your business and your success will be measured by
- How much additional business your existing clients give and
- How many referrals and testimonials they give
This can only happen if you screw up less.
Author bio: Karmesh Ghosh, is Sales professional; has been hustling, and closing deals for the past 1.5 decades. Avid reader and loves foreign language movies. Writes on sales and marketing strategies for small and medium businesses. Currently, lives in Mumbai. Loves food and fast bikes.