5 Mistakes To Avoid During A Sales Call

You know the old line, “to err is human…”, well we’ve all been there. How many times have you left a sales call and felt like you hadn’t put your best foot forward?

While not many of us have had a sales call as bad as the one in Tommy Boy where Chris Farley actually lights the desk of a prospect on fire, we can all use a reminder of what to avoid during this critical sales activity.

Over the past few months, I’ve had a chance to speak with some amazing salespeople from all over the world and I asked them the things they try to avoid at all costs during sales meetings. Here’s what they said:

1. Pretend Like You Know Something You Don’t

The most important trait a prospect wants to see is honesty. With this in mind, it is important to be knowledgeable, but better to admit when you do not know something. Do not be afraid to say you need to check or ask someone else to clarify a topic. We are all human and don’t know everything. After all, you’re building a relationship with your customer or prospect. However, you shouldn’t be running to someone else for every answer.

2. Get Straight to Business

Imagine your client like a new friend or someone you date. You should ask questions and be curious to get to know them. If you show them you are interested in their specific circumstance, they will want to continue to give you their business. If you get straight to the sale, they will not trust your intentions. In other words, don’t be a robot!

3. Cut Your Prospect Off

While you may have run through your sales process 20 times in a day, you never know what a customer is going to say. Be sure to give your full attention to listening to your customers. Truly stop and openly listen to their needs. Always be sure they are finished before you respond.

4. Don’t Show Empathy To Your Prospect

One of the best ways to relate on a human level is to share your own experience. By saying “Hey you know, I understand how frustrating it can be to lose your (product you sell), as I did last week, but here are your options. This helps to build a connection with that customer, so they know you truly understand. A robot can’t relate on that level, not yet anyways.

5. Multitask During A Sales Call

When you are jumping between your phone and computer while talking to a client, you are showing a lack of concern for their needs. Show them that they are important by putting technology devices away and giving them your full attention. Hey, this is the source of your income and is worth your full attention.

Besides these ‘in the sales call’ mistakes, I’d like to remind you to

  • Always confirm your upcoming sales calls with your prospects, and turn these confirmations into selling moments.
  • Join LinkedIn if you’re one of the six million salespeople in the US alone that aren’t on LinkedIn. (Crazy, I know.) If you’re already on LinkedIn, take a look at my friend Ken Krogue’s 27 LinkedIn tips.
  • Use tool like Put Some Cool Your Email to enable you to quickly respond to emails with the push of a button. (That was a bit of self-promotion for our free Chrome extension, but I’m confident you’ll find it helpful.)

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Alex Brown.

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Originally published at spirohq.com on January 6, 2015.