After receiving positive feedback on my last blog about my experience as a buyer, I have five more tips to share on what NOT to do when contacting your potential customers. From the buyer’s shoes, some things are just major annoyances and as a sales professional, they are best if avoided to improve the use of your time.
Beating Around the Bush
Sales people can be less than 100% honest or straight up avoidant in their interactions. If I ask you how much your product costs, I expect an answer. I hate responses like, “We will go over that later.” If a buyer is asking, they want to know now.
At the very least, provide customers with a price range. People know what they can and can’t afford. If you’re out of their budget range, you’re wasting their time and yours. Be a straight shooter.
Another sneaky behavior is misrepresentation. Dishonesty is bad practice on all fronts, but lying to get closer to the sale is very risky. When I discovered sales guys were lying, I would opt out on the grounds of dishonesty. If your products aren’t worthy of sales on their own merit, perhaps you should go work somewhere else.
Meandering On Calls
When you make contact with someone for the purpose of making a sale, you need to have your ducks in a row. You are initiating the conversation, so you need to have aplan for the conversation. Your buyers are already busy, so you need to have twice as much purpose and direction as normal.
I always hated receiving calls that were awkward and just kind of meander around. Do your research and directly position a solution that is relevant to them. Also, be ready to back it up.
If you don’t know your product well, or how it’s going to add value to your clients’ business, don’t make that contact until you do. I had no time for sales reps that couldn’t articulate their value proposition. Moreover, I didn’t trust them to provide me with a solution. Surely you’re not going to call someone offering a service and then not know exactly why they need that service? Talk about the epitome of time wasting!
Finally, when you bash the competitors’ products, you’re doing very little to elevate your own. In fact, feeling the need to talk down competition, leaves potential buyers feeling like you have little to offer. Focus on the competitive advantage of your products, not the other guys’ shortcomings.
Now you know 5 more things buyers hate. Are you guilty of any of these sales mistakes in your past? It’s now up to you to seek out the things that buyers respect instead. Buyers want you to be honest, know your stuff and tell them what you can offer them specifically. If you execute on these points, you can fine tune your lead list first to identify the most highly probable contacts, and close more sales.