Pareto Principle, commonly known as the 80-20 rule, applies to the salespeople as well. According to this rule, 20% of the salespeople generate 80% of the sales revenue of an organization.
Sales is one of the most demanding jobs in the world, and not everyone is cut out for it. A sales job is extremely challenging, as you have to constantly be at your best to win over a client. It also comes with the challenge of facing constant rejections.
If you get snubbed from a prospective client, all you can afford to do is to regain your composure and meet the next lead or make that next cold call. A salesperson needs to be good with his product knowledge, presentation, and persuasion and negotiation skills, if he has to survive in this challenging field.
Seasoned salespeople often say that selling is an art, and one subtle mistake can really make or break an offer. Although everyone is prone to making mistakes, young salespeople who have just started out in this field, end up making some goof-ups that cost them dearly.
Mistakes Young Sales Professionals Make
Instead of asking clients about their specific needs, the salesperson ends up giving out unnecessary and vague details, which the prospect can't relate to. Young salespeople need to learn the art of hearing out their prospects completely, before going on and on about how the product or service will be beneficial to them.
Not Building Rapport or Overdoing It
Young sales professionals often make the mistake of forgetting how important rapport building is in the sales domain. They talk endlessly about their product, without getting to know the prospect in the first place.
It is a well-known fact that people tend to transact with someone with whom they have some level of comfort. Without a comfortable working relationship, it is a bit difficult to discuss the intricacies of an offer.
Most young salespeople think of prospects as 'buyers', and try to sell quickly and hastily, which never augurs well for them. On the contrary, some young salespeople take the lesson of building rapport with their prospects a tad too seriously.
Asking the prospect about his favorite movie or NFL team doesn't really make sense when he is short on time. There is no hard and fast rule about how much rapport-building a salesperson should do with a prospect.
If you feel that the prospect has considerable time and is actively participating in informal talk, you should play along, but if you notice that the prospect isn't someone who likes to beat around the bush, it is prudent to come to the point and talk about business.
Ignoring the Importance of Preparation
A lot of young sales personnel have this fleeting delusion that they will be so good at their sales presentation, that the client will immediately lap up the offer. Because of this, they fail to put in the effort to know about their prospect and their interests.
Seasoned sales experts often opine that doing homework before meeting the prospect is one of the most important activity as far as closing a deal is concerned. An inability to know about the origin and history of the prospect's business reflects poorly on the salesperson, and sends out a notion that you are not too concerned about him.
Showing a Sense of Desperation to Close the Deal
It has often observed that young sales executives are quite enthusiastic about closing a deal, but they need to be careful that this enthusiasm doesn't look like a desperate attempt to sell at all costs to the prospect.
Many sales gurus lay emphasis on creating a deadline around a deal, so that the prospect doesn't wander into that "I will think about it" territory, but it has to be done without showing the prospect that your life depends on it. It has also been observed that some young salespeople become too pushy while meeting prospective clients.
If a prospect is not interested in buying your product or services, there is no point in pursuing him relentlessly. It is a sign of being unprofessional and curt, and does not augur well for your career, as your reputation takes a hit.
Basing Their Whole Offer on the Price
Young and inexperienced salespeople often have this fallacy that the deciding factor for a deal is the price. The fact is that price is a concern for only a minuscule percentage of companies who aren't too concerned about the quality of the service provider.
On the other hand, a majority of business houses are ready to shell out more money to get quality services. By talking about price and price alone, novice salespeople send out a wrong signal to the prospect that their world revolves around money, while quality is put on the back burner.
First and foremost, one needs to remember that prospects are pros in their field, who have years of experience behind them on how to negotiate with salespeople. Like a salesperson, they are doing their job of getting the maximum services for their company at a reasonable price.
They view the discussion purely on the basis of the services that are being offered to them, therefore, a salesperson should also view the discussion in the same context. It is absolutely OK for a salesperson to be upfront with the prospect, and tell him politely as to why certain demands cannot be fulfilled.
Novice salespeople end up spending a considerable amount of time with a person who doesn't really need or can't afford the offer in the first place. Therefore, it is very important to screen the prospective clients properly before scheduling a meeting with them.
Failing to Follow Up
People new to the field of sales often forget to follow up on their prospects. Although the sales job is really demanding as you have to keep track of numerous leads and prospects, nothing is more important than delivering on what you have promised to a prospective client.
Failure to follow up may not only lead to a loss of sale, but it also reflects poorly upon you as a professional. If the word goes out that you fail to honor your commitment, not many prospects would want to even have a discussion with you in future.
When you ask relevant questions, and engage the prospect in the discussion, while providing him an insight on how your product is best suited to his needs, he becomes curious to know what you have in store for him. Your pitch then becomes as important for the prospect as it is for you.
However, if you make the pitch without making the prospect a part of the discussion, you run the risk of an outright rejection.
Talking the Prospect Out of a Deal!
While it may sound bizarre, there are people who ruin the sale by talking about things they could have simply avoided. After you have closed the deal, all you should possibly look to do is to thank the customer for his time and patience. Talking about the deal should be avoided unless the prospect asks you about it.
These were some common mistakes made by new salespeople around the world. It is not as if young salespeople only make mistakes; even seasoned players are prone to gaffes.
It is just that, like in every other field, one makes the maximum mistakes when one is on the learning curve. But what differentiates a top salesperson from an average one, is the fact that, the former tends to learn from his mistakes, while the latter keeps on repeating them.