Avoiding Common Sales Blunders

Have you ever been in a situation where you are doing a pitch or presentation, and initially you can see the interest on your prospects faces, but by the time you finish the presentation, their interest has faded? The moment has slipped away, but you don’t know why. The following are some common sales blunders, and how to avoid them:

  • Lack of professional appearance. People are more willing to listen to you and heed your advice if you come across--both in appearance and demeanor--as a professional.
  • Poor vocabulary. I’m not talking about cussing here, but certain words are inherently a big turn-off when selling. For example, avoid using the word “contract” when handling the details of a large-ticket sale. If appropriate, call your contract an “agreement,” a “form” or simply “paperwork.” The mental image is less threatening. Think about the words you use and replace any negative word-picture images with gentler, more positive ones.
  • Lack of good rapport. Good rapport builds trust. No one will want to make a purchase from someone they don’t like or trust. Don’t just jump right into a presentation on your product. Get to know your client a bit.
  • Lack of qualification. If the prospect doesn’t actually have a need for your product, or the money to buy it, there’s no point in trying to sell them. Figure this out as quickly as possible. Come up with three or four questions, the answers to which will tell you if they’re a qualified buyer.
  • Not knowing when to stop presenting and close the sale. Too many salespeople think they have to tell potential clients everything they know about the product. You only have to tell them enough to get them to buy. Over-presenting could easily turn the client off about working with you and cost you the sale.
  • Not knowing how to close. In many cases, all you have to do is ask a direct question in order to close a sale.