Posted Friday, February 4, 2005
When sales are down, a salesperson must begin to take stock of why that is happening. Most sales people start by blaming the company’s policies. “If you’d only offer better specials,” or blame the economy, “If only customers had the money,” or they blame their boss, “If only I got a better schedule,” or they will blame whatever happens to come to mind that day. Never, do they take stock of their own selling techniques.
There are four basic reasons why salespeople don’t make a sale.
The customer doesn’t want/need your product or service. Therefore they lack the motivation to make the purchase.
Many sales people ignore the fact they don’t want/need the product and continue to attempt to make the sale.
In this case, the sales person doesn’t adequately qualify the buyer. Not everyone you come into contact with will have a need for what you are selling. But sales people are conditioned to try to make a sale no matter what.
Asking good questions and listening carefully to the answers will solve this problem quickly. That will free up the sales person to move on to greener pastures.
The customer can’t buy. They don’t have the money.
This problem is similar to the previous reason why sales aren’t made. The salesperson has not asked the appropriate questions to qualify the buyer.
The buyer has the need, but they don’t have the money. You can’t force someone to come up with money. If it is beyond their budget, face it and try to work within their budget by finding an alternative product or be honest with them about what it will take to make the purchase. They will appreciate your honesty.
The customer can’t buy. They are not the decision maker.
If you are dealing with someone who is not a decision maker, it is because the sales person has not taken the time to qualify the individual’s role in the purchase. You need to get in front of the decision maker. In my experience, no one can make the sale for you.
If you make the presentation to the un-qualified person in the hopes that they will take the information to the decision maker, more times than not, they will not be able to close the sale for you.
The customer doesn’t understand the offering.
You haven’t made your offer clear. Or you haven’t educated them about your product. Perhaps you’ve been selling features instead of benefits to them and that makes them unclear as to how they could use your product.
Or it is a technical product and they are a non-technical individual. You have been speaking in tech-talk and they don’t want to appear ignorant, so rather than asking for clarification, they decide not to buy. After all, they don’t know how it will benefit them.
As you can see, in each of the instances, it wasn’t outside forces that inhibited the sale, it was the sales person.
To become a SuperStar Salesperson, you need to learn to evaluate your role in each and every sale. For the most part, you will find that your efforts can and should be improved. The effort is well worth it.
About the Author
Margo Chevers, author of the book STOP the BS (bad service), has been providing sales and customer service seminars and consulting to a diverse cross-section of industries for the past 15 years. For information about Margo Chevers’ speaking or training schedule call (800) 858-0797 or Margo@MargoChevers.com