Could you be making little mistakes that sabotage yourself from closing big deals without even realizing it?

Oftentimes prospective customers will decide whether or not they want to buy from you within the first 5 minutes of conversation in a sales demo. Similarly, if you screw up your first demo, and don't address the buyers' needs, there's a 76% chance they won't buy from you.

If you can get to them to request and review your proposal, you have much higher chances of closing a deal, but you still haven't won yet.

Here are 4 things that can kill any sales deal if you're not careful:

#1. You're Not Setting Accurate Expectations For The Buyer

Sales is not about conning your prospective customers into buying something they don't actually need. The best salespeople believe their job is to consult and assist the buyers in their decision-making processes to help them reach the best outcome.

If you don't set clear expectations from the start of the sales process, you'll end up with a buyer that is actually unqualified to purchase your product or services, or even worse, a very unhappy customer that soon wants a refund.

Being clear and straightforward about how the sales process will progress, and what the product or service can and cannot do upfront will save you and the buyer much time and headache.

Doing this will not only prevent wasted time with unqualified buyers, but can also accelerate your sales cycle because you're only having sales conversations with people who are absolutely qualified to buy. Likewise, buyers are much more likely to trust you and want to do business with you if you're being direct and honest with them.

#2. You Suck At Following Up

Have you ever been so close to having a deal sign that you can almost see your bonus check, and then the buyer disappears, giving you "radio silence" for weeks?

We've all had that happen to us, but the best salespeople don't give up easily. A great salesperson will keep following up persistently until they hear back and get some kind of answer, even if that answer is no. Even if the deal doesn't close, it's better to know what happened and went wrong instead of just being left wondering.

This doesn't mean hounding buyers with obnoxious and repetitive voicemails or emails either though.

If you want to get a response, you need to be considerate of the buyer and try to understand what's going on in their mind. The most tactful salespeople can pinpoint why someone has gone dark, anticipating potential objections, like budget or bad timing, and will also know the magic words that can lure elusive buyers from hiding.

To master the "follow-up," you need to have persistence and empathy.

#3. You Don't Know All Your Customers' Possible Objections

It's pretty hard to address and overcome your customers' potential objections if you don't even know what they are.

The best way to understand a buyer's objections is to ask them.

You can also do online and offline research on your buyer personas, but the best way to understand what could freeze the deal you're hoping to close is to understand that particular buyer's priorities and pain points.

Instead of just diving into a self-focused sales demo, use the first few minutes of talking with a customer to ask qualifying questions that will better help you understand their needs and potential objections from the start. The answers to those questions should set the tone for your entire sales pitch and the rest of the sales cycle. Depending on how they answer, you might be able to foresee potential objections early on, allowing you to tackle them way before they derail your deal.

What questions to ask depends on the type of buyer you're interacting with, as well as your own business model, but the best questions will focus on timing, budget, priorities, and other objections that might kill a deal.

#4. You're Too Aggressive With Your Prospective Customers

No one likes a jerk.

People will go out of their way to avoid dealing with an aggressive and obnoxious salesperson, even if they actually have a need and desire to buy a product or service.

Most buyers can smell a million miles away whether you actually care about them or you just see them as a walking dollar sign that you're itching to close.

I've watched many young sales bro's eagerly "jump the gun" with their prospective buyers because they're impatient to close the deal. However, overly aggressive and inconsiderate behavior will leave a bad taste in most buyers' mouths, and will kill your deals faster than anything.

Instead, be considerate of your buyers' needs and be patient with them. The more you understand your buyer and have empathy, the better you can predict and confront objections early on, which will help you close more deals faster.

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
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