As every salesperson knows, it's not always easy to convince people to buy things--especially things they don't want. You can easily come off as too sleazy or too eager, too pushy or too uninterested.
Striking the perfect balance can be difficult, but it's something that's completely necessary to do if you don't want to come across as unprofessional to potential customers.
Here are seven bad habits that make salespeople look particularly unprofessional.
1. Lack of product knowledge
There's nothing worse than being caught off guard when someone asks you about something you're supposed to know about--especially when you're attempting to convince the other person to purchase it. Read up on what you're selling before you make any sales call, so that you can answer all but the most personal of questions.
2. Talking more than you listen
While it's important to market what you want to give your buyer, not listening--or responding--to his or her questions and concerns is a huge turn-off for any potential buyer. Make sure to pay attention to what your customer says--selling is a two-way street.
3. Inability to turn product features into benefits
The main obstacle people have when grappling with whether or not to purchase something is how the product will benefit them. Selling the product's features as potential future benefits is something that will persuade them to buy.
4. Divulging the price too early
Withholding a final price makes you appear less pushy and more empathetic to the customer's needs. Hold onto the price until you have a firmer grasp on the situation and the potential outcome.
5. Not customizing the presentation
Nothing ticks off potential buyers more than receiving a canned presentation for a product that has nothing to do with their own unique needs. Making the buyer into just another person to sell to reeks of unprofessionalism.
6. Lack of eloquence or articulation
Even though it's not necessary to be the best speaker or writer who ever lived, it's definitely important to demonstrate good speech and impeccable grammar and spelling in your dealings with customers. Otherwise, you'll give the impression that you don't care much about the product you're selling--and if you don't, why should anyone else?
7. Leading a sales call with your product instead of your customer
Although you're selling a product or service, it's really the buyer that ultimately matters at the end of the day. Begin every sales call with an understanding of your buyer's attitude and inclinations, not what you're trying to get them to buy.