Someone who studies the sales process like myself may be the easiest person for a good salesperson to sell to.
Believe me, I’ve seen and heard more than my share of sales presentations in my life, and most all of them either made me laugh, made me cry, bored me, repelled me or angered me.
I actually pity the people who use outdated, scripted and ineffective sales techniques.
I also get frustrated when I see someone who is good at their trade but too timid to have the confidence to ask for the job. The have essentially poured themselves into how to be very good at their trade but have not invested in the skill needed to convince someone to purchase this knowledge.
But then the realization washes over me that what they do or say is just the result of the poor or non-existent training they have received.
“Paper-Thin” Close To Selling Me
Sometimes, I even give the person trying to sell me, advice on how to best sell me…That is if they are open to listening to it.
Unbelievably, most are NOT open to this advice and so they fail. They leave the experience not knowing or perhaps caring how “paper-thin” close they were to actually getting the sale.
It’s often amusing being a salesperson and observing a sales pitch from someone else. You almost feel like you’re involved in a hidden camera sting operation.
I watch more carefully how the product is being sold to the buyer, rather than to what they are selling. I’ve thought about some of the most egregious mistakes I have heard and seen when others try to sell me. See if you can spot a trend.
The 7 Mistakes of Self Centered Sales People
1. Pretending to Know Us – The lousy salesperson acts like they care about us but never bother to ask questions to better understand what our lives are really all about. This reduces the salesperson to guessing what we want and how we buy. In fact, most salespeople talk about their own experiences when a buyer brings up a concern instead of allowing them to continue to talk. Buyers have no choice but to tell that idiot salesperson that their price is too high just to get rid of them. Hey, it’s not the buyer’s job to teach you how to sell. Remember that your customer is the “star” of this call, not you.
2. Making Obviously Self-Serving Moves – Salesy questions like, “If I could show you a way to save money on your purchase today, would you be interested?” or other stupidly rehearsed proclamations like, “You’re really going to like this new program,” or “If you purchase today, I am authorized to offer you these special bonuses and benefits,” have never worked very well. Today, buyers have their radar tuned for these obvious and antiquated techniques. These are the types of “used-car salesman” moves that give salespeople a bad name.
3. All Talk, No Involvement – Some think that through the sheer force of their words, the buyer is expected to spend their hard earned cash. It is as if they are in love with the sound of their own voice as they drone on and on without pause. Occasionally, they stop to scrape the “white stuff” that gathers on the sides of their mouth from talking so much. What they don’t know is that what they are scraping off is actually solidified spit! Yuck! Here’s a hot tip. Give the buyer a chance to tell you what they really want, and then shut up and give it to them.
4. Making a Company-Centered Presentation – Rather than basing what they sell on the specific needs and interests of the buyer, salespeople talk about how the product is made or some obscure little known factoid about the history of the product. (They invented air conditioning in 1921? WOW!) Remember that everything you present should be “on code” with your buyer. Who gives a “rat’s a**” if the screws used to assemble your product have a ceramic coating? Present your solutions with what this exact buyer needs and wants. Who Is this service intended for? What’s in it for them?
5. Using Literature As Visual Reinforcement – All literature does is put people to sleep. Think of the funny salesperson reading the literature upside down to the buyer. Is this bedtime or what? The fact that you are reading to your buyer insinuates that the buyer can’t read. What will literature tell them about the relationship and trust that a good salesperson develops? Absolutely nothing. Spend this valuable time learning about your buyer and you will be far ahead of the pack.
6. Bragging About Company History and Credentials – Buyers put little weight on your bragging about how good you are. Anything you say is discounted because they believe a salesperson will say anything to sell them. It is of little consequence how long you have been in business – how this information translates into benefits for the buyer is what is important. In fact, your 30 years of experience might mean you are a dinosaur in their eyes. Stay on point and stay relevant.
7. Ask If They Have Any Questions – Many salespeople “check in” and ask – only at the end of a snooze-fest presentation – if anybody has any questions. This is after the audience has been verbally abused by a boring diatribe. Talking down to your buyer and acting as if they can’t understand you is always bad selling. Why do salespeople ask this question? Do they think the buyer can’t hear them? Or do they think the buyer is too stupid to “get it?” I really don’t know the answer. When a salesperson asks me if I have any questions, the only one that comes to mind is, “When will you shut up and just get the hell out of my home?”
I’m Kind of a Big Deal
One thing all of these mistakes have in common with each other is that they center around salespeople focusing on gratifying themselves.
They do nothing to please the potential customer. In essence, they are “sales-masturbating” using this self-centered approach.
Remember why you are selling in the first place.
The BUYER has an issue they need resolved and THEY would benefit from your solution.
Make your approach about them and you will always succeed.