By Ryan Taft

Position of weakness

Even in a good market there are ways you can lose a sale. I see it all the time.

A common “sale-buster” is selling from a position of weakness. Even if you have the greatest product in the world, customers will turn and run if you portray weakness.

You might be thinking, “Oh yeah, that is NOT me…”

But to test your opinion, here are 10 signs that you might be selling from weakness…

#1: Lack of Belief

You sell out of your beliefs. If you don’t fully believe in your product, your company, or yourself you will lose sales. The key to keeping your beliefs high is to focus on what’s right. Not what’s wrong.

#2: Poor Communication

Watch for weak communication in these three areas:

  • Words – Avoid weak words like “hope, try, but, if, maybe or possibly”. You don’t want your surgeon using these words and your customer does not want you to use them either. Eliminate them.
  • Tonality – Weakness shows up in a questioning tone. People who sell from strength tend to use tonalities that drop at the end of a sentence rather than go up.
  • Body Language – Be on the look out for shrugging of your shoulders, avoiding eye contact or anxious facial postures.

#3: Wrong Intention

A salesperson has two choices when it comes to intention: Mission or Commission. If your intention is making a big commission, you are definitely selling from weakness. Focus on the customer’s mission instead.

#4: Flawed Strategy

I recently ran across a salesperson whose attitude was basically, “If they want to buy, they will let me know.” In a word, her strategy was “reactive”. Your job is to assertively advocate for your customer’s mission. You can’t do that by being passive.

#5: Manipulation

Do you want to create a combative selling environment? Then use manipulation. That is a surefire way to sell from weakness. The funny thing is you might feel like you are selling from strength using manipulation. The truth is you are pushing people away.

#6: Using The “Build Value” Sales Model

From a buyer’s perspective, nothing is more annoying than the salesperson who talks and talks and talks (ad nauseum) about the features and benefits of their product. It’s like a guy on a first date talking on and on about how great he is. Instead of building value, get your customer to talk about what’s valuable to them.

#7: Being a Complainer

Here’s the bottom line; you can’t sell from strength if you are operating from a victim mindset. To quote the late, great Jim Rohn, “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.”

#8: Desensitization

If you have been selling the same product for any considerable length of time you may have lost your sense of sales enthusiasm and excitement. The message this sends to your customer is, “There’s nothing to get excited about here.” To reengage your excitement, make the daily choice to see your product through your customer’s eyes.

#9: Apologetic Closing Techniques

A strong close gives the customer a definitive directive and is typically a “yes” or “no” question. To be clear, an example of a definitive close is, “Do you want to buy?” If you are asking any of the following questions in place of a direct close, then you are absolutely selling from weakness.

  • “What do you think?”
  • “Do you have any questions?”
  • “Can I get you more information?”
  • “Here’s my business card.”
  • “I will call you in a few days.”

#10: Defensiveness

I could have listed this first. If you find yourself being defensive about your sales results, (my competitor is doing ______, my sales partner did _________, if marketing would only have done ________) you will find yourself selling from weakness. Instead, take responsibility for your results and look to improve yourself. It’s a learning opportunity.

I’m certain there are additional signs that reveal we are selling from weakness but this is a good start.

So, recommit yourself to selling from strength and watch your sales skyrocket!