By Jeff Shore
All too often, the sale is lost before it ever really gets started.
Too many sales professionals practice bad habits right out of the gate, seriously jeopardizing their chances of success.
Here are three common sales mistakes that get made in the first half-minute of far too many sales conversations.
1. Lack of a Clear Outcome
This isn’t so much a technique problem as it is a mindset problem. The absence of a crystal-clear objective for the conversation will lead to a scattered and unfocused presentation that is based on a strategy of hope.
You must begin with the end clearly in mind. You must have a solid picture of the outcome. When you do, your actions and behaviors will naturally follow suit. You will craft your presentation to support that vision.
Decide in your mind where the conversation will go before you meet with the customer. Your vision will make a critical difference.
2. Neutral Facial Posture
In face-to-face sales encounters, first impressions take place before any words are even exchanged. The customer sizes up the salesperson, and the salesperson sizes up that customer right back.
And what do customers look at above all else? Facial posture.
Facial posture speaks to the perceived level of energy and enthusiasm. There is a pleasant lift to the face and a focus of the eyes.
Try looking in a mirror with a no energy face. Ask yourself what are you communicating. Then simply insert energy; flex the face, as it were. The difference in astounding, and the customer interprets that energy as engagement.
Be on the lookout in your everyday life. Assess the energy levels of the people you meet every day just by reading the face. Get in the habit of good facial posture.
3. Predictable Opening Line
Is your line of opening questions based on tradition or on strategy? For too many salespeople, the opening inquiries are rote, routine, predictable, and boring. Your customer is immediately turned off.
· “How can I help you?” – Interpretation: “You go first – tell me how I should do my job.”
“Are you in the market for a….?” – Here’s a hint – they are talking to you in your place of business. Figure it out.
· “What brought you out today?” – If you absolutely want your customer to respond with, “I’m just looking,” go ahead and ask this question.
Stop wasting your customer’s time and ruining your chance for a powerful first impression. Ask questions that mean something to the customer.
Those early moments are critical in setting the stage for what happens next. Use them wisely…and you’ll be on the path to changing their world.