3 Fatal Sales Behaviors Sabotaging Your Success

Fatal Sales Behaviors

Are You Doing These Fatal Sales Behaviors?

Have you ever walked away from a sales interaction, haunted by the feeling you could have done better? You’re not alone. Many talented salespeople, despite good intentions, unknowingly exhibit fatal sales behaviors that derail the sales process and stifle their success. But don’t worry! By recognizing and rectifying these common pitfalls, you can transform your approach and watch your sales explode.

Apologizing For Your Price

Do you ever find yourself subtly apologizing for your product’s price? Even the slightest hint of doubt can erode customer confidence and undermine your value proposition. Remember, you set the price based on the tangible and intangible benefits you deliver. So, believe in it!

When you apologize for its price, you subconsciously doubt its worth. This doubt, even veiled, translates to your body language and tone, creating a perception of uncertainty in your customer’s mind. They might start questioning the value themselves, wondering if they’re making the right decision.

Embrace your inner value, champion! Zig Ziglar’s mantra, IASM” (I Am Sold Myself), holds true. Deeply understand the transformational impact your product or service creates in your customers’ lives. Quantify its benefits, both tangible and intangible, and articulate them with genuine enthusiasm. This newfound confidence will radiate outward, convincing your customer of the price’s justification.

Go beyond features; focus on solutions 

Don’t just list product features; paint a vivid picture of the problems your product solves and the desired outcomes it delivers. Speak their language, addressing their specific pain points and aspirations. Show them how your offering is the missing piece in their puzzle, the catalyst for achieving their goals.

Offer social proof 

Testimonials, case studies, and customer success stories serve as powerful validators. Showcase how others have benefited from your product, building trust and confidence in your value proposition. Remember, people trust other people’s experiences more than your own claims.

Embrace negotiation 

View negotiation as a collaborative dance, not a battle. Actively listen to their concerns and be prepared to offer creative solutions. Remember, a win-win outcome fosters long-term loyalty and repeat business.

By shedding the “price apologist” skin and transforming into a value champion, you’ll not only close more deals but also cultivate lasting relationships with your customers, built on trust and mutual respect.

Being The Most Interesting Person in the Room

Have you ever been captivated by a captivating storyteller only to realize they haven’t asked you a single question? That’s the essence of the “interesting” salesperson: more focused on being heard than understanding the customer.

When you dominate the conversation with product pitches and features, you miss crucial insights about your customer’s needs, challenges, and motivations. This one-sided approach makes it difficult to tailor your offer and connect on a deeper level, ultimately leading to missed opportunities.

Develop an insatiable curiosity about your customers. Instead of launching into lengthy monologues, ask “why” questions that delve into their lives, goals, and pain points. Actively listen to their responses, uncovering the true driving forces behind their purchase decision.

Embrace the power of silence 

Don’t feel pressured to fill every gap in the conversation. It’s tempting to jump in with solutions or counterpoints, but resist the urge. Let comfortable silences linger, encouraging them to elaborate and share deeper insights. Your patience and genuine interest will create a safe space for open communication. Let them fully express themselves, and only then offer your insights or ask clarifying questions. This demonstrates respect and fosters a collaborative environment.

Become a storygetter, not just a salesperson

Embrace the role of a storygetter by encouraging your customers to share their unique stories. Listen intently as they describe their challenges, aspirations, and how they envision the ideal solution. This process of gathering their narratives enables you to align your product with their specific needs and desires more effectively. By drawing out these personal stories, you can demonstrate how your offering fits perfectly into their life’s journey, addressing their goals and pain points.

This shift from dominating the conversation to actively extracting valuable stories from customers helps you gather crucial insights, personalize your approach, and establish deeper, trust-based connections. Remember, successful sales are built on understanding and trust, and becoming a proficient storyteller is fundamental to fostering these essential elements.”

Leverage the power of open-ended questions 

Avoid yes-or-no questions that limit their responses. Instead, frame questions that begin with “how,” “what,” “why,” or “tell me more about.”  Not every customer comes with a clear-cut agenda. Ask probing questions to help them articulate their unspoken desires and challenges. By uncovering these hidden needs, you can propose solutions they might not have even considered, solidifying your position as a trusted advisor.

Actively listen for buying signals

Pay close attention to subtle cues that indicate their interest in or readiness to move forward. These can include verbal cues like “that sounds interesting” or nonverbal cues like leaning in or making eye contact. Recognize these signals and capitalize on them by offering relevant information or addressing their concerns directly.

Summarize and confirm

Periodically summarize key points to ensure understanding and build trust. Ask for confirmation to clarify their needs and avoid making assumptions. This two-way dialogue ensures you’re on the same page and moving towards a mutually beneficial outcome.

By transforming from a self-serving talker into an active listener, you’ll gain invaluable customer insights, build rapport, and ultimately close more deals. Remember, it’s not about you or your product; it’s about understanding their needs and providing solutions that genuinely make a difference.

Judging Your Customer

Years ago, a potential buyer walked into my sales office looking disheveled. Greasy hair, dirty clothes, and a lingering aroma. My initial judgment led me to dismiss him and hand him off to another salesperson. Come to find out, he was a cash buyer, and my judgment cost me a significant opportunity and taught me a valuable lesson on judging people based on their appearance. This is a fatal sales behavior called “curb qualifying,” where you prejudge customers based on appearance or other superficial factors.

By judging customers, you not only miss out on potential sales but also fail to provide the service they deserve. Remember, everyone deserves a chance to have their needs addressed, regardless of their background or circumstances. Prejudice clouds your judgment and hinders your ability to connect with potential customers on a human level.

Treat every customer with respect and genuine interest. Adopt a beginner’s mind, approaching each interaction with an open mind and a desire to understand. This inclusive approach fosters trust and creates a space where customers feel comfortable sharing their needs and concerns, ultimately leading to more successful sales.

Focus on common ground and don’t make assumptions

Instead of dwelling on superficial distinctions, seek out shared interests, values, or experiences. This creates a sense of connection and builds rapport, making the sales process more enjoyable and productive for both parties.

Don’t make assumptions about someone’s financial situation or decision-making power based on their attire or outward appearance. Judge them by their words and actions, not their clothes or possessions.

Go the extra mile

Show genuine interest in their lives and goals, not just their immediate purchase decision. This extra effort creates a positive impression and fosters long-term customer loyalty.

By shedding the “subconscious snob” persona and embracing an inclusive approach, you’ll not only tap into a wider customer base but also create a more positive and rewarding sales experience for everyone involved. Remember, judging a book by its cover is a recipe for missed opportunities. Treat each customer with the respect and attention they deserve, and watch your sales soar.

Connect With Your Customer

Selling isn’t about magic tricks or forceful persuasion. It’s about understanding, connecting, and providing genuine value. By shedding the fatal sales behaviors we discussed and embracing the principles of active listening, value championing, and inclusivity, you’ll unlock your true sales potential.

So, take action! Remember, the power to succeed lies within you. Embrace the change, become the salesperson you were meant to be, and watch your sales soar!


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About the Author: Ryan Taft

As the former National Sales Training Manager for a Top 5 homebuilder and a licensed Realtor® in Arizona, Ryan Taft is consumed with a passion for helping others achieve breakthroug