No, these aren’t the ONLY mistakes, or even the BIGGEST mistakes salespeople make. They’re just some of the most COMMON mistakes most of you probably make that cost you a few deals every month…
Most salespeople spend their careers trying to figure out how to make more money and become more successful. The problem is while they’re learning a new technique or putting in those extra hours, they’re making mistakes that cost them more on the loss side than they’re picking up on the gain side. Mistake after mistake after mistake.
Why not work smarter instead of just working harder? Why not learn more good stuff and do less bad stuff at the same time, so you can end up with a double treat on payday?
Go over these 5 mistakes to avoid with your salespeople in your upcoming sales meetings.
5 Big Mistakes That Will Cost You Sales & Income
- Not enough product knowledge and/or telling them everything you know.
Most salespeople don’t have enough product knowledge to give a value-building presentation that matters to the specific customer they’re talking to. Even with salespeople who have good product knowledge, they still don’t know how to turn all that information into a targeted, value-building presentation, tailored to each customer.
Even salespeople who do have enough product knowledge and try to target that information, haven’t developed the other skills that make a product presentation more effective. Unless you know how to investigate effectively to find and then push each person’s Hot Buttons, all you can do is tell everyone everything you know about your product.
People don’t want to know everything you know about your product. Everybody has those Hot Buttons, and they’re those Features, Advantages and Benefits they care about – not everything you know about the vehicle. Overloading them with product info they don’t care about will cost you sales and income. So instead of telling them everything you know, just assume every customer only cares about three things and make it your goal to discover those 3 Hot Buttons in your investigation.
Start with who it’s for, how they’ll use it and why they’re getting it. Really dig in and your presentations on those three key benefits will be awesome. In your investigation, if your customer stresses that their primary buying motive is safety, every time you cover a safety Feature, Advantage and Benefit, you move closer to the sale. Every time you cover something they don’t care about, you move further from a sale.
So how much product knowledge do you need? To give a good presentation, you need to know enough to cover at least three Features, Advantages and Benefits at every point of your six-point walk around. That means if your customer only cares about safety, you need to know at least eighteen safety Features, their Advantages and Benefits.
As a quick reference: You need five times more product knowledge than you’ll use with the average customer.
- Not finding a customer’s wants and needs and just focusing on price.
The following is a typical exchange for new customers: “Hi – how are you folks today? How can I help you?” We’re fine thanks, we want to look at the new Tahoe. “Sure, we’ve got super low prices on every one, plus a rebate of $3,000, and if you buy today, we’ll even give you $1,500 more on your trade-in than it’s worth and free movie tickets to Transformers #27 … what kind of payment are you folks looking for?”
Problem #1 … They didn’t say they wanted a Tahoe, they asked to look at one. Statistically, salespeople try to sell the wrong vehicle 30% of the time because they don’t investigate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked, “Who’s the [Tahoe] for Betty, you or Bob?” only to hear something like, “Oh, it’s not for us, our son just bought one and we wanted to see what they look like – we want a [car].”
Problem #2 … Stop assuming that price is what gets people excited. It isn’t. They get excited about those Hot Buttons they care most about.
Problem #3 … Realize that if you’re relying on price to try to get people excited, then it’s probably because you lack the selling skills or discipline to follow the correct selling process.
Two facts on price vs. value: If you focus on price, you’ll sell 20% tops. If you follow my selling process you’re looking at 50% plus.
- Mishandling their trade.
Everybody thinks their trade-in is worth a lot more than it is. You do, I do and so do your customers. The problem is people have this thing with cars, especially their cars. Sure,
you’re trying to get them to be realistic, so the six-car guy taught you to low ball them or start pointing out all the things wrong with it. When they ask, “What’s my trade worth?”…if you answer with a six-car guy ‘Sales Prevention Response’ like, “Not much, you should try to sell it yourself”, it’s costing you sales.
If you want to learn how to sell more, you’re going to have to learn how to slowly, gently and quietly help them devalue their trade themselves with your silent walk around. Before your write up, as part of your information gathering on both vehicles, walk around their trade with them.
When you spot the tear in the seat, don’t say, “Wow, big tear!” Just touch it, shake your head and say hmmm, then write down, ‘Tear in front seat.’
When you get to the mangled fender, don’t say anything, just lightly run your hand over the dent, and jot down ‘fender’. When you get to their bald tires, take your informal tread depth gauge (your pen), and measure the tread that isn’t there, hold it up to look, say hmmm… and jot down ‘tires’.
You never have to say a word and when you get through, the value in their mind just dropped a few grand.
Remember; the biggest bumps you get
in sales are the ones you never hear.
- Assuming you’ll get better with age.
If experience equaled success, every ten-year veteran would be selling thirty to forty units a month by now, but we all know that most of them aren’t. Why? Because you stop growing in sales as soon as you stop developing more skills.
Whether you’ve been selling for three months, three years or thirty years, if you stopped learning anything new after your first ninety days, you’d find yourself stuck at that sales level too. If you want to improve your sales, you have to improve your skills. When you develop more skills, you improve your sales and income. It takes practice to develop skills.
- Not wearing your happy face.
A Chinese proverb says, “Man who cannot smile, should not open shop!” I stop for a donut by our office now and then. The lady behind the counter never smiles, never says ‘thank you‘ and never seems to have a good day. The only reason I stop there is because it’s the only donut shop on my way to work.
Guess what? You aren’t working at the only place in town to buy a car! So leave your problems at the curb and stop trying to make people prove they’re there to buy before you’re nice to them. Just be nice, be excited to see them and do your job. If you do that, you’ll sell more.
Keep it simple…Eliminate the mistakes
and you’ll increase your paycheck!