Even in the digital age, salespeople are important. They create that human connection between companies and people that marketing or electronic communication just cannot accomplish. They are the face of a corporation that customers will associate with the company they represent. And it is because of this connection and association that salespeople need to always be cognizant of their behavior. Here are five things no salesperson should ever do.
Be ignorant about the product. In order to successfully sell something, you have to know about it. Know its capabilities, know its limitations, and know what other alternatives your company offers. If the customer asks questions about the product, you better have an answer. The customer wants to be able to make an informed decision about how they spend their money, so it is your job to provide them with all the information they need. So do as much research on your product(s) as you can.
Disrespect the prospect. The client is your source of income. Essentially, this makes them your boss. As such, they should be treated with equal respect. Be on time and prepared for meetings. Don’t talk at or over them but with them. Engage them in conversation. Rather than listing the advantages of your product, ask them what they are looking for.
Use pushy or high-pressure tactics. The “slimy used-car seller” is an unfortunate image that some people have regarding salespeople. This person does anything to make the sale, including lying about the product and completely ignoring the word “no.” Now, salespeople should still be equipped to deal with adversity and turn uncertainty into a “yes.” However, a salesperson should not cause a customer to have a bad feeling about their purchase. Good salespeople create long-term clients and business partners. It is not worth creating a negative feeling about the company to make one sale.
Fail to follow up. Picture this: You’ve had an initial meeting with a prospective client. They seem interested in the product and it could solve a number of pain points for them. They needed to talk to their manager about budget and said that the two of you should meet again soon. And you… just wait to hear from them. That’s just leaving money on the table. The saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” does not apply in the business world. People have their own roles and responsibilities and some things fall by the wayside. Good salespeople need to follow up frequently to ensure they remain top-of-mind for their prospective clients.
Make it difficult to close. Never make it hard for the customer to give you their money. The hard part should be the lead up to the sale, not the actual signing of the dotted line. Ask the customer how they would like the paperwork handled. Some offices work well with fax, some use scanning and electronic signatures. Work with customer, be present, and make it easy for them.