Sales Mistakes to Avoid in 2021
It’s easy to quickly kill a sale especially in 2021 when the world is a bit more confusing already.
Some of these things are mistakes I’ve made, even with being in sales for a long time. Because we are forced to do things differently to stay relevant and keep selling. There are times I make a mistake, or do or say something I wish I could take back, but it’s too late and now I’m in damage control.
And I’m going to talk about the mistakes I see myself and other salespeople making in 2021 – so you have the most up-to-date information.
Mistake number 1 – not being prepared for the sale.
I think the biggest mistake is to not have everything you need ready and where you can find it easily.
Let’s talk about virtual sales calls –
Make a list of anything you might need, including email addresses and phone numbers. There are times during a virtual call that someone will ask me to email them something they need immediately, while we are still on the call.
Actually, I like to have two computers, or a computer and an iPad going at the same time. That way, I can stay on the zoom or WebEx call with them, and email them anything they ask for right then.
My goal is to not give them any reason to end the virtual call, or to have to set another meeting. Because I have found when this happens, it can go on forever, back and forth. This increase the chance of killing the sale. Being prepared can shorten the time of the sale significantly and increase your odds of closing the sale quickly.
I’ve also used this strategy so that I can email and send a link to someone else my prospect says should be on the call, after we have started. Even though I always ask this when I set the appointment originally. But things happen… Surprise!
So instead of rescheduling, I will reach out to the third party with the second phone, email them a link to the meeting, and get them on, too.
It feels like command central—two devices, two phones. I try to plan for anything I can do to stop any objections that are easily solved. It is so easy for the prospect to find “2020″ stalls. So be prepared –
Also, make sure you are both in the same place at the same time. Avoid quickly killing a sale before you even have a chance to start.
Confirm in advance with a link to the meeting and make sure you are both in the same room.
Mistake number 2 – not following up on sales presentations.
It’s easy to get frustrated with the amount of times you have to follow up with some people. This is not anything new for us, but having that CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program, like Salesforce, to remind you to call or follow up with someone, will make your life so much easier.
It’s like having a built-in personal assistant to help you get through the day, and remind you about what you need to do, right?
It also helps me to ensure that I get a certain amount of prospecting done each day.
I’ve always liked the 10 before 10 rule. 10 calls before 10 AM. And if I don’t get that done, then I do the 10 at 5. It helps me keep the pipe my pipeline full, ensures I get to follow up with everyone, and I don’t leave any unclosed sales to fall through the cracks, or even worse, fall to a competitor because I didn’t follow up when I said I would.
People are looking for someone they can trust, now more than ever. And a quick phone call can go a long way to earning that trust and saving a sale.
Mistake number 3 – not doing the research before you reach out to your prospect.
Find out as much about your prospect as possible, before you call or reach out to them. Without stalking them, of course. Are they on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram? The more you know, the more you will know the right questions to ask them. Which leads to…
Mistake number 4 – not asking the right questions
And I’ll add not listening carefully to their answers. There’s nothing worse than asking a prospect the same question twice, or asking a prospect something that they already told you five minutes ago.
By asking relevant questions and retaining the information they share with you, it shows you care enough about them and respect them enough to give them your undivided attention.
Write things down so you don’t forget. And put it in your seat or CRM later.
Prospects are impressed when you remember their dog’s name, their favorite sports team, or their favorite restaurant. It also gives you something to talk about later on. Just make sure you enter the right information under the right client—or you will quickly kill the sale.
Mistake number five – not creating a solution that will work for your prospect.
This, to me, is really a continuation of mistake number four, because if you don’t ask the right questions and listen carefully to the prospects answers, how can you offer a solution that is customized for them?
If you do not offer a solution that the prospect feels will work for them and solve a problem, the prospect will not buy from you. Give the prospect a chance to say yes instead of offering nothing relevant and killing the sale.
Mistake number 6 – not pressing the right buttons as you complete your sales presentation.
In our digital information age of entering information into our computers and creating a great proposal, make sure you have pressed all the buttons. Review the choices with your prospect before you show them the total, so you don’t have to readjust your final proposal.
It’s an instant trust (and sale) killer, especially if the updated total is significantly higher and you have to backtrack to explain why.
Reviewing your numbers first is also important when explaining financing terms. Quickly review your numbers before you give your prospects the information.
My last way to quickly kill a sale is
Mistake number 7 – not showing the prospect The Next Step.
Including asking for the sale. Don’t assume that because your prospect is sitting in front of you (either in real time or virtually) and looking at your proposal, that they know what to do next. Because most of them don’t.
There’s always that one that will say “Great, how do we get started?” But usually, you have to make the first move.
You can ask a simple closing question like, “Do you want to go with the extended payment or would you prefer to pay in full?”, or “So, what do you think the next step should be?” (It works — I was surprised, too!)
Or, if you have created the agreement/contract as you were doing your presentation, by pressing those buttons, just keep going. Create the agreement, give them the pen, and let them start signing.
By asking questions throughout your presentation, getting their buy-in with the mini-close questions, like “Which one do you prefer?”, many of your objections should already be eliminated by the time you ask for the sale.