When it comes to mastering the art of sales, sometimes it can be more important to understand what not to do when trying to get the sale. Sales is one business where you cannot fake success. Your numbers, your goals, and your bottom line results will always reveal your sales skills or lack thereof!
You can learn a lot from watching what sales professionals do to get the sale, but even more so from what they don’t do. You’ll learn what not to do so you don’t lose the deal.
Here are six must-know things to have at the top of your “no do” sales list:
Mistake # 1: Focus On The Market Vs. Customer – understanding your best and most profitable markets is just the first step in achieving your sales goal. To sell more you have to stop focusing so much on the market and focus more on the individual customer. Within every market, every target that you choose to sell are customers that will be great to do business with, and customers that won’t be so great to do business with. You need to invest the time and understand the difference.
It is a sales mistake to focus on a market and call on any customers in that market. Finding those customers that fit your niche, you enjoy working with, and are most likely to buy your products is your best strategy for selling more and closing more deals. You have to focus on the right customer vs. focusing on the right market.
Mistake # 2: Forget About Digital – the majority of your customers are right now, at this moment, while you are reading this article, they are online getting information, learning about a new piece of machinery, or googling for product details and ideas. If your website, if your name or information about your products and services is not popping up, then you are already behind the sale. In today’s marketplace, you cannot forget about Digital. To sell successfully into any market, you have to not forget about digital. You need a great website, a robust blog, and an active social media presence. Remember your future customers will look for you online before they meet you in person.
Mistake #3: Don’t Implement the Pareto Principle – This rule is true in most areas of life, and especially when it comes to sales. The Pareto Principle is the old 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your top clients. If you want to increase your sales, then stop trying to treat all your customers the same. Get a solid understanding of who your top twenty customers are and put more of your time and attention there. It is a mistake to forget to take great care of your top clients and to forget to implement the Pareto Principle.
Mistake #4: Gloss Over the Small Opportunities – selling is a long-game, it takes time to establish trust, build relationships and get good at proactively recognizing and understanding your customer’s need. Also, while looking for the big opportunities, or the large sales is always top of mind, you have to remember not to gloss over the small opportunities. Just getting in the door, or even making a small sale is a start, and if you treat every small opportunity as a step in the right direction, then you will be well on your way to surpassing your sales goals.
Mistake #5: Never Give Up – here is a news flash not everyone wants to do business with you, and here is another news flash, you don’t want to do business with everyone. Sometimes the best sales strategy you can have when selling into manufacturing is to give up. Because trying like crazy to make a sale to a demanding customer is time spent away from calling on better prospects.
Mistake #6: Keep Talking – and last but not least, and probably most important is the worst thing a manufacturing sales rep can do is to keep talking. Listening is one of the most valuable sales skills we have, and the only way to listen is actually to stop talking.
When it comes to sales, you can learn a lot from observing what works, but you can learn so much more from paying attention to salespeople who struggle to win a sale or to do a quick review when a sale you were working on goes south!