Here are the fatal seven “selling mistakes” that many people make.

They are not in any particular order.

You will know which ones are costing you money and need improvement.

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.”
-Henry C. Link

Fatal Mistake 1:
Failing to become a welcomed guest.

Bonding and rapport is critically important part of every sales call. It does not matter if it’s a first call, fifth call or a milk run call.

Look around, find something that you have in common with your prospect/client. Find a way, anyway, to link with him/her. It could be a mutual friend, a business associate, or a leisure activity.

Try talk about your connection long enough to become comfortable with each other before talking about business. It’s far better than wasting time talking about the weather. People like to do business with people with whom they feel comfortable with.

Fatal Mistake 2:
Thinking that the prospect doesn’t have enough money.

A prospect almost always can find the money to purchase what you are selling if they need it badly enough. Explain all of the benefits that your buyer can begin to get from what you have to offer. Ask questions to create or expose needs. Find things that are so important that solving them overrides the cost.

If you can show someone that s/he can’t live without what you are selling, then that person will find the funds to purchase your solution.

The bottom line is that it’s up to your prospect to come up with the funds. It may be wise to offer them some creative payment options if that will help you close the deal, but your main job should be to create, expose and have the perfect fit solution to their needs.

Fatal Mistake 3:
Failing to ask the right questions.

Ask prospects specific questions to find out if you actually can solve their problems with your products and services. Ask questions to qualify them as decision-makers. Ask “Who else besides yourself will be involved in the decision-making process?”

Ask questions about financial matters, such as “How will you pay for these services?” Ask questions that separate you from your competition. Try beginning most of your questions with the words: When, What, Where, Who, and How.

As an experienced sales person, you’ve heard it all before. You here common problems and objections from everyone. Use that common information and ask questions to get the real problems out on the table.

If you are just getting started in sales, ask a successful sales associate for help. Ask your mentor what questions have been successful for him/her, it will shorten on your learning curve and lead to faster sales growth.

Test and track what questions work and what questions fail. Once you have discovered the perfect questions, keep using them, hone them razor sharp and keep using them until they stop working.

Fatal Mistake 4:
Talking too much.

Ask questions. Then shut-up and listen to the answers. Talk no more than 37% of the time (even that may be too much). Get your prospect to do most of the talking. Ask pointed questions, and keep your prospect answering.

Keep full control of the conversation, but let the buyer think that s/he is controlling it. The more that you let your prospect talk about himself or herself, the more that s/he will like and trust you. This may lead him or her to close the sale for you—all you have to do is listen.

Fatal Mistake 5:
Putting down the competition.

Sell for yourself and not against someone else. Substitute the words “industry standard” for “competition.”

NEVER say one bad word about your opposition. If you have to talk about them at all, praise their work and position in the industry or community.

Then point out how you do things “differently.” What makes you, your products and services unique or unusual. Slamming the competition only comes off as sour grapes and will never help you close a sale.

Fatal Mistake 6:
Failing to follow up.

If you say you will call back at 2 p.m. on Thursday, then do it, no matter what. People WILL remember when you DON’T keep your word. Always let your customer know when you will get back to them, and make sure that you do.

Also, consistently follow up all your marketing efforts. It’s proven that one-shot marketing rarely works. It’s also proven that it takes seven or more contacts to finalize many deals. Be patient, be persistent and be profitable.

“If I had to live my life again,
I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.”

- Tallulah Bankhead

Fatal Mistake 7:
Failing to use your time wisely.

Know the difference between “pay time” and “no pay time.” “Pay time” is the time that you spend talking to or meeting with prospects and clients.

“No pay time” is when you stop at the car wash, eat lunch alone, fill out paperwork, or do anything else that does not contribute directly to the creation of income.

Beware of email and the Internet.

They are sneaky time wasters. How many times have you open a email and follow a link to a Website… the next thing you know, you’ve waste a half-hour that you can never ever get back.

Spend 100% of your time doing those things that lead you to making money. This will separate you from the pack and increase your year-end bottom line. Schedule a given amount of time every week to spend prospecting for new business. “ABC”—Always Be Prospecting. Always have prospects in your “pipeline.”

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Fatal Bonus Mistake 8:
Placing blame on everyone and everything but yourself.

Take a look in a mirror. Most of the shortfalls of selling start from the six inches between our ears. We must commit to working smart.

Many of us are afraid of failing and forget that we learn from failure as well as success. Blame ourselves, but don’t be afraid of failing. Everything is on the other side of FEAR.

How many of these selling mistakes are you making?
How will you correct them and prosper this year?

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