Sell More Easily
The Three Biggest Sales Mistakes You Should Never Make
Your strategies for interacting with prospects from the time you first meet them to the time you make a presentation
can have a greater impact on your likelihood of closing a sale than the actual aspects of the product or service you
have to offer.
Following are three unproductive strategies that are so commonplace in the sales arena that they’ve become
accepted as the norm.
Failing to Provide Value
During initial meetings with prospective clients, some salespeople, whether by design or lack of proper preparation,
don’t communicate anything of real value. Sure, they talk about their company’s capabilities. They talk about their
products and services…and the associated features, functions, benefits, and advantages. But they don’t convey any
knowledge or insight about the prospects’ challenges or goals that the prospects didn’t already possess.
These salespeople are afraid that if they give away too much information, prospects will use it against them. They
believe that prospects, armed with the knowledge, will figure out ways to accomplish the outcomes they desire
without the salesperson’s product or service.
What they fail to recognize is the difference between discussing concepts and revealing the specifics of implementing
those concepts. It’s OK to discuss concepts. In fact, it’s desirable, especially if it helps prospects develop new
perspectives on their challenges. After all, prospects must buy into the concept before they’ll buy the product or
service to implement it.
If prospects don’t learn anything new by meeting with you, are you contributing any real value to the meeting? No.
And, if you’re not contributing any real value to the meeting, will prospects have compelling reasons to do business
with you? Again, the answer is “No.”
Focusing Presentations on “What” Rather Than on “How”
For some salespeople, the vagueness of their initial prospect meetings carries through to their eventual
presentations. They fail to establish clear connecting links between the elements of their proposed offer and the
specific aspects of the prospect’s requirements. Instead, their presentations focus too narrowly on their product or
service, their company’s capabilities, and in some cases, on themselves. Much like the magician who waves a magic
wand in the air and then, with a puff of smoke, produces a rabbit, the salesperson “waves” a rhetorical magic wand (a
long list of features and advantages) and then, with some verbal smoke, produces a solution.
On the surface, those sorts of presentations are impressive. They typically include lengthy proposal documents
which are often accompanied by a host of multimedia presentations filled not only with charts and graphs, but also
illustrations and animations—all designed to support that which is being presented. But on closer examination, they