In the next 7 weeks, I will present what I have come to see as the 7 Deadly Sins of Sales. These 7 disastrous actions have had the effect of killing more sales; yet when overcome and avoided, helped to go further in the sales process where you could determine if you had a match with what you were selling versus what the customer is looking for.

Selling Sin #1- Self Motivated

Ever go out to buy something and the salesperson doesn’t seem to comprehend your needs, seems to not be listening and keeps pushing for the sale. This happens across the board with salespeople (correction; this happens across the board with bad salespeople). The reason why is simple: this type of salesperson is motivated by their wants and needs, not the wants and needs of the customer.

Salespeople typically get paid when they sell (or have a quota or sales goal they have to reach to maintain employment). Their livelihood depends on the sale. They have a sales manager, an owner or their bills yelling into their head, “Do whatever you need to do, just get the sale!” This becomes their overriding mission, whether their product is a best match for their customer or not.

Of course there are areas where your product may not be a perfect match, but you still are a really great match and it is ok to sell the customer. I am not advocating a purest attitude, however when you know you don’t have a match and you cannot provide the primary needs that the customer is shopping for, you need to step up and say so.

Have you ever noticed a salesperson’s desperation? Does that ever, EVER motivate you to buy? NEVER. In fact that sense of desperation which you the customer can detect, causes most people to politely excuse themselves by either A. Asking for a brochure as you are still shopping (which if you found exactly what you were looking for at the value you were looking for, you would buy it) and B. You tell them some polite lie that sounds like, “We’re going to think about it.” You don’t leave and do your research, you stop thinking about it the minute you hit the door. Desperation does not induce a sale, it simply pushes the sale away.

There is nothing wrong with making the sale, it is simply not the best direction to get a solid sale with the back end referrals that last by selling through the salesperson’s motivation versus the customer’s needs. The key becomes building enough trust with the client so that they will come to the honest side of the sale faster and be able to trust you with the direction they feel they need to go. In fact, when you build more trust, you will sometimes sell someone based on that trust alone.

The key to putting your clients/prospects needs first is to ask more questions which may actually take you to the decision point quicker. Keep this rule in mind: You have 2 ears and 1 mouth. Ask open ended questions which require the prospect to expound rather than answering a simple yes or no. You want to be talking half as much as your client (hence two ears for listening twice as much and one mouth for talking half as much). Start noting the better discovery questions and incorporating them in as many sales presentations as you can.

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