Going into Sales after Business Administration College? 4 Rookie Sales Mistakes to Avoid!
Jan 04, 2017
What makes stellar salespeople so successful—and others simply frustrated and confused?
We scoured articles and advice from successful business leaders to identify four of the biggest sales mistakes people make when first starting out. In fact, we found that even seasoned professionals can fall prey to these errors, developing self-sabotaging habits that last for years.
Have your eye on a sales career after business administration college? Keep these blunders (and tips for avoiding them) in mind for a strong start at your first job.
1. Going Straight for the Sale without Building Rapport
What does it mean to build rapport? It means taking the time to get to know your potential buyer, understand their concerns, and show that you care. At the end of the day, people buy from people they like and trust.
So don’t push for a sale right away. No matter how great your product or service might be, if your prospect doesn’t feel comfortable with you they will not close the deal.
2. Failing to “Nurture” the Prospect with Relevant Next Steps
Sales always happen in stages as potential customers go through a process of getting to know you, your product, considering other options, and finally making a decision. This is what’s known as the “buyer’s journey,” and nurturing prospects through each step is key to successful selling.
Hugely successful sales and marketing software provider, Hubspot, highlights nurturing as one of the most important elements of the selling process. They’ve made it central to the strategies and services they sell companies who want to sell better.
So how do you keep your prospective client moving from the early stages straight through to choosing your product and closing the deal? You must follow through with “next steps” at the end of each interaction, keeping the conversation going, and the iron hot. Ineffective sales people often forget crucial follow-ups, such as:
- arranging for a second call after the initial contact, so you can address questions and push the process forward
- sending over a proposal or product demo, and then getting in touch to discuss it further
- arranging a specific date and time to meet again (either in person, by phone, or video conference) to continue the discussion and move toward closing the deal
3. Blasting Through Product Specs & Failing to Truly Listen
You’re really excited about your product or service, so you figure all you need to do is blast your buyer with the specs and benefits and they’ll get on board right away.
While knowing your product inside and out is definitely important, this blunt approach falls into the two traps we’ve already outlined above: failing to build rapport and neglecting to gently nurture the buyer toward the sale.
Careful listening is crucial for several reasons:
- uncovering hidden concerns the buyer has about your product (could be cost-related, or uncertainty about whether your product truly fits the buyer’s needs)
- understanding the buyer’s true motivations for considering your product/service (and focusing on those to close the deal)
- figuring out whether the buyer alone will make the final decision, or if you’ll need to convince someone else as well (a manager, partner, husband/wife, etc.)
If you’re simply rattling off product details or blindly plowing through a script, you’re not listening. You’re missing an opportunity to identify what truly matters to your prospect, and showing how your product or service can help fill that need. More than anything, you’re missing an opportunity to make that all-important emotional connection that fosters trust.
Advertising executive and author, Robert Keith Leavitt, said it best when he observed:
“People don’t ask for facts in making up their minds. They would rather have one good, soul-satisfying emotion than a dozen facts.”
4. Talking Your Way Right Out of a Deal!
We love selling guru, Salesforce’s take on this one. They cite two instances where talking too much can kill a sale.
#1) The client has already said “yes” but the salesperson plows ahead with the rest of the presentation or pitch. By the end, all the extra information creates doubt in the client’s mind. Their solid “yes” turns into a “we’ll have to think it over” and you’ve talked yourself out of the deal.
#2) You have built a rapport, listened carefully, given an effective presentation, and done your follow-up. You take a shot and ask directly for the sale. You might say something like, “it looks like this particular product is an ideal fit for you needs. Shall we go ahead and draw up the paperwork?” Dead silence follows.
Salesforce cautions that whoever speaks next will walk out with the product. And that could very well be you, the sales person, if you break the silence. No matter how uncomfortable, let the question hang in the air until the prospect makes their decision and speaks up—or risk leaving with the product you could have sold.
Think you’ve got the disposition and drive to make it in sales? Looking for a reputable business administration college in Winnipeg to start your training?
Take a look at Herzing College’s Business Administration program, delivered at our Winnipeg campus. The diploma takes just 12 months to complete, and can be done on campus—or completely online.
Topics covered include advanced accounting, business principles and project management, database applications, and of course, sales and marketing.
Visit the program page for a complete list of Business Administration courses, career options, or to chat live with an advisor. We’ll help you get started!
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