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To become stronger, you must first face your weaknesses.
To become the best salespeople and to win new business consistently, we as sales professionals need to identify where we are weak and then solve those weaknesses.
Here are 3 weaknesses in sales which you could be showing to your prospects that will affect your chances of consistent sales success.
1. Your Desperation to Win the Deal
The first of three weaknesses in sales in desperation. Prospects sense desperation through the way you talk and engage with them and will take advantage of this if you let them. Every buyer knows that salespeople have targets to achieve and if you are one of the salespeople who don’t have enough business in your pipeline then the chances are elements of ‘desperation’ for the business will appear in your approach.
I have been there myself so I know exactly how it feels. In a previous company, because I had not prospected enough and had seen a few deals falling through that I had expected to close, I was suddenly quite a way from achieving the target I had been set. To compound matters, I only had 2 weeks to go until the end of the quarter and the problem was made worse by the fact that I had missed the previous quarter’s numbers so I was really feeling the pressure.
Although I tried to show I was calm, the need to get results permeated through my conversations. I talked too much and tried to ‘oversell’ when objections came through because of my desperation to get the sale. I was not listening to the prospect but just feeding my internal desire to get a sale at all costs and this approach can cause major issues.
Buyers will certainly look to take advantage of desperate salespeople by negotiating on price or other conditions and it can put some buyers off if you are too keen to close the deal. Continually asking for the business before the prospect is ready to buy is the sign of a desperate sales person and buyers then question aspects of honesty and whether the seller is working to look after them or themselves. You have to show enthusiasm and a want to work with the prospect but avoid looking desperate with the prospects you have.
2. A Lack of Confidence in What you Do
This is one of the weaknesses in sales that so many salespeople have, and it stands out to prospects like a flashing beacon on your head! You try to convince yourself that the service or product you sell is good or that you are good enough yourself, but you don’t deep down really believe this and it shows in the way in which you talk and act.
I have used a mantra all throughout my business life that if I don’t have confidence in myself and what I do then how can I expect anyone else to have confidence in me? Yes, we all have down days and moments when we don’t feel as good as others, but you can always tell the salespeople who show a lack of confidence. They are always apologising for what the service doesn’t do or feel nervous about discussing the price. They appear timid in the face of objections and worry about being rejected and these feelings find their way through to buyers who then take advantage if it’s a service they really want.
If what you offer solves a real problem for someone and gives them a fair return on investment then you should feel confident in being able to engage with them about this. I train salespeople to think about them providing a service rather than selling and this feeling comes across in the way they engage with their prospects. They know what they offer is good and feel a determination to help their prospects, which in turn comes across in their confident approach which buyers like and thrive off. No buyer wants to purchase from a salesperson who doesn’t really think the service they offer will really do what they say it will. Prospects want assurance that they are doing the right thing. They want to know that they are making a good decision and confident sales people give them that.
To show confidence you really need to believe and so ask yourself this question: If you were in your prospects shoes right now, would you get your credit card out and buy the service being offered? If the answer is no for you then this says a lot and so why should you expect your prospects to do this if you wouldn’t? Show confidence in what you do, and prospects will respond positively to that.
3. Wanting to Please and Never Pushing Back
The best salespeople don’t look for disagreements with their prospects but will look to push back at times and make the prospect realise that the best deals are ones which benefit both parties. Having the confidence to say to a prospect ‘I appreciate that you want 60-day terms but at this figure it simply doesn’t work out commercially for us and so why don’t we move forward on 30 days and start to solve this problem for you’ shows you have limits and don’t want a deal at any cost.
Showing a strength of character and being able to push back or even be prepared to walk away shows the prospect that you mean business and you will be amazed at how many prospects will worry about not being able to have what they want when you do this.
The fear of missing out is a fear that all of us experience and this is a real fear for prospects especially when they have their mind set on a service or product which can solve an issue for them. Yes, be prepared to negotiate and yes be prepared to help the prospect but don’t be afraid of pushing back when you have already shown a willingness to negotiate. Good deals are ones which work for both parties and if you allow your prospect to get their own way now, it could cause further problems in the future. Be keen to please and to help but know your red negotiating lines and what you are not prepared to do and then stick to this! Trust me it works!
What have you learned in your career that are your weaknesses in sales which you wish you had changed earlier? What are the weaknesses that your prospects have taken advantage over?
Share with me what you have learned via Twitter or my Facebook page.
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