5 Reasons your customers will not buy from you.
As a sales trainer, I spend a lot of time trying to help people sell more. But it’s also useful to know what things you shouldn’t do – the sort of things that will have your customers running for the hills (or at least hanging on to their cash). If you are doing any of these, please stop now – it’s costing you money:
1. Talking too much. It’s a cliché that a good sales person must have ‘the gift of the gab’. You are never going to persuade anyone to buy from you by talking them into submission. So ease up and, to use an old sales maxim, remember that you have two ears and one mouth and use them in that proportion.
2. Discounting too easily. If you give a discount too quickly then it actually makes it look like you can’t be trusted. After all, if you can afford to offer a discount, then why was it priced so high in the first place? Clearly you are trying to rip off your customers aren’t you?
3. Being Insincere. Don’t be patronising, don’t be ridiculously cheerful (especially if you are British!), don’t make wild claims that you can’t back up and don’t keep checking your phone while you are pretending to talk to your customer. In particular don’t promise that your product or service can do things it can’t do. We all have a pretty good inbuilt sense and can spot insincerity a mile off. If a customer doesn’t like you, then they probably won’t buy from you, so just be yourself.
4. Don’t be desperate. Look, even if your kids have been living off baked beans for the last week, your house is about to be repossessed and you have holes in your shoes, don’t show it. Customers will sense your desperation, so if necessary, pretend to be more confident than you really feel and keep the focus on them. And never, never, beg a customer to buy. It’s just embarrassing and they will just want to get away from you as fast as possible.
5. Failing to ask for the sale. When you’ve done all the hard work, engaged with your customer, understood what they want and they like your solution, then ask if they want to go ahead. Believe it or not, they probably do want to buy from you, but if you don’t ask and they don’t tell you, then you will never know. So even if you just use the simplest of closes ‘would you like to go ahead then?’ it’s better than nothing.
Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more.
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