Are you giving your customers confidence?
That’s not strange question – if your customers don’t have confidence in you, what you are selling and your organisation, then your chances of getting a sale are tiny. Customers tend to buy when they like you, believe in you, trust you and HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOU. So if you’ve just been with a customer and failed to get the sale, you could do a lot worse than check the following and see if you are guilty of any of these:
1. Did I turn up on time for the meeting? If not, then you started off wrong and it’s hard to get back from that.
2. Was I prepared? Did you have all the things you needed (notebook, pen, samples, proposals, whatever) or did you forget something important?
3. Was I apologetic? In other words, were you saying ‘sorry’ all the time – quite likely if you were late or you forgot something. Apologising too much gets really annoying.
4. Did I make excuses? Or blame the company for something that didn’t go right?
5. Did I try and discredit the competition? Making disparaging remarks about competitors is unprofessional and, besides, what if they are already using that supplier?
6. Did I answer all the questions about my product/service properly? No one minds the occasional ‘I don’t know’ but the more you say it, the less you seem to know about what you are selling.
7. Did I actively involve my prospect? Or did they sit there quietly while you talked or presented ‘at’ them? Perhaps they were checking their phone all the time.
8. Did I come across as desperate? If you were focussing on your target or your commission from the sale, the chances are that the customer could sense your desperation, or you became too pushy, thinking of yourself instead of them.
These are straightforward things to sort out – and most of them have nothing to do with your sales ability. They are basic professional traits. So be honest with yourself next time you lose a sale and see if you were creating the confident impression you intended to. If not, just make sure it doesn’t happen next time.
Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year.
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