How to Lose a Deal
05.20.16 | Job Search & Career | Chelsey Canavan, Marketing Manager, at Treeline Incorporated
14 surefire ways to lose a customer, before even signing them.
If you’re in the sales profession, you know it’s a lot easier to lose a deal than it is to sign a deal. There are several steps you must take to ensure the buyer signs on the dotted line and gives you their business…and more importantly, their trust. There are small subtleties that can make or break the deal, before you even get to a discovery call or a demo. Don’t let these 14 deal breakers be the reason you lose a business opportunity.
Win more deals by avoiding these 14 selling mistakes.
1. You don’t know anything about the prospect.
You didn’t do any research on your prospect. You don’t know anything about them or their company or how you can help them. You’re basically calling them on the fly out of a database without doing any homework.
2. There is really no need for your product or service.
This goes with not doing your homework. If your product or service is not relevant to the buyer, then you are just wasting everyone’s time. Understand your audience in order to determine if there is a recognized or unrecognized need for your solution. Don’t try to sell them something they don’t need.
3. You’re not talking to the decision maker.
You aren’t connecting and talking with the right person. You need to identify the stakeholders and understand their needs. Make sure you are directing your efforts towards the decision maker.
4. You don’t ask the right questions.
If you recognize there is a need for your company’s solution, make sure you’re asking the right questions. Ask them about their challenges, where they struggle, and what their goals are. By understanding this you will be able to tailor your approach to their needs.
5. You aren’t setting expectations around the sales process
If you aren’t clearly setting expectations in the process and what level of simplicity or complexity is involved in the purchase, you will most likely leave your customer frustrated and an unlikely buyer. Set accurate and realistic expectations.
6. You aren’t able to tell them why your company’s products or services will add value.
Whether the prospect is already using a competitor’s solution or is considering you as a first-time vendor, you need to show them how your solution is better, different, and relevant to helping them. Does your product do more and cost less? Is it industry-specific?
7. You are too quick to close.
Some sales are transactional in nature, but more often than not b2b sales will be much more strategic. If a customer feels pressure to buy, doesn’t have comfort around the decision, or doesn’t trust you, you will lose the sale.
8. You only talk about yourself.
Before you can even sell your product or service, you need to understand the problem that the prospect is facing. You might be the greatest company in the industry and can rattle off why you’re so great, but if you aren’t talking about the customer and their pain points it won’t matter. Don’t make the sale about you. Talk about how it will improve the efficiency and ease of their job.
9. You aren’t able to overcome objections.
You’re in sales so you should expect objections. Be able to overcome concerns and more importantly anticipate them so you readily put those concerns to rest, and gain commitment.
10. You are only using email to communicate.
Email may be a great medium to introduce your company and solutions to a potential customer, but it shouldn’t be your selling strategy. Too much can be lost in translation. You also are not able to effectively capture tone or emotion. A phone call is the best way to have open dialogue and really work through a sale.
11. You give a poor presentation
If you have a potential customer live on the phone, don’t blow it with a poor presentation. You got their attention, now keep it. If you are disorganized or disoriented, you will lose the buyer. Win them over with a great presentation. If you can get them to do a demo, wow them.
12. You do all the talking
You might falsely believe that by talking “at” the prospect is a great approach to avoid any awkward silence. It’s not. Be comfortable with the power of the pause. Ask them questions and let them answer. This will help direct the conversation.
13. You don’t talk about price.
Price may not always be the main objection a customer has, but it will certainly come up in the conversation. Make sure you are able to talk about prices for products and services. More importantly focus on the value of the solution. Someone may always be willing to do something cheaper, but doesn’t mean it will be effective. Show them the value.
14. You fail to match your selling approach to the personality of the buyer.
In sales you need to be adaptable and resilient. One selling approach does not fit all. If you are talking to someone more analytical in nature, give them data. If you are talking to someone who is direct, match the approach without long-winded answers.
Don’t let these 14 selling mistakes be the reason you lose a deal. Practice makes perfect and you only learn by doing. Once you perfect these subtleties you will certainly outperform your competition and win more deals.