Wednesday, September 24, 2008

10 Mistakes When Selling

Those who have been in business for a while have learned valuable lessons, more from the customer who got away, than from the customer who a sale was made to. Every person trying to sell an item, no matter what the item is, product, or skill level, makes various mistakes when presenting their product to the public. The following is a list of 10 items, provided by a friend who has many years experience in selling, that should be avoided during the these economic slow times and especially the Holiday Season.

1. Lack of Professional Appearance. This is one of the most important things to remember, especially now with the slow economic times, especially if you are selling an item where people are using discretionary funds. Customers base purchase decisions on first impressions. The seller needs to look and act properly for what is being sold. Dress appropriately and look neat. If you have a shirt or jacket with your company logo, wear it. Don't look like the sloppy shoppers, stand out so they know you are a verified seller.

2. Being Unprepared. You need to know the details about what you are selling and be able to answer all pertinent questions specific to that product.

3. Not Telling the Truth. Don't make up stories to sound like you know more than you do. If you don't know the answer to a question, tell the customer "I don't know, but I will try and get you an answer."

4. Prejudging People. Don't miss a sale because you prejudge someone based on their race, gender, ethnicity, or appearance and let that stand in the way of making a sale. Remember the worst looking tramp, can be a Billionaire these days.

5. Not Differentiating Yourself. Every salesperson in every store claims to have the best quality items or do the best quality work. You need to advise your customer the differences not the similarities.

6. Not Listening. Normally every human being is given two ears and one mouth. So in keeping with this given perspective, one should be doing twice as much listening as speaking. Don't sing the praises of a product without hearing what the customer actually wants.

7. Not Identifying with the Customer. Once the customer has told you want they want, now get them that item right away and repeat what they’ve told you so that they know you are listening to their needs and wants. Until they decide what they asked for is not for them, don't push something else on them, but if they are undecided, then show them several varying ideas or suggestions.

8. Getting to Know Your Customer Without Going Off Topic. It is nice to get comfortable with you customer but don’t overdo it. Once a customer has decided on an item, there is no need for a further sales pitch. While you do want to build a relationship that makes your customer comfortable and stick around, the ultimate goal is to make the sale. However, taking the time to educate your customers about the items or items is a good way to build rapport, which builds their trust that you know what you are talking about and that the item they want is sound.

9. Overselling. There is a very fine line between being a good salesperson and being that pushy or obnoxious one. True selling is when you ask questions to get customers to talk about their needs.

10. Not Closing the Sale. At the point where you have provided your customer with the information or item he or she wants or has asked about, ask if the customer is ready to make a purchase. In most cases with items if you just say "would you like me to wrap this up for you or would you just like them in a box," is all that needs to be said to complete the sale.

Hopefully these 10 items will lead to a sale for you the next time you face your customers.9. Not Closing the Sale. Once you have provided your customer with the information he or she needs, ask if the customer is ready to make a purchase. In many cases, all you have to do is ask a direct question in order to close a sale; For example, would you like me to wrap these earrings or would you just like them in a box.