As a business coach, one of the things I help many of my clients with is sales. This includes both the mindset required for sales and actual techniques. While helping business owners, I’ve noticed there are several common sales mistakes I need to work with them on. Here are just a few of them.
Lack of confidence.
The number one sales mistake I see is a total lack of confidence. The reason I’m stating this one first is because it’s the bedrock of sales. You could correct all the other sales mistakes in this article, but if you lack confidence it may not matter.
By confidence, I do not necessarily mean being fearless. I do sales all the time and I’m still scared. I mean confidence in your value and confidence in your ability to figure out what to do during a sales situation.
Thinking you’re being interviewed for a job.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. If you’re a business owner entering a sales situation, it’s important that you remember that you are the one interviewing the client, not the other way around.
Many beginning business owners make the mistake of thinking they are being interviewed for a job. This immediately puts them in a mindset where they see themselves as less than the client. Because of this, they start worrying about being liked instead of being respected. This leads to a whole other plethora of sales mistakes that usually lead to losing the deal.
The inability to think on your feet.
As a business owner, you need to learn to think on your feet. This is especially true when you’re doing sales. Here are some scenarios to show you what I mean:
- A client wants to pay you what they can now and create a payment plan, and instead of accepting you obsess over the exact numbers you want because you don’t know how to create a payment plan.
- A client asks for something a la carte and you don’t put it together because you think it they need to buy a specific package.
- You take too long to send contracts and invoices because you’re obsessing over perfection.
The main issue in all of these scenarios is the business owner not trusting themselves to figure stuff out and therefore failing to act quickly. You can figure out payment plans, custom packages and invoices on the fly if you need to.
Not being perceptive.
Another one of the sales mistakes that kill business owners is not being perceptive. Now, this one can be tricky because it comes down to listening skills and maybe some intuition.
In a very practical sense, this looks like the inability to notice that you may need to pivot during a sales call because you realized something about the client’s situation that you didn’t know before. If you’re not listening to the client and you’re not being perceptive, then you can totally miss this and bomb the sale because you don’t customize what you’re selling to the client’s actual needs.
This ability takes some practice and skill, but you can get better at it with time. The secret is to come into sales situations focusing on the client, not on how you’re performing.
These common sales mistakes can be overcome with tons of practice. To give you an idea, I used to know nothing about sales and now my close rate for writing clients is nearly 100 percent. My close rate for coaching packages is around 75 percent. I got there by constantly putting myself in situations where I needed to practice.