Do not submit proposals or use the word 'contract' … and other surprising errors.
7 min read
The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
Imagine this: that you can choose the clients you want to work with. Instead of your prospects rejecting you over and over, you are the one who decides who to take and who not to take.
If this sounds too good to be true, you may be one of the many entrepreneurs who believe that rejection is part of the game … But this does not have to be the case. Most vendors hear “no” many more times than they hear “yes” because they make several of these very serious, but very common, mistakes. Avoid them and you will be the one to decide who to work with and who to sell to.
1. Have a sales mindset
This may seem counterproductive, but don't approach a prospect as if you were a salesperson. Come closer as a solution provider. You are not trying to get anything from them, but you are offering them something: a valuable solution to their problem.
The tone you use is critical, especially during the first few seconds of the conversation. If you're too excited, enthusiastic, or anxious, that makes your prospect think, “Hey, I'm trying to sell you something.” And the ideal is to sound more like a doctor than a used car salesman. Doctors diagnose the problem, and you thank them for the medicine they give you.
2. Being too pushy
Many sellers are desperate or needy and the result is that they are too pushy. Even if you manage to close the sale in this way, the client will not feel good about having made the transaction with you and will not recommend you.
Instead of trying to do things your own way, attract the prospect. You want the idea to come from them, not from you. Help them conclude that buying from you makes sense. You do this by asking them about their problem or desire, and helping them visualize how you can solve it and how their lives will improve if they decide to work with you.
3. Give up power
As a result of their despair, many salespeople tend to give up control and accept whatever the prospect wants. And while this allows them to close the deal, they end up with highly demanding clients who are never satisfied.
Start the relationship on the right foot, positioning yourself as your equal and establishing barriers and expectations from the beginning. When you pass on your value, the problem you solve, and the reason why you are the only one able to do it this way, you don't need to oversell or justify your prices.
4. Talk about money too fast
Your prospect cares about two things: value and price. Before explaining your rates, you must transmit your value explaining how you are going to solve your problem.
Cost only becomes a problem when there is no obvious value, so if your pain or desire is strong enough and you have an attractive solution, the price will never be high. But if your prospect asks for a discount or additional services, this means that you are discussing costs too quickly, something that puts you in an unprofessional negotiation.
When you discuss price, don't project your insecurities and values on each other by saying things like, “Well, my costs are high.” You are not the prospect, and they have their own perspective.
5. Admit delays
You may need many conversations to sell something worth thousands of pesos. But most of the time, you should be able to close the sale in one conversation. Delaying things makes you lose the momentum.
If a potential customer says they need to think it over or talk to their partner, it usually means that they are either unsure, or concerned about something you are negotiating about. Ask them what makes them doubt so that you can solve it from that moment. For example, if price is your concern, offer a payment or financing plan.
6. Share proposals or case studies
If you've ever spent hours creating the perfect proposal and then haven't received a response, then you know that proposals can be a waste of time. However, many vendors believe that a good proposal will get the job done. If you can't close a deal while you're making a direct connection to the person, what makes you think a proposal will do it? These documents only serve as agreements or to convey the expectations of both parties when the deal is already closed.
And be careful when discussing the success stories of your other clients. Your prospect doesn't care about others, what they want is to know that you can solve their needs, so make the conversation revolve around their business. If you are contacting them by phone, you have to be particularly present because it is much easier to lose their attention by this means … And if they lose their attention, you lose the sale.
7. Close the deal incorrectly
After a prospect agrees to work with you, don't keep quiet. Do what I call “verbal squeeze” to reaffirm the sale. Ask if they are sure to move on, and when they say yes, then go to the next step: discuss the terms of the agreement.
In a sale, every word counts. Your prospect is afraid of being wrong, so don't use the word “contract” when talking about a legal document. Call it an “agreement” or “documentation,” which makes it sound much less threatening. When you close the deal, congratulate your new client for making the decision to improve their life or business. Saying “congratulations” instead of “thank you very much” keeps the conversation on track and maintains equality between you.
Sales is an art and a science. Science is what you say, while art is in the tone, mentality and image that you project. Master them and you will become a great seller.