As a strategic sales consultant in Vancouver, I often get brought in after the selling process has already gone sideways. Even earnest, hardworking sales professionals can be a liability to their companies if they don’t have the basics of selling down. Here’s a quick checklist of mistakes salespeople make – and if you’re already seeing these kinds of problems, it might be time to call a sales consulting professional. (I’m here to help).

Mistakes salespeople often make — try to avoid these snafus!

1. Not Following Up. It’s a pretty rare thing for a sales prospect to buy something after a single pitch, particularly products like software or hardware that can require more complex selling. Salespeople need to follow up with multiple points of contact to make the sale.

2. Talking Over the Customer. You’re there to solve the client’s needs, not bamboozle them with a product pitch. Selling isn’t telling.

3. Not Summarizing the Understanding of Your Client’s Needs. When the buyer and seller aren’t on the same page, you’re setting yourself up for regret later on. This is also critical for sales strategy.

4. Quoting too soon. Customers will often pressure salespeople to give them a quote quickly (eg. “Just give me a rough ballpark figure of what this is going to cost my company”) before fully understanding the value of what is being offered. It’s tempting to give them that fast answer in the hopes of getting a fast sale – but it often doesn’t work that way. The customer will grab quotes from multiple vendors and if yours is too high (without explaining the added value your deal entails), the sale won’t go through.

5. Being Late for Sales Calls or Meetings. I’m often surprised how common this is. There’s a reason why they’re called “sales professionals”. When you break basic rules of etiquette, you’ve just given the customer one more reason to say “no” to you.

6. Discounting. When the customer asks for a discount you haven’t offered – and you give it to them – all you’re doing is devaluing your product offering, making yourself look dishonest and greedy (otherwise, why not offer the lower price right from the start?) and making it impossible to close the sale at a higher price point next time. Salespeople who do this never last – and their companies tend not to do too well, either.

7. Sell. OK, we’ll grant this seems a bit counter-intuitive. But when the customer knows you’re trying to sell them something, their defenses go up. Rather view every meeting as an opportunity to help. Offer your assistance. Ask questions to get to the bottom of what the real issue is. Most of the time, this is veiled and not very obvious so keep asking till you find it.  When they invite you to tell them about the kinds of solutions you can provide, it’s time to seize the opportunity. On the list of mistakes salespeople make, we saved the best for last.

We work with a wide range of companies here and abroad, helping them overcome these kinds of mistakes salespeople make. The work of a sales consultant in Vancouver is never done — but by taking some of these steps on your end, we can focus on even higher sales and marketing priorities when you take us on. Ready to get started? Give us a call.