A good salesperson will follow up with prospects as soon as they come to them. A great salesperson understands that sales by nature, is a very competitive industry, and prospects on a consistent basis.

Prospecting is the core of salesmanship, the foundation of every sale and signed dotted line.
Yet, even the most senior and experienced sales professionals fail to understand that when not conducted properly, prospecting will often hurt any chance of securing new business.

As you work to qualify prospects be aware of these three mistakes that will turn them off and prompt them to give you a “no”:

1.You don’t follow up

According to SiriusDecisions, it takes an average of 8 cold calling attempts (through any medium) to reach a prospect, yet 44% of sales representatives give up after one follow-up. (source) .

Just because you have a foot in the door doesn’t mean you have closed the sale. Maintain your persistence and do everything you can to stay connected with the prospect after your initial meeting.
If you follow up reluctantly, avoid it altogether, or lack sincerity when you do follow up, people can sense it and will treat you accordingly. Whereas, when you follow up consistently, with confidence, respect, and a keen, honest desire to build an ongoing relationship with your target, people can tell… and they are often appreciative.

And of course, your follow-up needs to be effective. Don’t just follow-up to pitch. Share ideas or questions, try adding value to your contacts by providing helpful advice, supportive information, or an ear for their challenges or opportunities rather than just sell, sell, sell.

You can mix up the use of tactics, including the telephone, LinkedIn, posted mail, invitation to an event, or even referring something that will generate goodwill. Some communications, like the sending of newsletters or publications, can be corporate and generic, but others should be personal and engaging.

Remember, the way you behave before the sale is usually a solid example of how you will behave after the sale (source).

2.You Talk more than you listen

As a sales professional, you probably identify listening as one of the hardest skills.
Because talking and engaging come so naturally to sales individuals, they often have an inherent need to fill gaps in conversations. They think that silence on the other end is a bad thing and a potential sale might be lost if it is not filled and frequently they will end up blurting out just anything for the sake of maintaining the conversation going.

Have you ever heard the phrase “silence is golden”? That’s because it is!

Your prospect’s silence may denote many things: perhaps they are taking it all in, they are writing information down or they are formulating a question for you.

There is another reason why pauses in conversation are important: when WE talk first, the silence is filled with information we already know. When a PROSPECT talks first, they fill the silence with information that could be very valuable to us. Asking great questions and listening to the prospect will provide you with a stream of ideas, clues and opportunities to sell your product or service.

Buyers don’t want you to tell them what they want, they want you to share their story and have you respond with ideas and opportunities on how you can benefit them

Homework: Master the art of listening!

3.Implying someone’s not worth your time

Naturally, as a salesperson you want to prospect and pitch to the decision maker without spending time with anyone who is not involved in the decision making process.

But who is the decision maker, really?

We are inclined to name the individual signing the dotted line as the sole decision maker, yet a new research, published in Harvard Business Review: “Making The Consensus Sale,” revealed that on average 5,4 decision makers are involved in B2B purchasing decisions.(source)

An information gatherer, a project manager or even an office manager can not only be appointed decision makers but also have an immense influence on the end result.

Treat each prospect as the ultimate decision maker, let them know you are on the same page and they will point you in the direction of everyone else involved.

Be mindful and adjust these mistakes next time you qualify a prospect and a lot otherwise “NOs” will turn into “YES”.

Posted on: August 20, 2017 | Author: Sandra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *