Four Ways to Lose the Sale

There is nothing better than a great salesperson. I mean it. I’m not being facetious.

There’s nothing so amazing as a person who knows their product, is passionate about it, knows why you need it, and can communicate all of that with a great story.

Recently, I sent out a request for expertise and ended up talking to 14 different vendors about a service I need. Some of you lost the sale, though, and here’s why.

1) You didn’t even take three minutes to find out what I do, and it showed. Please have at least some idea what my business is. Do a little research. If you're not sure, ask. Unfortunately, some of these same people DID NOT LISTEN to my answer, and I had to repeat myself. This was REALLY annoying!

Antique Cash Register photo © 2011 Michael Whay | more info (via: Wylio)
2) Please don’t OVER-respond. Some of you sent an entire suite of possibilities to me that had nothing to do with my inquiry. I need to know how you will address the problem I have now before I hear about the rest of your offerings. Don’t bury the actual answer to my question.

3) You called me when I asked you to e-mail me. I asked you to e-mail me because that is how I prefer to get information. Aren’t you paying attention? How much attention will you put into the service you’re providing if you can’t follow simple instructions?

4) Please don’t use jargon. You don’t have to say, “Do you have an internal strategic framework around that process?” when you mean, “Do you handle this in-house right now?” I felt like I was being fed a line, and I felt like you were talking down to me. Of course I want an expert to help me. But trying to make me feel stupid doesn't automatically turn you into an expert.

That said, some of the people responding to my inquiry did a fantastic job.

Here’s what you did:

1) Clearly answered my exact question, and asked for additional information to follow up.

2) Researched my business a bit, and it showed.

3) Respected my request to be contacted via e-mail.

4) Sent me useful information and asked for next steps.

5) Showed some enthusiasm for what I’m trying to achieve.

First impressions mean a lot. If you’re in charge of a sales team, does your sales process help them to avoid these pitfalls? How?

Need help? I'm happy to take a look at your sales process, and boy am I opinionated.

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