Just like anything in life, with sales you can always learn from your mistakes. Everybody makes blunders now and again, and when it comes to telemarketing and sales there are many areas where it’s possible to slip up. Many factors can affect the sale – some which you can control and some which are out of your control. If you’ve spent time nurturing a lead and it doesn’t lead to a conversion, it’s essential to find out what went wrong so you can avoid it next time.
The most important thing is to recognise what went wrong and where. Was it doomed from the start because the prospect had no need for what you were selling? Or did you lose trust somewhere along the sales funnel? Identify the exact problem and think about how this could be avoided in the future. Here are some examples:
Not being prepared
Most consumers will attempt to get as much information as possible before making a buying decision. Therefore, you should be prepared for all sorts of questions. They want to know all about the product or service and why it is worth the investment, and as a salesperson you should know this off by heart. But every now and then even the best salesperson is faced with a question they don’t know the answer to. How you respond is crucial, as you may lose the trust you have already built up. Preparation is essential, especially when you’re selling on behalf of a client.
Talk less, listen more
Salespeople are known for talking too much – but this can actually put people off. Make the conversation about the customer by asking them insightful questions. This establishes a personal relationship, and you can also use the information they tell you to your advantage. If their business has problems which need solving, explain how the product or service you’re selling could help.
Failure to follow up or close
Review the conversation(s) in your mind. Did you actually ask for the sale? Did you attempt to convert more than once? Customers rarely agree to a second meeting or phone call unless you explicitly ask them to do so. Don’t be vague about closing the sale – make sure you repeat the key points in case they were missed, and turn the cold lead warm. A lot of unsuccessful sales are down to a failure to follow up or simply neglecting to close the sale – which is easily fixed.
Don’t think of these failures as missed opportunities – they are opportunities to learn and develop your skills.