You keep looking at your sales numbers – and they aren’t quite as high as5 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Sales they need to be. Or maybe you aren’t having much luck with your customers lately and can’t understand why you’re not selling more – after all you have a great product and you know customers need it.
So why are you really not making those sales?
1) You put your customer last.
When you set out to go and sell your product or service, your customer isn’t at the forefront of your mind. What is actually at the forefront of your mind is:
- What your target for this quarter is – am I going to hit it?
- What’s that customer’s phone number/address/name – how can I get hold of them?
- What are the product features that I need to remember?
- How many leads do we have from our telemarketing campaign?
None of these things are important to your customer. So, when you go into a sales call with these topics at the forefront of your mind, you are putting your customer last.
Instead, you need to focus on your customer first. So try thinking about:
- What is important to my customer?
- What is important to my customer’s industry?
- What challenges is my customer probably facing?
- Where do they want to get to, and how can I help them?
2) You expect the same results from the same sales activities.
If you think about how you typically go about acquiring new customers, I bet there’s not much variation from one sales campaign to the next. Does your most recent campaign look something like this:
- Send out an e-shot to customers highlighting your product, its features and an introductory offer.
- Follow up with a telemarketing call.
- Follow up with twenty further calls until the customer answers the phone/gets back to you/tells you where to get off.
- Send some marketing collateral to the customer following the call.
- Hope that the customer is so overwhelmed with joy and anticipation after your 2 minute marketing call that they phone you up immediately to buy your product in bulk.
Unfortunately, the last point never seems to happen. But the next time you have a product launch or a new sales push, you will probably follow a similar pattern.
This time, look around at what your competitors are doing in the market. Who is making real headway? It’s likely they are disrupting the market by doing things differently, in a way that resonates more effectively with customers.
For instance, are they:
- Trying to position themselves as a thought leader in the industry by writing for journals in the customer’s market.
- Speaking at strategic events to show customers that they have the expertise required.
- Using social media to interact with clients in a more subtle yet helpful way?
- Focusing on how they can solve customer challenges rather than talking about how great their product is?
Very often, the old way of doing things becomes stagnant, and just a little refresh to the existing plan is all that is needed to help your sales campaign become more successful.
3) You (or your sales teams) are not actually seeing customers.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in ‘sales-like’ activities, without actually seeing, or speaking to, real customers. A few examples of ‘sales-like’ activities are:
- Creating a list of target customers.
- Profiling your customers.
- Creating marketing copy and content.
- Redesigning your website.
- Planning when and how you are going to call/meet with your clients.
- Preparing presentations for when you do eventually meet with a client.
- Reading lots of articles/journals/news sites about how to cold call/present to customer/close a sale.
These are all useful activities, but in the face of actually calling a customer or closing a sale, it can be easier to trick ourselves into thinking we are busy by spending too much time on these activities, without ever speaking to a customer.
I’ve seen countless sales people busy themselves with lots of activities that have no real bearing on a customer sale, just to avoid having to actually meet with the customer and do the hard bit: selling.
Make sure you are constantly critically assessing your own (and your sales teams’) weekly activities, to ensure you are making the best use of the selling time you have available.
4) You are too eager to make a sale.
Customers know when a sales person is desperate for a sale. They might be too nervous, or too eager to commit, or simply too pushy.
Desperation is the quickest way to put off a potential prospect. If you are acting too eager or keen for the sale, then it sends a signal to your customer: “Nobody else wants this product so please, please, please can you buy it”.
It makes them worry that they are buying something that no one else wants – what could be so wrong with the product that nobody wants it?
Is it bad quality? Is it old technology? Is there something better out there that people are actually buying?
So don’t lie about your product’s success with customers, but make sure you aren’t subconsciously giving new clients the impression that they must buy it/commit/move along in the sales stage. Otherwise they will back off quickly, and probably never return.
5) You simply don’t have enough customers.
Obvious, yes? Who does?
Many salespeople stick to their trusted group of customers, who they know well and can phone up for a friendly chat whenever they need to. And they rarely venture outside of their comfort zone.
This means that as they inevitably lose customers over years, they never ‘replenish the stock’, so their customer base gets smaller and smaller, until they don’t have enough customers to sell to.
They try to get the same revenues out of a smaller base of customers, which is impossible to sustain in the long term. So, constantly reassess your customer base, and keep adding in new customers to keep the numbers at a healthy, manageable level – where there is sufficient sales potential to go after.
Do some of these reasons for not making the sale resonate with your company? Or perhaps you are seeing different factors that impact on your sales targets?
About The Sales Way
The Sales Way is a UK consultancy, focused on creating sales enablement content for the technology industry. We specialise in supporting technology providers in reaching new customers and in channel enablement for reseller recruitment. The Sales Way supports providers in working better with their reseller community, and how to go about sales enabling their channel sales force for higher revenues, margins and success.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 5 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Sales
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