Sales is an essential part of any business and often the first sales engagement can be the make-or-break moment for a new client relationship. It’s natural for salespeople to get excited about a new lead, but sometimes those leads don’t convert, leading to a frustrated sales team. In this article, we examine why this happens so frequently and what salespeople can do to stop the cycle of quoting and hoping with proven sales training methodologies.
The Importance of building a relationship
One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is not taking the time to build a relationship with a prospective client. They often jump right into pricing, features and benefits without first establishing trust. Trust is built on a foundation of communication, authenticity and empathy. Salespeople who take the time to listen to a client’s needs, understand their challenges, and establish a genuine connection will have a much better chance of closing a sale on the first try.
Not qualifying leads
In many cases, salespeople are so eager to close the sale that they don’t ask the right questions to determine if the lead is a good fit for their product or service. Not qualifying leads results in wasted time and energy on both sides and often leads to a no-sale. By asking the right questions upfront, salespeople can quickly determine if the lead is a good fit and adjust their messaging accordingly.
Poor communication skills
Salespeople must be able to communicate their message clearly and effectively while also listening to the needs of their clients. Poor communication skills can lead to misunderstandings, confusion and lost opportunities. Great salespeople hone their communication skills regularly and practice active listening techniques. Providing solutions to the prospect’s problems can only be identified through active listening and insightful questions.
Focusing on the sale instead of the person
Sales is a numbers game, and the pressure to close a deal can be overwhelming. However, when a salesperson’s primary focus is on making the sale rather than helping the client, it can lead to a no-sale. Successful salespeople understand that their role is to help the client first and foremost. By focusing on the client’s needs rather than the sale, they build trust, establish a connection, and ultimately increase their chances of closing the sale.
Failure to follow-up
Closing the sale isn’t always about necessarily closing the sale immediately. Sometimes it takes a follow-up conversation or email to keep the conversation moving forward. Failing to follow-up (or following up too aggressively) can be a significant reason why a first sales engagement fails. Salespeople should establish a plan for follow-ups and approach with a mix of perseverance and patience. There should always be urgency, but it should relate to the proposed solutions rather than the need to close the sale.
Sales is an art form that requires time and dedication to master. The first sales engagement sets the tone for the entire relationship, and it’s crucial to get it right. By focusing on building a relationship with the client, qualifying your leads, honing communication skills, helping the client and following up appropriately, salespeople can increase their chances of making the sale on the first try. Remember that not every lead will convert, but with the right approach (backed by sales training), salespeople can significantly increase their chances of success.