If you’re like most in the IT sales space, you’ve probably read enough about sales to write your own how-to book. But while most of the sales literature out there focuses on what you should do to increase your chances of success, there’s perhaps too little emphasis on the kind of classic blunders that are virtually guaranteed to sink even the surest of sure things.
Here, some of today’s top sales experts weigh in on sales techniques to avoid. Make sure these tactics aren’t part of your sales repertoire!
Flooding the zone. There’s a fine line between a comprehensive, multi-media marketing message and an annoying overdose of phone calls, direct mail, and other marketing materials. When it comes to marketing, find the boundary between “just right” and “too much” and don’t cross it. Otherwise, you could wind up alienating the very customers and prospects upon which your business depends.
Winging it. There are bound to be a few instances in which an opportunity presents itself and you haven’t had enough time to fully prepare. However, in most cases, there’s simply no excuse for walking into a sales meeting without a full file of research under your arm. When it comes to sales research, there’s no such thing as too much preparation.
Taking ‘relationship selling’ too far. It’s vitally important to establish friendly rapport with your prospects and clients, but be careful not to go overboard. There’s no need to try to insinuate yourself into clients’ personal lives or free time unless they first express a clear interest in things like off-the-clock golf or dinner meetings.
Flubbing the follow-up. Making a clear, concise, and persuasive case for your company is only the first step in the sales process. Don’t forget to ask your clients directly if they want to buy! If they need more time to research or consider their options, try to schedule a follow-up meeting before you walk out the door.
Executing the ‘scorched earth’ approach. Some sales professionals adopt a very hard line when it comes to sealing the deal, but most experts warn against this tactic, particularly in high-tech spheres. Not only is overselling likely to be ineffective with educated and discerning prospects, but it could also burn bridges and limit your chances of future sales and referrals down the line.
Do you have any “sales don’ts” to add to this list? Nominate your additions in the comments.