The reality of selling is that we will not close every sale! Even if you were trading Gold for Silver there would be someone who would simply not buy. There are many things beyond our control in the selling environment. Looking carefully at the result of every client contact and evaluating what went right and what went wrong will improve results.
When we look at failure and evaluate performance we learn and get better. Just a few seconds of intelligent contemplation after every sales presentation will steadily improve results.
What gets measured gets managed!
Here are 3 of the biggest reasons salespeople fail to close:
1) Failure to understand the clients needs.
Most salespeople behave more like dolls than people – pull the string in the back and get the pitch! Too many salespeople begin every presentation with a soliloquy on the features, benefits and wonders of the offer without taking a breath and certainly without listening to the client’s needs. Instead of putting effort into your pitch, let the prospect write the pitch by telling you what they want and need. They may not have any pain or problems, perhaps they simply need inspiration but until you learn the current situation – shut up and listen!
2) Failure to deal effectively with objections.
Objections are part of every sale, however, objections are also an indication that the salesperson did not fully engage with the prospect and listen carefully. If real engagement exists then the sales process is something that takes place in tandem with the prospect. If objections are raised then we are jumping ahead of the prospect. There are great tools to deal with objections but the best strategy is not to have any objections because we have engagement with the prospect – shut up and listen!
3) Failure to ask for the business!
The majority of salespeople do not ask for the order in the majority of sales situations. The reason salespeople do not ask for the business is primarily because they are uncertain of the outcome and so don’t want to ask a question that may end the conversation. Selling is always about engagement and engagement is always about listening. If we are truly listening we understand what the prospect is thinking and we will know when they are ready to buy or whether they (or we) need more understanding. If you want to control the customer conversation and the sales process and you must actively listen and engage with the prospect – shut up and listen!
In fact the solution to most selling challenges is the same – shut up and listen!