By Kirk Armstrong
Kirk Armstrong of Weinberg & Associates is one of the preeminent sales development professionals in the country. During a discussion this at the Snow & Ice Symposium, Armstrong spoke about some common sales miscues that can derail a company’s success, including:
1. No system. Without a sales system, there is a good chance you won’t stay in control of the sales process.
2. No differentiation. “We provide the best snow and ice management” isn’t a differentiator. Really look at your company and find what it is that truly sets your company apart. Because if you don’t, and the customer views you as the same, it’s going to come down to price.
3. Wasting time. Too often sales professionals set appointments that go nowhere because they target the wrong prospects or continue to chase prospects who will never sign on the dotted line. Those appointments will be much more productive if you are able to qualify or disqualify a prospect. If the company is a good prospect, continue the relationship. If it's not, move on and stop wasting your time—and theirs.
4. Tipping your hand. Do you educate people so they can use you and then buy from someone else? Ask every day am I selling or telling? If all you’re doing is telling, you allow the client to tap into your intellectual data (essentially providing free consultations) without making a connection that could help set you apart.
5. You talk too much. A sales person should only talk during 20% of the call. If you’re talking, you’re telling. You need to listen, discover the customer’s needs and what’s important to him. What you might think is important may not be to the client. You won’t find out what is important without asking the right questions and listening to the responses.