Today we discuss the second obstacle in our countdown of the top obstacles to sales success:
“Not Being Prepared”
It’s very important that you prepare before making the sales contact. I know that there are times when selling opportunities present themselves serendipitously, but most of the time you will have an opportunity to prepare for the contact. Don’t overlook this important part of the sales process.
Do Your Homework
For me, preparation involves going to the prospect’s website, blog, or social media sites before the contact. There, I want to learn everything I can about the company and the individual that I will be meeting with. Prospects are typically very impressed if they see that you have done your homework. They feel valued and respected.
If you can find specific ways that your product or service can benefit them, these can serve as talking points during your sales presentation. You can also craft good questions to ask based on their industry, business, or services they offer. You can also build rapport at the beginning of your sales appointment very quickly if you have some positive things to say about their specific company. Prospects will be impressed that you actually took the time to learn about their business and craft a unique solution for them.
Prepare Your Mind
I also want to prepare my attitude. I want to go in with the right mindset, which is to be customer-centered and customer-focused. I want to be optimistic and to visualize this prospect as my customer. I want to anticipate as much as possible what will happen in this conversation. However, I always want to remain flexible and open to the unexpected.
It is very important to be prepared. I encourage you to develop a system for personal preparation and to use that system every time you make a contact. If you go into your sales meeting with the right information and the right mindset, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition. Take some time to develop a short checklist of things you can do to prepare for your sales meetings.
Now, to review the obstacles that we’ve covered so far:
- Obstacle #7 was “Failing to Continuously Improve.” We learned that successful sales professionals are always learning and improving their skills and their mindset. We also discussed that learning and improving both require attention and intentional development.
- Obstacle #6 was “Inability to Close the Sale.” We discussed the importance of a good selling conversation, which takes into account your buyers’ emotions and buying signals and your closing question.
- Obstacle #5 was “Not Keeping Your Promises.” We learned that your clients’ perception of your reliability affects your ability to make sales.
- Obstacle #4 was “Failure to Listen During the Selling Conversation.” We learned that one of your most important tools is quality questions. When you ask quality questions then listen and observe to your prospects’ response, you have an edge in sales.
- Obstacle #3 was “Focusing on Yourself Rather Than Your Prospective Customer.” We talked about setting aside our own fears, discomforts, or motives to focus solely on understanding the needs of a prospect before and during a selling conversation.
Read on to our next post to continue with our countdown!