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7 bad sales habits you need to drop

Do you feel like you’re working as hard as you possibly can to make more sales but somehow you never seem to “close" enough? Maybe you have developed a few bad habits that you might not even be aware of.

Here are seven bad sales habits that you should drop now:

1. Guessing at what you think the customer wants.

Closely following this would be assuming you know what they want based on stereotype or partial information. This is the single biggest mistake salespeople make that drives most consumers crazy. No one wants to listen to a salesperson talk about something they think you need. If you do this, even once in a while, drop it. Ask what they are trying to accomplish. Ask what has changed that makes the old vehicle no longer suitable. Get full information; understand what the client is doing, and why they are talking to you in the first place. Then, and only then, do you have permission to start talking product. 

2. Assuming that price is the only thing that matters.

Is price important? You bet. Is it the only information people use to make a buying decision? Rarely. Price becomes the focal point when salespeople allow it to become the focal point. Overly emphasizing price reduces the likelihood people will buy from you because rarely are you going to be the cheapest. If you doubt this answer this question: as a percentage, how many people that did business with your company in the past 6 months got the very best price going in the market on that day? Most people admit that percentage is low … sometimes as low as 10%! What that means is 90% could have got a better deal elsewhere but chose you regardless of that fact. They saw value in something more than the price. When you allow the focus to be too much on price you don’t put enough emphasis on the other buying decisions. You and your company add value!

3. Spending too much time developing rapport.

Let’s face it, we buy from people we like and trust. Rapport is important, but people are busy. They have other things to do other than speaking with you. Be friendly; establish some rapport through small talk and getting to know them, but trying to “nice" them into a sale is lame. Along with rapport you need a strategy on how to lead them through the buying process. Selling by simply being nice and answering their questions is only effective for the natural buyer - the person who knows exactly what they want. The folks that are on the fence about whether to buy or not need more than just nice.

4. Not following up.

One thing that turns people off about salespeople is when they arrogantly assume you are going to buy from them. That attitude however goes both ways. Don’t assume you know they will not buy - it’s just as arrogant. Too many salespeople give up when somebody doesn’t buy right away. Don’t be that person. Your follow-up call is an expression of interest. You’re letting them know that you really felt what you had to offer was a fit for them and if they agreed to the follow-up call (which you should’ve set up in advance) why would they not want to hear from you? The call could be the differentiator in them choosing who to buy from. 

5. Not having a plan for how to respond to routine objections.  

Some objections are real and some are merely procrastination in action. While you never want to try to force someone to buy that isn’t  ready you should have a intelligent response prepared for some of the more routine objections you get. Focus on trying to understand why they are objecting as opposed to just winning the deal. Many times, during the process of understanding where the client is at you will be able to uncover the real objection which may be something you can do something about.

6. Not having a plan for how to prevent routine stalls or objections.

Hearing an objection over and over again that you are unprepared to respond to is a bad habit. Not having a plan in place to prevent that objection from occurring in the first place is inconceivable. It’s not that you can eliminate all objections from happening but with proper strategy you can reduce the likelihood that a client will object in the first place.

7. Talking industry speak.

If you gave the average consumer a written test on the specific definitions of many of the car jargon terms that are bandied about most would fail. That doesn’t make them stupid, it just means they are not necessarily experts in what  you are an expert in. Unless you know someone is very well-versed in your jargon, don’t use it. Last time I checked confusing people isn’t a good way to get them to buy from you. Don’t be condescending of course, but explain it to them in a very simple, matter-of-fact way that you are certain they will understand. That will increase the likelihood they will hear the benefit to them in buying and make it easier for them to make a decision. If they don't understand a feature and what it does for them, they won't value it.

Habits are things that develop over time.  Unwinding bad sales habits doesn't happen over night. Identify the ones you have and make a commitment to get better at them within a set amount of time.