Customer Service

Your Sales Training Must Address These Mistakes

By Maura Schreier-Fleming

Proper training is the best way to help your sales team be successful, and a well-trained representative can avoid making common mistakes. Sales consultant Maura Schreier-Fleming outlines a few of these mistakes and how to avoid them.

When employers are training their sales staff and communicating the “do’s” or best practices for success, they should also be sure to pass along the “don’ts”—the types of behavior that less successful salespeople engage in, and why they are less successful. Here are several mistakes that can be addressed in sales training.

1. Less Successful Sales People Hear, but Don’t Listen

Listening is more than hearing words. Poor salespeople miss buying signals, lack of interest, and other cues that would help them sell. Good salespeople learn how to be effective listeners so they adapt to their prospects during the sales call. They make certain they truly understand what their prospects mean and not simply what they say.

2. They Don’t Ask the Right Questions

Poor salespeople ask the wrong questions. What are they? The ones they could learn the answers to before the sales call and not waste their customers’ time. Anything you could learn about your customer before the sales call is a question you should not ask.

What are the right questions? They’re the ones that uncover the reasons why a customer needs to buy a product or service to solve a problem, need, or want. The answers highlight the cost to the customer if he doesn’t act and buy. These are the questions that get sales. Good salespeople know to ask them.

3. They Treat Selling as a Feel-Good Operation

Good salespeople know how well they’re doing. They measure their sales process and know which areas to improve. Less successful salespeople rate their sales call by how they felt during the sales call.

That’s no way to run a business. Measurement is the only way to run a business. That’s the only way to improve. Selling is a business.

4. They Think They Have to Do All the Work Themselves

I often say that I create lazy salespeople. You may think that is what you want to be. It’s not what you think. By “lazy” I mean that these salespeople get the most by doing the least. They think strategically and leverage their time and resources.

Your existing customers are one of your resources. They know you and presumably like you enough to continue to buy from you. Customers will recommend you when you’re doing a good job but only if you ask. Your job is to ask and get referrals.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Schreier-Fleming addresses three more common sales mistakes that should can be prevented with proper training.