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These small mistakes add up to losing big deals

Continuing with the theme of mistakes, which I discussed last week, today I want to address the three mistakes sales reps make in their process.

Sure, there’s many more mistakes sales reps make, and there are bigger ones. But these are the ones I see most commonly, and they are small but add up to big problems. Make these mistakes consistently and you’re going to lose deals.

They fail to ask this question

When you sit down with a prospect, you already have the most valuable thing they can offer– their time. Since you’ve been given the privilege of getting their time, you need to use it wisely.

To use the time best, you need to know what the prospect wants to get out of this meeting. So ask this question every single time: what do you want to accomplish in this meeting?

You’ll be at an advantage from the start when you ask this question. When they tell you what they want to get out of the meeting, you’ll learn so much about what the prospect needs. It allows your prospect to tell you everything they want, and it allows you to direct your presentation to meet their expectations.

They don’t set an agenda up front

When your prospect tells you what they hope to get out of your meeting, you need to then set the agenda for the rest of the meeting. It might sound like this:

“Thank you for meeting with me today.  Here’s what we’re going to do in this meeting. I’m going to ask you some questions to learn more about your business and your needs. Then, I’m going to lay out some solutions to help solve identified  problems. At the end, I’m going to ask you to do business with me.”

When you lay out that agenda in the beginning, you let them know what to expect and that you’re here to do business. It takes away the confusion and brings clarity to the purpose of the meeting.

They call it a “presentation”

This might seem like I’m nitpicking, but I think this matters. I hear sales reps call their appointments “presentations” all the time. When you tell the person you’re going to be doing a “presentation,” it sets a particular boring– and negative– tone.

In a presentation, there is one person talking at other people. No one likes presentations either. You don’t want your time with this prospect to feel a presentation. You want it to be an appointment where two people are discussing something of value.

If you find yourself making these mistakes often or making others you can’t fix, reach out to me so I can help.

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