There are plenty of ways to lose deals, many of which are within your control. The idea here is to shore up your weaknesses.
Weak Qualification: The real culprit may, in fact, be a lack of prospecting. Too few real opportunities can cause starvation, and everything looks like filet mignon to a starving person. When your qualification is weak, your results will follow suit. Don’t spend time with people who won’t benefit from buying whatever it is you sell.
Weak Approach: When you start with your company’s history, board of directors, products, and services, it is clear that you have little value to create yourself. This is the death knell for salespeople. Start from a strategic level of value, the reason your client should change.
Weak Orientation: Being self-oriented is a weak orientation. Being other-oriented is how you put points on the board. The more you are concerned about helping your client produce the results they need, the more you will produce the results you need. Focus on “other.”
Weak Discovery: When your discovery only elicits the presenting problem, it is weak. When discovery doesn’t take into account all of the necessary stakeholders whose insight you need, it is problematic. Here you lose to people with better chops who see the problem and solution more clearly. Improve your understanding of what needs to change and why, as well as the skill set to elicit these things.
Weak Chops: If you don’t have ideas, insights, and situational knowledge, you have weak chops. This means instead of occupying the role of peer and trusted counsel, you occupy some lesser role. Your personal and professional growth here is imperative.
Weak Control of the Process: One way you make selling more difficult is to not know what commitment your client needs to make next and how to gain that commitment. Skipping steps and letting the client skips steps in the sales conversation will cost you dearly. Learn to control the process.
Weak Language Choices: When asked about what made his company different, one salesperson I heard answered, “We’re just better than everyone.” Maybe it was true, but the language he chose did nothing to further his case. Work on your ability to master powerful communication.
Weak Command of Critical Conversations: A critical conversation, like justifying the delta between your price and your competitors, is crucial to success. When you can’t have the conversation around why your dream client should invest more, that weakness will cause you to lose to a lower-priced competitor.
If you have a weakness, do the work to improve until it no longer costs you deals. Spend the time to improve in all of the areas that make you professional salesperson and someone worth buying from.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen