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"How overselling can kill your sales" by Maura Schreier-Fleming


What you do to make your selling thrive is a lot like growing plants. Most die from over watering, not under watering. Figure out if you are overselling, and adjust your technique with these tips.

Selling takes time

I’m all for having a positive attitude. It’s beyond having a positive attitude to expect a complex sale to close on every first sales call. Yet, you don’t want to drag out your sales process needlessly. How long do you think your sales process should take? You need to be patient and not push too hard too early in the sale.

Complex sales are like dating. After all, what would a woman think of a date who asked her to marry him on the first date? Probably not much. Do you think the woman would say yes? Probably not. You would wonder about her if she did. In sales, if they buy immediately they probably have credit problems.

Chunk it down as you design your sales process

Determine how long it should take you to sell now that you know your sale will take time. How much time do you need to establish credibility? What needs to happen so a customer can make a buying decision? How long would it take? Let’s say your sales process takes three sales calls to build rapport, your credibility and customer comfort while understanding your product. Create objectives for each sales call.

The first sales call objective could be to get the second meeting. At the first sales call, you don’t have an expectation of closing the deal. At the meeting you would ask a few specific questions to learn specific information. You ask about your customer’s concerns.

At the first meeting, you learn whether there is any customer interest and you clearly know if you can move forward in the process. Before you leave, you can say, “It sounds like we have a reason to move forward. I suggest we set up the next meeting where I can go into more detail. What do you have available in the next few weeks?”

Slower is better

By breaking down your process into more manageable chunks you avoid customer overload. You also give your customer information about how you work. After the first sales call you can send some additional relevant information. You might see an article that specifically relates to what your customer said.

When you send it to your customer you demonstrate that you are a good listener. You’ve increased your persuasive ability since good listeners are liked and people are more persuasive when they’re liked.

At the second meeting, you can bring in a technical expert to discuss and answer any specific questions. Your third meeting can be when you sign the contract. Start slower with your prospects if you find that you’re driving business away. Just like plants suffer from too much water, your prospects don’t need all that pushing either. Stop killing your deals. READ ARTICLE