Losing a sale isn’t nearly as simple as one might think. If it was, everyone would be losing sales and I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. Here are the 10 most effective ways to ensure making no sales and a short career.
1. Don’t Prepare
Let’s face it, doing homework is hard. Besides, the more time you save not preparing the more time you’ll have to burn through valuable leads.
2. “Wing it”
Winging it, or as I like to call it, shooting from the lip, is easy to do when you are unprepared. A word of caution: If you are good at what you do, show any sense of urgency, curiosity or awareness you may end up with a sale anyway.
3. Don’t ask any questions
Asking questions is a sure fire way to start a conversation and dialog and we all know where that can lead. If you feel you have to ask a question or two, go with something like, “So, what keeps you up at night?”, or a ask them to tell you a little bit about their business. If you go with that one be sure to use tip number 4.
4. Don’t listen
Okay, so maybe you inadvertently asked a question or two or maybe the prospect just feels like sharing. Be sure not to listen. This is pretty easy for most people, but there is a small percentage of the population cursed with being a “Good Listener”. In the event you fall into the minuscule group—and you know who you are—try some of these proven methods: Think about what you want to say next, guess what they are going to say next or just day dream. If none of those work you can always interrupt them or talk while they are talking. Try and practice your “not listening skills” with your spouse. They’ll provide you real candid feedback!
5. Start selling early and often
Tell them everything—everything about your company, everything about your product or service. Don’t leave anything out. Be sure to let them know how great it is do to business with you! Something like “The great thing about [insert company name here] is…” or “the beauty of doing business with me is…”
6. Be sure to sound like everyone else
If you don’t sound like all of your competitors you run the risk of differentiating yourself from them. That’s bad news and might lead to a sale. A great way to sound like the competition is to respond with, “We can do that too!” anytime your prospect tells you what they get now. It is okay, however, to bash the competition.
7. Lead with price
In fact, start there. You could say something like, “I’ll get you the best deal” or “lowest price” or “Don’t worry about cost we’ll get it to where it needs to be”. Another great way is ask “Where do I need to be?”
8. Only deal with non-decision makers
Decision makers have little time and high expectations. Non-decision makers on the other hand are usually willing to take your meetings and return phone calls and emails. I can only assume this because they aren’t burdened with any real authority to make anything happen.
9. Close hard
So you made it this far without actually selling anything and you’re probably thinking, “Geez, if I go for the close they might buy something”. Ask anyway. Up to this point you’ve given the prospect no real reason to say yes. Just in case, try going with, “What is it going to take to get you to sign today?”
10. Don’t follow up
Follow up is a killer. There are some options: Do nothing, avoid setting any clear expectations on anybody’s part about what the next steps are, or only follow up with non-decision makers (you remember them from number 8 right?). Your best bet though, is to do absolutely nothing.
So there you go. I can promise you, based on 15 years of working with sellers (and more than a little personal experience), these are the best ways to ensure “No Sale”.