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Five Guaranteed Ways to Lose Customers
Mar 29, 13 | 12:07 am

By Alan Davidson
Sales is the business of building relationships, building trust, and creating rapport. Unfortunately, many sales people are unwittingly doing the exact opposite.
Nothing puts off a client faster than a poorly handled sales call. Are you or your sales team doing some of these things that clients hate most? Based on my years advising large and small companies alike on how to improve their telemarketing lead generation and closing sales, I know that there are pitfalls most companies unwittingly drop into at some point. Here are common mistakes salespeople make and how to avoid them.
1. Employing overly aggressive sales tactics. It's true that every salesperson has an eagerness to close the deal. But your clients should never feel as if they are being pushed into a decision. If you try to close too soon by asking about budget prematurely or failing to listen to your customer's concerns, you will certainly alienate that client and undermine your long-term relationship.
2. Refusing to take "no" for an answer. Customers don't like to be bothered, and they hate feeling like they're talking to a brick wall. Even if a customer says "no," there may still be ways to use the call to get some valuable business intelligence and lay the groundwork for a possible future conversation. "Not interested" doesn't have to go on forever. But before you decide to move on, listen to the customer and find ways to dig deeper into their challenges. Otherwise, you're going to keep hearing "no" every time you call.
3. Being ill-prepared for a call. Potential customers hate it when they get calls from salespeople who are "just checking in," or cold calls from people who have obviously not done their homework. How would you like trying to decipher a voicemail or e-mail from someone who doesn't accurately frame the context of the outreach?
Make sure your sales team takes some time before each call to research the people they are calling, as well as the companies, industries and competing products or vendors. This may sound obvious, but I can't stress it enough. Create a rough outline of the conversation that you want to have with each prospect. It does not have to be a formal script, but you should have a general idea of what you want to say. Be prepared to adapt along the way based on the customer's responses. Don't be afraid to rehearse and do role play with your team so you can all work out the kinks together.
4. Taking too long to respond. When you find a customer who is interested in hearing more, it's imperative to respond as quickly as possible. If you have qualified sales leads that are ready to tell you more about their challenges, they should be treated as the top priority.
5. Focusing on the sale, not the customer. Customers hate to be treated like a number for a sales quota. Every time you pick up the phone you need a specific reason why the call is important-from the customer's point of view. Sales people need to be focused on the best interest of customers at all times and demonstrate that they are genuinely concerned and interested in helping the customer's business, not just making their numbers.
Source: OPENForum
About the author
OPEN Cardmember Al Davidson is the founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, helping to deliver telemarketing lead generation services for global clients ranging from local small businesses to the Fortune 100. The company's sales agents have generated over 7 million new sales leads, and created millions of dollars in new revenue for clients.