Three Ways to Turn Off Prospects and Lose the Sale

Today, I am sharing something that should be a no-brainer for all sales people. Yet, I see and hear the opposite behavior more than I should if the objective is to win an account in your business to business selling activities.

Unfortunately, a number of sales people get angry when they lose an account they have been working on and usually they expected to win the account. Thus, when surprised the emotional impact is to reactive rather than think about the consequences of spontaneous combustion!

Tip for the DayReaction is usually negative. Response stays positive due to the role of thought before action.

There are three things you need to think about before responding and focus upon remaining positive. These three areas are as follows…

Three Ways to Lose the Sale

  1. Trashing a Product as a Benchmark – This one has caused a large number of customers to find a competitor they did not know existed. When you compare your product or serrvice to the industry leader by name, you are selling the competitors product rather than your own. Numerous times I have observed sales people trash the industry leader BY NAME, thus giving the name of a potential competitor the prospect may not have known about. How to I know this? Mainly because I got phone calls from people wanting to buy a product we offered – when I asked how they heard about us – “A competitor kept comparing their product to your product during their presentation, so I researched your product and liked it better than the competitor.” While I felt sorry for the competitor sales person – they were the ones who shot themselves in the foot, they did not need any help from me.
  2. Telling a Customer What a Poor Decision They Made – Here is an example of arrogance run a muck! Criticizing a customer or prospect decision is not a method used to influence people for future decisions. The truth of the matter is you will lose some accounts to the competition for various reasons. It is far more helpful to learn the reasoning for the decision and learn for your future performance. Also, by leaving on good terms you can extend an olive branch to show you are willing to help them in the future if things do not work out the way they anticipated. This action prepares you for the future and positions you as a confident professional.
  3. Bad mouthing Competition – This is a major mistake since it reflects upon the entire industry when a sales person bad mouths all their competitors. This raises a red flag in the mind of the customer or prospect that it is possible for all the companies selling this product or service in their industry are shady and poor examples of quality partners. Guilt by association rules in this case. So the rule is always talk positive about your industry and the competition. It is okay – and expected – that you will point out your unique advantages of your products and services for positioning within your industry. And, if you have done both your homework and your questioning process correctly, you will know in advance what your customer views as important in order to gain the advance in the sales process.

Remember it is very important to remain positive thorough your selling process and career. Positive people are the long term winners in every industry and company. The losers are the whiners and complainers. Customers – who are first people – want to be around positive people who take pride in their company, product, industry and most importantly – themselves.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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