Since mankind made its first tentative steps into a market based economy through the idea of bartering, sales have been the essential ingredient in any successful business. You can have the greatest product or service but if no one is buying it, you won’t be in business for very long.
For the past 25 years I have made selling my profession. It has been an immensely satisfying career and I am now focused on teaching other business people on how they too can succeed at selling.
It would seem pretty obvious to me that successful selling is the backbone of any business yet I never cease to be amazed at how difficult some businesses are to buy from. People want to part with some of my hard earned money, but some companies seemingly make it very hard for people to do so.
Here are some of the most common ways businesses are losing money through poor sales service:
Ignoring people who are ready to buy
There is one large department store I have occasion to visit many times a year but too often after selecting what I am going to buy there is no one around willing to run my credit card through their terminals. The best customer you have is one that is ready and willing to buy. How many sales would they lose with this kind of practice?
Over the years I secured many new clients who had taken their business away from others simply because they could not get their sales enquiries were being ignored. Why do businesses invest in advertising and marketing only to ignore a potential customer when they approach the business?
Being difficult to contact
Your website may be state of the art and dazzle with its graphics but make sure there is a phone number for people to use should they wish to contact you. Secondly if payments are made through your website ensure that it is simple and very user friendly. Make it easy for people to give you their money.
Not asking for the sale
One of the aspects of selling that is most stressful for people is closing the sale. “Closing the sale” is the final part of the sales equation. You have presented your product or service, addressed any customer concerns, now you it’s time to ask them to make a buying decision. “Closing the sale” is in its purest form is asking for a positive buying decision.
When you close the sale you are staring at two doors: the door of profit, or the door of rejection. To avoid having this conflict some people avoid closing the sale. Often the best way to close the sale is to simply ask people to buy. For example, “Thank you for your interest in my product or service, would you like to proceed?” That is a simplistic close and may need to be followed up with other closes that require more expertise but it is a great place to start.
Your marketing efforts will only amount to a limited profit if you cannot successfully make a sale. By making sure you are not disadvantaging yourself with poor sales manner and customer care, your bottom line is well placed to grow.
About the author:
Rick Mapperson is the Managing Director of Selling Success. Selling Success provides bespoke sales training and business trouble shooting designed to increase bottom line. Rick draws on his 20-year career as a business owner and one of Australia’s top salesman of financial products.