Mistake #1: Arriving Late
Don’t be late, period. It looks unprofessional and sets a negative tone for the meeting. Allot extra time for traffic delays and finding a parking spot, and allow an additional twenty minutes to arrive early. If the location is new to you, navigate the route the day prior to your meeting. Being prompt will give you time to relax and prepare.
Mistake #2: Talking Too Much
Salespeople often talk too much about what they’re selling and deliver a rehearsed speech rather than having a mutual exchange with the person across the table. The key to building rapport with a client is conversation, and the secret to a great client conversation is questions. The quality of information the client tells you depends on the quality of questions you ask. Learn to listen and respond effectively.
Mistake #3: Being Forgettable
People rarely remember your exact words, and they will almost always forget your sales pitch. This is why it’s important to support your key points with vivid, relevant stories. Paint a picture in their minds by using humor, relatable characters and captivating dialogue. Tell stories of satisfied clients, and show how this prospect’s bottom line will improve with your product or service.
Mistake #4: Discounting The Relationship
While it’s always important to maintain a business relationship, it’s almost more important to know and consistently recognize the big occasions in your clients’ lives. If you know that a client is experiencing an important life change such as moving, having a baby or getting married, send them a gift or card. Additionally, uncover your clients’ interests and passions. By getting to know them personally, you can treat your clients to an activity they are passionate about, or even find a common interest. Building deeper, more personal relationships with your clients allows you to create and maintain longer lasting business relationships.
Mistake #5: Never Door Knocking
Sure, the primary role of a salesperson is calling on prospects, but you’re forgetting a crucial element if door knocking isn’t part of your strategy. For each meeting you attend, you should door knock at least two other offices in the building. Introduce yourself to the receptionist, explain in two or three minutes why you’re there, observe your surroundings and leave your card. A receptionist is often the gatekeeper to a prospective client, and if you can build rapport with him or her, you’re more likely to get a call from others in the organization.
Once you stop making the above mistakes, don’t forget the importance of a follow-up strategy. A well-written thank you note, and a perfectly timed follow-up call, can make or break you as a salesperson.