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Marketing / Sales strategies

Five ways to screw up your sales pitch

Just as there are many qualities that make a salesperson great and a proposition absolutely irresistible, there are also sure-fire ways to mess up a sales pitch. Here are some key mistakes to avoid when selling.

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Over the years as a business owner I have pitched our products to clients and have experimented with all sorts of strategies and approaches. Some work amazingly well, while others are best left unmentioned. I’m also on the receiving end of sales calls, ranging from search engine optimisation (SEO) to mobile phone deals. I have noticed some simple mistakes that people make when selling, which – if avoided – could make their sales pitch a whole lot more successful.

1. Thinking your product will sell itself

When it comes to sales, it’s often more important to have a strong sales pitch than a strong product. Make the assumption that the product will sell itself and you lower your chances of a conversion dramatically. You need to consistently re-enforce the message about the benefits of your product or service, no matter what you are selling. Your customer will never fully appreciate the benefits of your product if you don’t tell them what they are. It’s as simple as that.

2. Not knowing when to stop your sales pitch

People new to sales tend to be a bit nervous and will often compensate by talking and selling a little too excessively. On the flipside, over-confident sales veterans can also make this mistake. If you find you’re repeating yourself, or if the body language of your customer becomes disinterested, then it’s time to stop and listen. Listening to your customer’s feedback is important as it allows you to address their concerns. Ignore their concerns and you can be sure they will ignore your product or service.

"Your customer will never fully appreciate the benefits of your product if you don’t tell them what they are. It’s as simple as that."

Want more articles like this? Check out the sales strategies section.

3. Thinking you are smarter than the customer

How to eliminate any chance of selling within a few seconds? Simply act or sound condescending. Never talk in a way that implies you are smarter than your customer under any circumstance.

4. Not keeping in contact before, during and after the sales process

Customers want to feel special at all times, which you can do by keeping in touch with them at all stages of the sales process. Show you care, ask them how they’re doing and listen to their opinions, good or bad. Don’t be overly pushy in getting your message across. It’s about them, not you. Continue this even after the sale has been made.

5. Not preparing for your sales pitch

It goes without saying that you must know everything about your product, but you need to know about your client, too. Research your customer and try to identify any perceived issues in their life that your product addresses. You also need to know about your competitors’ products, so you can articulate the differences to customers. Prepare well and you’ll have no trouble talking about the benefits of your product and addressing your customers’ concerns.

Avoid these five common mistakes and you’ll be in a better position to close your next sale.

What sales mistakes do you notice people make, or what mistakes have you made yourself?

Charles Liu

is the owner of Cubic Promote, an award winning promotional product agency. Charles likes all things creative and relishes in marketing projects, big and small; but most of all he loves happy customers.

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