Sales Management

Are You Kidding Yourself When it Comes to Sales?

After working with thousands of sales people in the last decade, I have noticed that many of them kid themselves about various things that affect their sales efforts and results. They fall prey to certain myths and they constantly reinforce misguided beliefs.

Here are a few examples of what they say…

“I could reach my quota if my company lowered their prices.”

I will never dispute that price is a factor in every sale; however, it is seldom the primary reason people make a final buying decision unless of course, we fail to clearly articulate the value of our product or service.

Admittedly, there are exceptions to this rule; the main one being the fact that some companies strictly seek out the lowest price because of their business model (think Walmart). However, these situations are seldom the majority.

Here are the realities of dropping or lowering your price.

  • Profit margin is as important as selling price.
  • Reducing your price by 10 percent means you need to increase your sales consider in order to achieve the same profit.
  • If you play the price game, your business model must support it.

“This sale is in the bag.”

It’s easy to think that when someone says, “This looks great, let me get back to you in a couple of days” that they are seriously interested in your product or service. I have heard prospects say, “This is great, what do we do next?” only to balk at making a final decision.

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No deal is guaranteed until the other person signs the agreement, gives you confirmation, or places the order.

Don’t count your commission until the deal is signed, sealed and delivered, regardless of what your prospect says.

“The competition is always cheaper.”

I will admit that some competitors will consistently beat you on price; however, the reality is that most companies are competitively priced. It’s a rare situation when a competitor will out-price you on everything you sell unless the products are different.

When was the last time you or your colleagues did a competitive analysis?

When I worked in the consumer electronics industry, we encouraged our sales team to visit their local competitors to see exactly what products they were selling and at what price point. The sales people who followed through on this, quickly realized—contrary to popular belief—that their prices were comparable to most of their competitors.

This insight helped them resist price pressure from customers, increased their sales, and most important, improve their margins.

“No one is buying.”

People are always buying! Regardless of the economy, people still make buying decisions. They still make purchases because companies still need products and services.

I recall speaking to an automobile sales person at the height of the recession. Although many of his counterparts and colleagues complained about declining sales, David continued to surpass his sales targets and goals.

Stop wasting time thinking about the people who aren’t buying and find the people and companies who are buying!

“My sales pitch works so I don’t need to change it.”

Having a well-developed sales pitch (I REALLY dislike that word) can be useful. And I agree that a good sales presentation can move the sales process forward.

However, no sales pitch should ever be cast in stone. Every prospect has a different situation and although your standard sales presentation may cover the key issues, you can achieve much better results by adapting and tailoring each sales pitch to every prospect or customer.

As painful and difficult as it can be, you are better off telling yourself the truth instead of kidding yourself (and perhaps your boss, too!).

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