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12 Reasons Why Salespeople Fail

Wayne Kehl | March 29, 2011

 By Jeff and Marc Slutsky

There are a dozen key reasons why salespeople fail, according to Sylvia Allen of Allen Consulting in Holmdel, NJ. She is the coauthor of "How to Be Successful at Sponsorship Sales." While her program is geared to people who sell sponsorships, we feel that she offers many suggestions that salespeople in foodservice and practically any area can get more results.

1. Not Making Enough Calls. You can't close people you don't call on. Remember, your competition is happy to make the extra effort.

2. Not Following Through With Promises Made. Prospects judge you by what you do, not by what you say. Be conservative with your promises and liberal with delivering on your promises.

3. Not Listening. Your understanding of your prospect's unique needs will not increase by talking. Listen twice as hard and talk half as much and you'll double your sales.

4. Not Starting Every Day With a Plan. Set goals for each day and each week. NASA did not land on the moon by accident. To coin a cliché, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

5. Not Describing Customer Benefits Clearly, Succinctly and Persuasively. Prospects are persuaded by "meaty" words, not "watery" sentences. Good presentations are short and the results of long preparation. A poor sales presentation is usually due to minimal time spent on preparation.

6. Not Asking For The Order Often Enough. Failing to ask for the order is the same as asking for failure. Few customers buy on the first closing attempt. Successful salespeople ask for the order several times on each call.

7. Negatively Prejudging the Prospect's Ability to Buy. If you imagine that your prospect won't buy, you're developing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ask questions and check the facts before even thinking of discounting the sale or offering additional concessions.

8. Not Dealing With Customer Objections Head On. When a prospect has an objection, welcome it as question that you're happy to answer. Objections are often buying signals in disguise.

9. Ignoring The Power of a Positive Attitude. When things don't go your way, change your attitude. A positive attitude will help you cope with failure, rejection and disappointment.

10. Not Changing and Growing. Welcome change as your friend. Granted, change and growth bring pain, but resisting change and growth lead to more failure and greater pain.

11. Lack Of Focus On Priorities. Salespeople with a clear focus on the most important and most urgent takes will always get better results and than salespeople who allow themselves to get side-tracked.

12. Failure to Work Harder and Smarter. Global competition will be won by people who are willing to work harder and smarter. Salespeople who quit early will be asked to leave sooner.

Action Plan:
1.       Print this article out and hang it above your desk.
2.       Review the dozen reasons why salespeople fail.
3.       Select one of the twelve points that you feel most applies to you.
4.       On a piece of paper, list three to five specific steps you can take to improve in that area.
5.       Focus for one week on improving that one point.
6.       Repeat the process for the next point that most applies to you.
7.       Continue this process until all 12 points have been addressed.
Jeff and Marc Slutsky are executives of Street Fighter Marketing, Inc., in Columbus, Ohio. They are speakers, trainers and authors of numerous books on sales and marketing including "Street Fighter Marketing," "How to Get Clients," and "From The Big Screen to the Real World."

This article is presented to you as a courtesy from Dynamic Leadership Inc.

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