In some situations, being a rookie is a good thing. For instance, in pro sports, people expect a little inexperience from the rookie. You might get a pass for a mistake. Then again, you do still have to carry all the bags and pick up checks…
But in a sales situation, looking like “Junior Sales Executive” is going to hamper your success. A good salesperson is confident and inspires confidence from others. Would you feel confident with a bumbling salesperson who has more questions than answers? Someone who is trying to learn the ropes at the same time they’re selling you a product? I doubt it. And that’s why being a rookie in the sales environment is a recipe for disaster.
So even if you’re new to this, we’re going to help you fake it ‘til you make it. Here are the sales mistakes to avoid, so you won’t look like such a rookie:
Not understanding the product
Here’s an area where answers are easy for you to come by. You work with the products every day, so you’d better learn them inside and out. Perhaps an answer seems obvious to you as a mattress salesman, but Joe Smith on the street doesn’t know a thing about goose down. So make sure that you have all the answers. A knowledgeable salesman has the correct answer for everything. Maybe a customer won’t like a price – but after you explain the qualities of the product that justify the price (i.e. pillow top mattresses are so much softer), that could change their mind.
Taking “no” for an answer – the first time
There’s a point where being pushy is just rude instead of helpful; so don’t be pushy. But be persistent.
Salesmen have been portrayed in movies and TV shows for decades now, and most customers expect a little negotiation. So even if they say no, they might not be sold on their decision. They could be waiting for a better offer, or they might just be waffling – and a smart salesman knows that a waffling customer can still become a purchase.
So don’t let them get away after that first no. Pleasant persistence is a key to the sales business – even some of the rookies know that.
Failing to ask (lots) of questions
From a person who used to make a living asking questions: asking more questions is always a smart idea. In pretty much every situation. Because what’s the natural response to a question? An answer. So more questions = more answers.
But answering questions is even more imperative here, because you want lots of “answers” and information from your potential customers. Information gives you material to work with. Let’s start with a simple question: “Why do you want this product?” The answer to that question will give you a chance to shine. You can listen to the customer’s reasons and explain why your products are the perfect fit. Provide them with solutions!
But beyond the information gathered, asking questions makes the customer feel “listened to” and valued; and a customer who feels valued is more likely to sign on the dotted line.