This blog is positioned as a follow up to my earlier blog on the top 10 reasons why sales reps fail…It is for you to comment if this apt as a logical next document on the same theme- reasons for failures in sales reps.
Sales mistakes may be inevitable but they’re not unavoidable. (I too can cite innumerable examples where I failed BUT disciplined myself to etch that memory , permanently in my system, to ensure that I NEVER EVER REPEATED THAT MISTAKE)
To eliminate them, and sell at the highest level possible, you must:
- Identify the mistakes you’re making.
- Understand why you’re making them.
- Visualize the consequence of repeating them.
- Know how to avoid them in the future.
Mistake #10: Neglecting to develop sales skills.
Mistake #9: Forgetting to prime your pipeline.
Mistake #8: Failing to qualify prospects.
Mistake #7: Delaying follow-up on prospects.
Mistake #6: Proposing a generic solution.
Mistake #5: Trying to negotiate too soon.
Mistake #4: Delaying too long to close the deal.
Mistake #3: Continuing to sell after closing.
Mistake #2: Forgetting the post-sale follow-up.
Mistake #1: Failing to build long-term relationships.
Folks these are self explanatory…your comments are very welcome, and If you have additional inputs , please by all means write back.
I did write on the subject of negotiation by mentioning 9 rules that may be helpful to executives while negotiating complex deals…and I know for a fact that since the financial debacle of 2008, the deals have only gotten complex !!!
Here is the link to my earlier post of the subject for your reference 9 Rules for Negotiating a Complex Deal
After giving this subject much thought, I decided to share these 5 skills that I personally believe have been crucial to my successes while negotiating with my suppliers, while negotiating with my sales teams, my logistics team, my production staff, my contract labor AND my clients and trade channel partners!!
So here goes….
- Completely and honestly assess your relative position. Information is everything, and so is making sure you’ve got a completely honest and straightforward assessment of your position and your opponent’s, going in. In my view it takes guts to look your self objectively in the mirror and say to yourself that given the information that you have you may have to decide a strategy- which may often mean, retraction, or simply “holding your ground”.
- Study precedent, inside and out. Precedent means terms you and your opponent have agreed to in prior negotiations with other companies. It doesn’t matter if the terms were confidential; assume everybody knows everything. There’s virtually no defense against precedent in a negotiation. But remember, it works both ways.
- Plan for all contingencies, up front. Go in with a solid plan: Good cop, bad cop; worst case scenario; bottom line terms; under what circumstances do you walk out; which terms are negotiable and to what extent; when to hold back and when to offer a negotiating chit; the extent of your authority, etc. Anticipate all the same things from your opponent’s side.This definitely requires a 360 degree view and assessment of the negotiation process. Introspect, think , strategise and then act logically, without getting emotionally involved in the process.
- Never negotiate with yourself. Under no circumstances should you offer revised terms until your opponent has countered. Make sure they’ve responded fully on every term before you counter. Of course, feel free to try to use this in reverse, but most are savvy to it and it may hurt your credibility.
- Always seek to raise your opponent’s risk. This is especially critical in prolonged negotiations with ongoing litigation. Your actions, both at the negotiating table and in the court room, must always be designed to raise your opponent’s risk. Also, your opponent must believe you’re willing and able to go the distance. That means a big war chest and minimal exploitable vulnerability.
Your inputs and ideas are welcome….