How to Avoid the Pain of Losing the Sale

| August 10, 2012

The business of selling can be an exhilarating one. There is the thrill of the chase, the newness and spontaneity of each encounter, the complex quest to understand how your customer thinks, the preparation, strategizing, courting, all leading to the absolute triumph of closing. It takes guts to engage in the business of selling. It involves blood, sweat, tears and total commitment. To the hopelessly passionate out there worthy enough to be called salespeople – I salute you.

The fact of the matter though, is that selling does not always result in a happy ending. As a salesperson, sometimes it’s possible to put in every ounce of effort to the nth degree, only to find yourself on a sinking ship, lost at sea, alone, just wondering where it all went wrong. Because in an imperfect world, filled with trials and tribulations, there is always that slight chance that that sale was just not meant to be.

There are things, however, that you can do to avoid these heartbreaking pitfalls. First off, the simplest and most fundamental question you can ask yourself when approaching a customer is – are you prepared? Selling is a two-way street, a firm give and take where selfishness is rarely rewarded. In order for your customer to ultimately understand and accept your offer, it is absolutely required that you understand them first. Do your research by asking questions. Your customer needs to know that you are listening, that you genuinely have her or his best interests at heart and that you care. They can smell underhandedness from a mile away and in today’s competitive market they will drop you in a New York minute at the first whiff of insincerity.

Secondly, to most adequately service your customer needs, you need to know you’re product. You have to believe in your product and ultimately love your product. That may sound cheesy, but nothing communicates more tangibly than enthusiasm fueled by confidence. Understanding your product down to the minute detail will breed confidence and allow you to make the right impression every time. Your product needs to compliment your customer in ways that outshine the competition indefinitely. Which is why, thirdly, you need to know your competition.

Are there other salesmen or women vying for your customer’s attention? Do their products have more to offer? No product is perfect and there very well may be features your product just can’t compete with, but by knowing what’s out there and having a firm grasp on what you are offering in relation to your competition, you will find yourself in a much stronger position to effectively counter objections and close that deal.

Selling is not easy. It takes careful planning and hard work. It involves dedication, consistency and open lines of communication. It takes a willingness to throw yourself out there while tossing all fears of rejection straight out the window. By putting in the effort and playing smart you will likely find yourself in sales bliss, closing deals like there is no tomorrow.

That being said, lost sales are unavoidable. There will be times where, for reasons completely out of your control, things just go wrong. And the fact of the matter is, if you were seriously invested or committed to that sales process or that customer, sometimes losing that sale just plain hurts. It may scar, it may wound and it may even leave a mark. But you have to remember that you are a professional and that your business is selling. So if and when the inevitable strikes and you lose that sale, remember who you are, dust yourself off and get yourself right back in the saddle again.

Author/Presenter: K. Cameron Lau

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Category: News, Video