07 Dec The main reason you may be losing out on business (clue: your salespeople)
If you find that your sales numbers are dropping and while your salespeople are sending out proposals left, right, and centre, they are simply not being taken up, you need to look internally.
Your product or service is great! You know it is. Your existing customers rave about it and refer you often. The price point is good, too, and you know that you are offering a competitive solution. What could be the problem?
However, since you’ve taken yourself out of the sales process, which is quite normal when your business starts to grow, you find that the numbers are just not the same.
Even though you may have put very clear processes in place which take your salespeople from research and resourcing to contact to selling, their proposals are being turned down.
It’s time to focus on the Sales People
If it’s clear that the problem lies in closing sales, you need first to ensure your salespeople understand how to close.
What is closing?
In principle and theory, it’s about:
- Being prepared
- Giving the pitch
- Answer and solve objections
- Ask for the sale
Simple, really? But, out there in the real world, it can be quite tough.
Research shows that over 80% of people will say no to a salesperson 4 times before saying yes. So, given that piece of information, it appears that persistence should form part of the process.
There are, of course, various closing techniques, but this is not about that. Let’s take a step back and assess your salespeople closely.
What are your salespeople made up of?
A typical salesperson has a few traits that make up their whole. Sure, not all salespeople are the same, but they definitely need to have a set of skills to see them through the sales process smoothly.
- Empathy – essential for the salesperson to see the customer’s side;
- Confidence – closely linked to cockiness, but there is a fine line between having confidence and arrogance – know the difference when you recruit;
- Competitiveness – vital for them to push through those nos’;
- Resilience – hand in hand with competitiveness;
- Social – they need to be able to connect and communicate well with others;
- Passion – and belief in what they are selling.
If you feel that any one of them may not fit the bill, you need to analyse their sales records and then chat to them. It may be they are not in a good place, and their normally active sales skills are simply on freeze-mode. They may need a pep talk. They may need a little hand-holding. Take time to find out what the problem is. If, after assessment, you find that the salesperson certainly should not be in sales, then you may need to find another seat for them.
So, essentially, your salespeople are an integral part of your sales process – that much is obvious. But, instead of re-teaching them sales closing techniques, get closer to them. You chose them for a reason when you recruited them, but circumstance and life can alter a sales person’s performance.
Closing line? Dig deeper. Get close to your salespeople. Understand them better. This may help the closing of proposals.
If you are struggling with the recruitment process, please reach out and chat with me.
Anthony Kettle is the co-owner of West Coast Personnel, a successful recruitment agency that has been around for going on 21 years in the Table View, Western Cape area. Anthony specialises predominantly in the engineering and manufacturing space; however, he has a wealth of knowledge to impart all aspects of recruitment. He has recently published his books, The Job Seeker’s Handbook and The Recruiter’s Handbook, available on Amazon as eBooks.