When it comes to sales, tactics are plentiful and it’s easy to follow someone else’s suggestions on tactics. This approach works and it is especially effective for fundamental sales tactics, but it can also fall apart when it comes to your individual style.
Lets reflect on you for a moment on your weakness and how you might turn it into a strength.
Here are 5 rather common weaknesses.
You are intimidating.
Wearing a suit and tie and other high status clothes will make this even more intense. Consider changing your look. Also, consider turning your intimidating ways into a style of leadership and ownership. Commit to be a part of the process, not just driving the sale.
You are a rookie.
Consider how you dress to reduce basic misconceptions and judgements on your professionalism. Use your rookie card as a plus by saying you have an open mind, will work with them to learn more about them so you can properly serve them. Show that you are an ally not a know-it-all and that you can offer fresh eyes and critical thinking to the mix.
You are a know-it-all.
Focus on letting the client talk. Don’t interrupt them (even though you think you already know what they are going to say). Let them explain, encourage them to share and internally you can nod because you already know it, but don’t devalue the customers experience and act like you already have all the answers even if you do. Use stories of past client work (putting names and faces to your experience) and show the customer how “they” (your other customers) were successful with X, Y, Z things (instead of how “you” were successful). Once you’ve done this, offer that your past experience with clients who have had success allows you to better inform your new customers on best practices, best product selection, best application etc.
You are not friendly.
The truth is….. Business owners and decision makers don’t want friends, they want results and problems to go away. It may help if you are friendly and enjoyable, but it doesn’t replace your value to bring results and make problems go away. The more ‘unfriendly’ you are, the more you should ask questions and listen rather than talk. This positions you as a guide and someone who will ask the right questions and not make things about you. Show active problem solving, not rapport building. Show appreciation of the customers time, it IS about business after all, and don’t burden them with chit-chat. Lastly, appear as inviting as possible, smile a bit more than normal (for you), try not to fold your arms or scowl and consider bringing something that shows appreciation (cookies, a book, etc) even though you may not seem to appreciate it.
You are a liar.
Whoa, buddy… If you want a career in sales, curb that trait immediately. Integrity is a must and it’s fundamental to your success in work and in life. Stop the lies and your sales will improve, your customer relationships will improve, and your life will improve. No tricks here, you must self-edit and apply honesty to your actions.
What are some of the other areas of weakness? How would you suggest turning them around?
(Image by Tim Parkinson)
About Justin McCullough
Justin McCullough is mentor, marketer and leader with more than 10 years of selling experience from startups to large corporations. Justin’s experience ranges from advertising agencies to newspapers and web development firms to book publishers. You can find out more about Justin at www.justinmccullough.com or www.leader4hire.net .