Your product or service has received wonderful reviews.  Your marketing people have gotten you in front of prospects.  But, you’re not closing those sales.  Image Marketing Consultants identifies what tends to go wrong and how you can prevent lost sales.  Here are five of those situations.

Not treating sales as separate process. Selling is where you are interacting directly with the prospect.  It is not marketing.  It is not product or service design.  The focus and skills are very different.  That’s why organizations which have the resources establish a sales force.  They are the front lines who are not attached to all that has led up to the sales call.  If you can’t afford a sales unit, then clear your head of all the other things which you usually think about in the business and devote your full attention to getting that sale.  Nothing else matters.

Not pulling out all stops identifying prospect’s needs.  Most needs are not obvious, perhaps not even to the prospect.  That’s why the most important part of the sales process is to gently ask questions.  The prospect may enter your retail operation with the intent of buying one suit for a board presentation.  However, what she really needs is a wardrobe makeover in order to appear more trim and youthful.  The salesperson who invests the time in finding that out winds up with a homerun that day and long term customer relationship.

Not doing a trial close. The purpose of a trial close is to get a feel for how the process is going.  You gently check if the prospect feels good about the product or service, the price, and other terms and conditions.  Then you ask for the sale.  When the prospect balks or simply doesn’t buy, then that’s an opportunity to reframe what you’re offering.  Some salespeople then ask, “What will it take to get this sale?” or “What’s keeping you from buying?”

Not leading prospect to point of purchase.  Most prospects need the nudge to go through that final door in the purchasing continuum.   That means, you have to, in some way, move them along.  Some salespeople do that by asking if they prefer the leaf or the shell pattern.  Others assume the sale by recommending add-ons such as a smartphone carrying case.  The bottom line on this is to be alert to where the prospect is and, if stuck at point of indecision, have tactics to move the sale to completion.

Not giving the exit signal.  Research shows that salespeople who respect their time generate not only more sales but also more revenue per sale.  If prospects remain trapped in indecision, then salespeople have to signal that they are ready to exit.  Frequently that in itself puts the prospect on a buying track.  When heading toward the exit sign, let the prospect know that the door is always open, although not necessarily with those terms and conditions.  Sometimes the prospect will realize those terms and conditions are great and buy right then.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your sales, marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868