5 Reasons You're Losing Sales, and How to Close Them Instead
“No thank you,” is a simple three-word sentence, but those three words are all that it takes to make a salesperson want to pull their hair out. Sales cycles can take up months of your time, but when you hear those three words, those months of effort turn into a huge waste of your time.
Of course, you should always follow up with them after some time has passed, but for most clients, their mind is made up.
If you’re losing sales, it can feel like a brick wall that you just can’t break through. Well, I’m here to give you a jackhammer. But, if you don’t have the permits to operate one, here are five reasons that you could be losing sales, and how you can close them instead.
1. Your Clients View Your Product as a “Nice-to-Have”
You can pull out every trick in the book to drive home a sale, but if you can’t convince them that they need your product or service, you’re wasting your breath. For example, it’s easy for a client to see cybersecurity software as a commodity. At least until they’re the victim of a large-scale data leak.
If your clients can’t understand the value of your product or service, there’s no reason to make a deal. So if you’re struggling to move from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” in your sales funnel, do more research on the client you’re selling to.
Your clients don’t care about “how many GB of data it takes up,” or “what colors your product comes in.” The easiest way to close a deal is to convince your client that it solves drastic problems in their lives. Just make sure you can back up your claims. If you say your IT company can solve world hunger, you better have a few million sandwiches ready to ship out by morning.
2. It’s Hard for Your Clients to Say Yes
The moment your client decides to sign on with your company, there’s no reason to waste any more of their time. Let’s say your client agrees to a 12-month subscription, but you make them fill out 50 pages of documentation to get started, they might not even get to the second page before they change their mind.
If you put your clients through an obstacle course just to make a deal, you’re giving them time to look elsewhere. So take that 50-page document, get rid of 49 of the pages, and give them the opportunity to sign on with a single signature.
Obviously, you can’t rely on a measly piece of paper to form a thorough and legally binding contract, but you can always fill out the smaller details later. When you give your client a fast and easy way to say yes, they’re more likely to make a decision sooner in the sales cycle.
3. They Feel Overloaded with Info
Humans can’t manage lots of information efficiently. That’s why most people rely on grocery lists and calendars to remind them of what’s important. But no grocery list is going to help you during a sale, unless you work part-time at a grocery store, in which case, touché.
Giving your clients too much to think about will keep them from remembering why they need your product or service. If you’re on slide 25 of your sales pitch presentation, and you’re not even halfway finished, you need to re-think how you make use of your clients’ time.
As Kevin from The Office puts it, “why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?” I’m not saying you should talk like a caveman, but you’ll start seeing results when you cut down on the amount of information you give to your clients. They’ll be able to keep track of the concepts that are important, and they’ll be willing to make a deal a lot sooner.
4. You’re Selling to the Wrong Person
This can seem like a no-brainer at first. You can’t expect your shampoo to sell if you’re exclusively marketing it to bald men. But when you’re researching your clients, you need to understand who holds buying power at their company.
You can execute the world’s best sales pitch, but if you direct this masterpiece at the office secretary, you won’t find much success.
Learn as much information as you can about your clients’ executives and their buying committee. That way, when you make your pitch, you can target their personal pain points. When you convince someone with buying power that your product or service can solve their problems, they’ll have the resources to make a deal immediately. You won’t have to hear another “let me talk to my supervisor” ever again.
5. Your Administration Keeps You From A Quick Close
While you’re in the middle of a sales cycle, every second counts. Whether you’re spending time researching your client or trying to close a quick sale, interruptions can be the difference between a “yes” and an “I think we’re fine without it.”
So when your sales manager puts piles of documents on your desk to close out a sale or updates your CRM out of nowhere, you’re wasting valuable selling time. While I wish you could tell your administration to “shove it,” that’s not an option either (unless you enjoy living on the streets).
The best way to work around your administration is to prepare the materials for them beforehand. Learn what reports you need to submit and gather that information ahead of time. Once your manager comes knocking on your door (or cubicle), you can give them the details they need without skipping a beat.
Put in the extra time, and you’ll see results.
Sometimes there are clients that you just can’t get through to. Maybe they can’t afford your services, maybe they already have a substitution, or maybe they’re just a jerk. However, if you’re losing a major percentage of your sales, sometimes all it takes is a few extra hours of research, organization, and planning to seal the deal.