Sales Coaching Tip – Sales Mistake 5

Sales Mistake 5 – Being Ill-Prepared

One of my vices is sushi.

Recently, when ordering sushi with a client, I was amused by our waitress’ response to my client’s inquiry. He loves spicy food so when he saw Japanese curry on the menu, not having heard of Japanese curry before, he inquired about the curry, “Is it more like red or green Thai curry or more like Indian curry? Is it more spicy or more savory?”

To me, they seemed like legitimate questions. The waitress snapped back, “Don’t know. It’s just curry.”

It took some time and many questions before my client pried the answer out of the waitress.

In case you are wondering (as we did), the waitress had worked at the restaurant for 5 years and Japanese curry had been on the menu all that time.

The Japanese curry was delicious, according to my client, yet the waitress almost prevented its sale.

The waitress is a prime example of sales mistake number 5, being ill-prepared. Even within 5 years, she didn’t learn her product offering.

Do you have a concern that some of your salespeople may be ill-prepared?

There are several symptoms that indicate your team members may be ill-prepared to sell their products. For example, they might have:

  • A longer sales cycle than their peers (similar to our waitress)
  • A lower close ratio than average
  • Little to no repeat business

Also when you’re observing your salespeople, watch for indicators that they are committing this sales mistake. For example, they may:

  • Not answer prospects’ questions well
  • Not respond to prospects’ objections in a helpful way
  • Make excuses for not knowing their product well

If any of these sound familiar, help your perpetrating salespeople become better prepared during their sales coaching sessions with you. They’ll sell more because they will be able to have more productive and effective sales conversations.

To help prevent your team members from committing this sales mistake, use the Chapter 6 exercise from my new book, Sell More with Sales Coaching. You can get a free copy of the exercise by going to the “Resources” section of our site.


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