Sales Coaching Tip – Sales Mistake 3

Sales Coaching Tip – Sales Mistake 3

Have you ever walked away from a sales conversation feeling like you’ve just been slimed? This kind of response is often how prospects feel when salespeople commit sales mistake number 3, being self-focused (as opposed to client-focused).

This mistake can happen in sales conversations as well as in voicemail and emails. Imagine getting this snippet of an email from a sales consultant, William, who is trying to sell you on him speaking to the consultant’s association membership of which you serve on the board.

I need a place where I can invite some important prospectives clients and maybe one speaker bureau to come and hear me speak live…no more than 5 people in total, possibly less…….I do not speak in the GTA that much and when i do, is usually to companies and I cant bring any guests as i am speaking about their business. I have people who want to come and hear me live in Toronto area before booking me. I am busy and traveling a lot, but need to sort this out fast hence the reason for wanting to do this.

If you received this email, would you buy from William?

Let me give you some additional context. Did William demonstrate he had your membership’s best interests in mind? Or did he demonstrate his own best interests?

To help identify the specifics of how William committed this sales mistake, review the number of times he used the word “I” versus the word “you” in his email.

Counting the number of times he used the words “I”, “me” or “my.” Then count the number of times he used the word “you” or “your.” I count 11 “I”s and “me”s and no “yours” and “you”s. That’s more than an 11:0 self-focused ratio. It’s not surprising his email felt self-serving.

How do you know which of your salespeople are being too self-focused in their interactions with prospects? The telltale signs that your salespeople might be committing this sales mistake are that:

  • Their sales are low
  • Their conversion of prospects to clients is low
  • Their number of referrals is almost nonexistent

To help your perpetrating salespeople become more client-focused, coach them on the questions they ask to discover their prospects’ needs and help them customize what they say once they know their prospects’ true needs.

This will ensure their sales goes up, their conversion of prospects to clients increases and their number of referrals improves.

To help prevent your team members from committing this sales mistake, use the Chapter 4 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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