Ever been in a sales situation where things suddenly seem to fall apart out of nowhere?
In these scenarios, salespeople have usually done something that turns the prospect off—but they never get feedback, and so they have no idea what they did wrong.
In many ways, it’s just like dating…
If you go on a date and do something the other person doesn’t like, they’re not going to give you specific feedback about how you can improve. They’re just going to disappear on you.
It’s the same in sales. That’s why I made this video to show you the 10 things sales prospects hate about you…or most salespeople, anyway. Check it out:
1. Extended chit-chat.
Most salespeople start their sales conversations with a long, drawn-out bonding chat full of rapport-building junk. Your prospects hate this extended chit-chat. Instead, get right to the point. All sales prospects really care about is getting value from you. They don’t care if you’re the most charming human being on the planet. Drop the chit-chat.
2. Getting an immediate pitch.
Giving a pitch right away is the equivalent of opening up your jacket pocket and saying, “Hey, look at all the amazing things I have! I want to show you how we’re the best!” This salesy approach is painful for any prospect. The reality is that sales prospects don’t need an immediate pitch at the beginning of the sales conversation. The right strategy is simply to determine whether they’re actually a fit up front. Think like a doctor, not a cheesy car salesman.
3. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Sales prospects don’t want to hear “yes” all the time. What they want is someone to help them find the right solution to their top challenges. So, don’t constantly tell your prospects “yes”—instead, take them through a process that helps them really identify the solutions to their biggest problems.
4. The high enthusiasm.
High enthusiasm is an old-school sales approach that might have worked many, many years ago…maybe. But today, it doesn’t. Even so, the high-enthusiasm persona is so common in sales that most prospects feel like they’re talking to robots instead of salespeople. Sales prospects hate super high enthusiasm. Just be a normal, real person who wants to understand the person they’re talking to. That’s it.
5. The long PowerPoint presentation.
There’s nothing on the planet more boring than a long PowerPoint presentation. Think of how many movies show scenes where someone is supposed to be bored because they’re watching a PowerPoint presentation. It sucks. No one wants it. It’s horrible. I don’t care if you’re the most charismatic, hilarious, charming human being. Your long PowerPoint presentation sucks. So stop doing it. Nobody needs it. Cut that stuff out. Get to the point and focus your time on understanding what they need—and then present only the solution that’s relevant to them.
6. Never-ending probing questions.
While it’s crucial to understand your prospects, asking a million, never-ending probing questions isn’t the way to go about it. All we want to do is understand their problems. What challenges are they looking to overcome? And what solution do they need? Use a systematic, thoughtful, and intentional series of questions to help you determine the answers you need to better understand your prospect’s challenges and goals, and nothing more.
7. The high-pressure close.
We’ve all dealt with salespeople who’ve tried to use some cheesy, high-pressure close on us. We can see it coming from a mile away. The high-pressure close actually hurts the sale—and sales prospects hate it. Drop the high-pressure close and instead focus on creating real value throughout the sales conversation. That way, by the end of the conversation, there’s no need for a high-pressure close. It’s just about next steps.
8. Month-end discounts.
Month-end discounts are common practice in large, publicly traded organizations, and in industries such as the software space. Salespeople in these areas have month-end goals they must hit. As a result, they end up giving out discounts at the end of the month to close more deals. But according to the data, month-end discounts are actually correlative with lowering the overall close rates of sales. Sales prospects feel like it’s kind of dirty to be offered a month-end discount, because they immediately think, “Well, why couldn’t I have gotten the discount before? Or why can’t I get the discount later?” And they’re right. So drop the month-end, quarter-end, or even year-end discount approach. Just be straight with your prospects.
9. Checking in…
There’s nothing more annoying to sales prospects than a salesperson who’s constantly checking in to “see how things are going,” or to “see if anything’s changed.” When you reach out to your prospects, you must have a purpose. Don’t just check in. Nobody wants that. There’s no value for the prospect when someone’s just checking in on them. Be sure to have a real, intentional purpose every time you reach out to your prospects—or even your clients, for that matter.
10. Email blasts.
This one is personal for me. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than when salespeople put me on their email blast list for no reason. Don’t get me wrong: You can send intentional, thoughtful, personalized emails to your sales prospects. In fact, you should—that’s great. But if you’re just putting your prospects on a big-form blast list, sending out discounts or emails with lots of pictures as if it’s a marketing list, that’s a big no-no. Send out independent, personalized emails to each person. Email blasts aren’t doing you or your prospects any favors.
So there you have it. Now you know 10 things sales prospects hate about you…or most salespeople, anyway. Which of these selling pitfalls will you work to avoid in the future? Be sure to share below in the comment section to get involved in the conversation.
Enjoyed this article? Please share away!
Get instant access to our free sales training:
Why Prospects Push Back on Price, Give 'Think-It-Overs,' and Ghost in Sales Until They Meet a Sales Superstar Who Is Following These 7 Simple Keys
About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.