I am passionate about sales. I love to help my clients, I love to deliver meaningful results and I love to enjoy the rewards of my hard work. If that resonates with you then you, like me, probably do not like to lose.

Having presented at over 350 conferences locally and internationally, I have identified the 7 biggest reasons your sales people are losing deals.

1. Impromptu Conversations

The biggest mistake salespeople make is not planning their conversations. Conversation is your number one vehicle to establish relevance and drive change. This doesn’t just happen, it takes thinking and planning.

“The quality of your conversations is a reflection of the quality of your thinking”
How to fix that

2. Insincere Rapport Building

The first meeting is too soon to be building a friendship with your client. Gain their respect, then their trust, after time you may well build a genuine relationship, one of mutual respect based on relevance. But you can blow it if you try too hard, too soon. “Authenticity accelerates trust” Don’t try to be someone you are not.

3. Sloppy Detective Work

The higher the value of your transaction, and the more complex the environment, the more important it is to establish a solid business case for change. This requires the skill of critical thinking and the courage to ask tough (high quality) questions. Poor research and thinking will reveal itself in the quality of questions you ask your client.

4.Rushing the solution

There is a prejudice that exists towards sales people, (trust me I am one) and we have two choices:

1. We can confirm the prejudice or,

2. We can contradict the prejudice.

Most clients are just waiting for you to present your solution. Because they expect you to drive your agenda. Instead, take your time to understand and build the problem. When your client understands the problem, they will accelerate the process internally. After all, if you uncover a serious problem, your client is not going to let you leave without giving them a solution, are they?

5. Irrelevant Collateral

Your company may have the best brochures, videos, and product sheets on the market. But, your clients are fickle, frazzled and frustrated.

Just like you.

If you overwhelm them with information, you are likely to delay their decision. And, you are making their lives more difficult. Choose only the collateral that is relevant. “Help them to manage their chaos, do not add to it”

6. Rushing the Proposal

Too often we lose momentum when it gets to submitting the proposal. With an average of 5.4 decision makers in any complex buying decision, you cannot afford that. Your proposal is the only scorecard of the value you have built. Don’t rush it.

Let your proposal reflect the value of your conversations.

7. Follow Up

Your greatest opportunity for influence lays outside the buying cycle. Use it.

It is one thing to say you çare and another to live it. Sadly, on average 3% of sales people follow up. And, I am not only referring follow up during the sales cycle (to close the deal). The most powerful follow-up is when you have nothing to gain, except the knowledge that you have done a good job!