Don't Listen: The Worst Sales Advice for B2B Salespeople
Getting advice is great, but how do we decide what is and isn’t worthy of remembering? Time after time, salespeople struggle with positioning their offering in an attractive way that would make prospects want to buy their product/service. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the worst sales advice. If you can relate to any of these scenarios, chances are you’ve probably received some bad sales advice.
1. “Here is a script, read it...”
Nothing says “I have no clue what you do” more than a generic sales script while reaching out to prospects. Reading from a script can seem too impersonal, and lack making that ‘connection’ between yourself and the prospect.
The Solution to getting around a script:
- Don’t read word for word, use your script as a guide
- Research the person and the company you are calling
- Ask an open question to start an engaging conversation
- Tailor your pitch to the specific company you are reaching out to
Making an effort to “customize” your call approach as a way to fully understand the company and the person we are contacting will increase the chances of moving on to the next step of the sales cycle with this prospect.
2. “Cold calling works all the time!”
No, it doesn’t. Well if you’re lucky it can, but if you are only relying on cold calls and not finding genuine leads who are actually interested in your product; you’re wasting your time and their time. Do your research and attain valuable information about your target audience and market.
The Solution to Cold Calling:
- Introduce yourself in an email.
- Use Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ to network and make new connections
- Engage in group discussions on LinkedIn
- Comment on the business’ blog you are trying to pursue
3. “Let’s just wait for them to call us back...“
Unless the prospect specifically says “I will be in touch with you” and schedules a next step; don’t assume they will call back. “Why?” well just like you and I, they’ve got a job to do, a schedule to adhere to, and deadlines to meet. So, if the plan is to leave the ball in their court instead of suggesting a scheduled next step, then the chances of this deal moving forward are slim to none.
The Solution to a Next Step:
- At the end of EVERY sales meeting, remember to ask for a scheduled next step
- Send a calendar invitation to confirm the next step or to clarify a timeline of when to circle back with them
- Stay connected with the prospect by sending them relevant content (Ex: news article or blog posts) that relates to the conversation you had with them.
- Add this contact to your company’s mailing list to receive relevant offers or updates
4. “Get someone from the company on the phone, anyone… “
Unless you want to be bounced from department to department, we must know the right person to contact. It’s likely that “the right person” for us to speak with is the person who has the decision making power. This is because, ultimately, we want to speak with someone who can either say “yes” or make the recommendation of investing in the product or service we are offering.
The Solution to getting the Right Contact:
- Know your target market and aim for them
- Research the company and the person you are contacting
- Understand the organization of the company you are contacting
- If you reach the wrong person, then take a chance and ask if they would refer you to the right person.
5. “If they want to try the product, they should buy the product!”
Well, in a perfect world we might be able to get away with this, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. What you should really consider doing is offering the prospect a demo. The saying "try it before you buy it" rings true and can be a great selling point. Having the ability to test the product/service that’s being offered benefits all parties. The company, the prospect, and you (the salesperson).
The Solution to a Demo:
- Offer an opportunity for the prospect to take action. Consider creating a call-to-action (CTA) on your website that allows interested individuals to ‘request a demo or free trial.’
- Always remember to follow-up with the prospect during the demo or trial period.
- Providing a demo will give you talking points for your follow-up conversation as well as allow you to get feedback and answer any questions about the product/service.
- Send related resources, guides, and tutorials. This is a great way to steer the prospect in the right direction and help them fully understand your offering.
Most, if not all, people want to try something or have some kind of reassurance before fully committing to purchasing a product or a service. Offering a 10-15 minute demo or free trial gives you the ability to do four things: identify interested prospects, collect their names/emails, determine their interests, and then send relevant follow-up messages.
6. “Don’t listen to the client, the client isn’t always right."
Sometimes the client isn’t always right, but from a sales perspective, it is your responsibility to understand the needs of the client, and DO your due diligence. The client will understand what is best for their company because…well they work for the company. Although the client isn’t always right, it is your duty as a salesperson to work with them and gain the knowledge in order to build a lasting relationship that will benefit both sides.
The Solution to Client Relationships:
- Listen to your clients. Maybe they aren’t always right, but give them the chance to explain their thought process.
- Be proactive with your clients. By using a proactive communication method, you can easily assess a situation and then respond accordingly.
- Keep your clients up-to-date. Communication is the key to having great relationships.
Have you ever received really bad sales advice? Share your stories in the comments below!
About Molly D Protosow
Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.