A recent editor’s note in a sleep products magazine discussed how many people suffer from poor sleep and the editor referred to these individuals as zombies. Instantly, I thought of dozens of sales people I have encountered over the years who could be classified as zombies, too.
Here are 14 signs that you might be turning into a sales zombie.
1. You no longer ask high-value qualifying questions. Asking questions takes too long and you’d rather spend your time talking about your product so let’s not waste time. Besides, prospects won’t tell you the truth anyway so it’s better just to move past this step.
2. You launch into your sales pitch as quickly as possible. Telling is selling and if you’re not talking about your product you will lose the sale.
3. You make quick assumptions about your customers and prospects. “They said no last time so I won’t call them today” or “They can’t afford our product.” Assumptions are deal killers and you need to avoid them.
4. You use the same sales pitch with every customer. You have refined your pitch so why so should you change it? It’s been working just fine and besides no one has complained. Plus, you’re closing about 20 percent of your sales opportunities.
5. You frequently refer to the “good old days”. Yeah, nothing like the good old days when you could take a prospect out for lunch and close a deal over a few beers. Or you could make a few calls and reach your quota. Times have changed but you haven’t.
6. You don’t seek clarification. Prospects and customer don’t always clearly articulate their thoughts but that doesn’t matter because you understand everything they say.
7. You don’t listen for underlying clues. Many people say one thing but mean something else. If you’re not listening for those nuances and underlying clues, you are missing sales opportunities.
8. You pitch your most popular/current product. We’ve all been there. The latest product with all the bells and whistles has finally been released so let’s suggest that product to all of our prospects and customers even though it may not be appropriate. At least they’ll know about it, right?
9. You don’t clarify objections. You’ve been selling so long that you “know” what someone means when they say, “You’re too expensive” or “Let me think about it”. As a result, you just plunge ahead and rebut the objection hoping that you will overcome it.
10. You have stopped learning. You can’t teach an old dog a new trick is your favourite motto. Besides, sales is sales and you don’t need to learn anything other than the basics of your newest products.
11. You believe that sales is a numbers game. The more doors you knock on and the more calls you make, the more sales you make. While this may be true, your time is valuable and you can invest more effectively. Focus on talking to high-value prospect instead of pitching to anyone who will listen or that you connect with.
12. You believe that research is for scientists. Who has time to research every prospect? You don’t need to understand their business challenges or how what changes are occurring in their company in order to close a deal. It’s just as effective to show up or make that call and pitch your latest solution (see point 8).
13. You think that price buying motivator. Let’s face it; most buying decisions are made based on the price of a product or service. People don’t care about value so let’s just offer a discount and move on.
14. You think that social media is just a fad. Who needs to blog, podcast, or produce webinars or create a business presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media sites? Besides, I don’t have time to engage in this social chit-chat; I’d rather make cold calls and appointments.
If you want to succeed in today’s sales environment and increase your sales, it is critical that you avoid becoming a sales zombie.
By Andrew Brown