31 Ways to Lose a Sale

by Chris Arlen on July 12, 2012

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How to Lose SalesAt one time I thought selling was hard work but simple. I don’t anymore. Selling is hard work and complex. There is no one right way to win a sale, which got me thinking about the many ways a sale can be lost.

Why look at how to lose a sale?

By knowing what kills a sale you can try to avoid it, which puts you that much closer to winning. So, avoid these 31 and you’ll sell more.

Sales reps lose a sale when they:

  1. Fail to pre-qualify a customer’s fit with the potential solution
  2. Sell to a customer who doesn’t know they have a need or want
  3. Fail to discover the customer’s needs or wants
  4. Fail to establish personal credibility and integrity to gain access to customers and discover their needs and wants
  5. Sell to a customer who lacks the authority to buy
  6. Present the solution before the customer is ready to buy
  7. Are ignorant about the customer’s industry; trends, challenges and vocabulary
  8. Are ignorant about the customer’s business; strategies, goals, culture & internal dynamics
  9. Are ignorant about the customer’s (decision makers) personal agendas: ambitions, alliances, political capital, vulnerabilities & past history
  10. Are ignorant about the business concepts and management strategies the customer uses
  11. Don’t care to learn #7 – 10 above about their customers
  12. Fail to stay in contact over time and miss out when a customer buys
  13. Listen poorly and fail to hear the subtext a customer is really saying
  14. Don’t respect and care for customers as being like you: working a job, earning a living
  15. Don’t tailor the offer into a solution that satisfies customers needs or wants
  16. Fail to connect value to price: seen as high priced
  17. Offer a solution that has more than customers want or need: seen as high priced & over scoped
  18. Under-present the efficiencies driving price: seen as too low a price
  19. Don’t connect personally with customers
  20. Fail to elicit customers’ buying emotions
  21. Fail to provide facts customers can use to justify their emotional buying decisions
  22. Don’t take into account customers’ alternatives, i.e. competitive offers and/or status quo of “no-decisions”
  23. Fail to persuade customers to buy their solution and instead inform customers with a data dump
  24. Present only information about the seller’s company
  25. Speak only about features, benefits, or both
  26. Lack knowledge of how their solution delivers value to customers
  27. Lack ability to quantify their results in customer valued terms
  28. Fail to present a compelling business case and the personal reasons for customers to buy them
  29. Fail to follow formal bidding instructions
  30. Make stock, un-thought out “take it or leave it” statements in proposals or presentations
  31. Lack the ability to communicate in the customer’s desired style

What’s Missing?

There are many more ways to lose a sale. What are yours? I mean, how have you seen others lose a sale?

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