‘’Overcoming the Shame’’ With increasing competition and the need to deliver a near-perfect experience inevitable, we all agree employees today need to step up and look beyond their obvious roles. With these new challenges, more profiles are associating or inclining towards the idea of sales. The technical term may be “Upsell” or “Cross-sell” however it is no different. There is certainly no wrong with it as every interaction that an employee has with a customer is an opportunity of countless opportunities. There is no harm till the point the customer does not feel pushed or cornered to make an unwilling and forceful decision.
With clear lines drawn, we tried to look into things that are stopping salespeople from excelling. After multiple interactions with salespeople, one surprising insight that came forward was the reluctance to sell or even offer. We have labeled it as the “Shame of selling”. The “Shame of selling” as surprising as it may sound is true and isn’t something that is completely new. In this article, I will talk about some possible causes and also explore ways to overcome the shame.
1. Understanding what we offer:
As astounding as it may sound but salespeople today lack the basic understanding in terms of the utilities, benefits, solutions their product/service can offer. The major cause being ignorance. No, we are not trying to blame anyone and probably say this was the only thing communicated to us or this is what is written in the product catalog. Salespeople need to again look beyond the obvious and develop their own USP for the product/ service to make sure it fits well with the right set of customers.
2. Reaching out to the wrong customers:
This may contradict my earlier statements that every interaction with a customer is an opportunity of immense opportunities, but what I am trying to say is in terms of making sure you sell, you need to offer the right products to the right customers. With wrong customers come wrong experiences. And these not-so-great experiences tarnish both personal and product confidence. Empathize yourself with the customer, how would you react if you really did not have the need to buy the product. A salesperson should be analytical and innovative enough to understand what aspects or features of the product/service would make it irresistible for the customer.
3. Spending too much time with prospects:
Ever had this feeling that you are putting so much effort yet the results aren’t reflecting the same. You’ve been meeting clients regularly yet the numbers in terms of conversion do not represent your true efforts. Ever thought of looking at the quality of the meetings? A salesperson is very vulnerable in falling into the spiral of clinging on to a customer. Sticking with the wrong customer is toxic but that isn’t what we are discussing here, it’s about those prospects who have huge potential but have no clue in terms of materialization or conversion. What it does is again directly affects the confidence and boy oh boy it’s certainly all about the confidence that we are talking about here.
With newer targets and metrics adding up we at times may feel that meeting the client is a good idea to make sure we clock in our meeting/appointment numbers. Keeping in touch with these sorts of clients is absolutely important but a smart salesperson would manage these interactions properly. Yes, manage. They make sure they divide their daily Calls/Meetings/Appointment targets into new clients and existing clients. This way they’ll be able to keep the pipeline rich and yet maintain a constant flow of good leads.
4. Fearing rejections
Most sales battles are won in the mind itself. That’s why we believe sales is a mindset, if you are offering the right product to the right customer rejection is minimal. Most salespeople call their shots too early or judge a client too early. In fact, they accept rejections too early, so early that they do not even end up approaching the client. Yes, rejection is a possibility but you can have all the arsenals with you to reverse this. It’s all about getting back to the basics and understanding the essence of the above-mentioned pointers. What is the most extreme that can ever happen if you approach a client? Rejection, right? Well if you never even approached them then that’s the only thing that will ever happen.
We in sales need to acknowledge that it’s humans that we are dealing with. Yes, shame, rejection, arguments are a part of the game but we need to look at the positives. Joy, happiness is also equal possibilities that can be looked forward to. One of the biggest contributors to the shame is the realization that you’re probably making the wrong promises and setting wrong expectations. You may call it Mis-selling but when you know that this isn’t right for the customer and it does not fit well, be bold enough and say “NO”.
Trust me this single “No” can be the start of something magical and will help you immensely in harnessing any possibilities of future sales happening.