A lot has changed in the past year. Though the world is slowly heading towards a state of cautious normalcy, the drastic changes to the sales landscape seems to be permanent.
While the transition to modern selling was inevitable, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace, turning what was supposed to be a gentle, gradual shift into an adapt-or-die scenario. Read on to learn about 6 major mistakes that should be absolutely avoided in the age of modern selling.
6 Modern Selling Mistakes That Today’s Sellers Should Avoid
1. Not putting the buyer first
Almost every company says their buyers come first, but their words don’t always translate into actions.
According to the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021, “just 43% of sales professionals say their sales org stays actively engaged after the sale to ensure value delivery all the time.” This is worrying, as after sales service is indispensable for promoting positive word-of-mouth, increases customer retention, and strengthens brand value.
2. Delivering misleading product information
As children, we were taught that it’s bad to tell a lie. But with age comes the realization that the world is not stark black-and-white, and that it’s sometimes necessary to twist the truth a bit to get what you want. Unfortunately, some sellers carry this mentality in their work, overstating product benefits and making promises that cannot be fulfilled. After all, how much damage can these little white lies do?
The answer: Possibly a lot.
Even the tiniest bit of false information can lead to complaints, negative feedback, lost revenue, and worse, lost customers—all things you’d like to avoid.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. When you make a purchase, you place your trust in the seller to deliver as promised. And if you find out the hard way that the seller has given you inaccurate information or has made false promises about the product, wouldn’t it leave a bad taste in your mouth?
So don’t risk it—it’s never worth it.
3. Not understanding the client’s needs
You could be selling the most modern product in your industry, but no one will buy it if they don’t want it or if they feel like they don’t need it.
That’s why you should make an effort to clearly understand what your customers want and need. This should be at the center of all your business’ efforts. All your sales communications should be anchored to this. Only then can you effectively persuade your customers that you are the best choice for their company.
4. Not understanding your own product or service
Knowing what your customers need is only half of the battle. To convince them to purchase from you, you have to effectively communicate how your product can address their needs.
An intimate knowledge of your product’s details, benefits, and capabilities can help you answer your clients’ questions and objections, and can go a long way in convincing them that your solution is the one they’re looking for.
5. Not maximizing the sales tools at your disposal
With the pandemic taking away most opportunities to safely meet clients face-to-face, salespeople have turned to technology to fill in the gap. According to the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2020, only 43% of sellers use sales intelligence tools—a 54% increase from how it was in 2018, but still not the majority.
Knowing how to use sales tools to your advantage can help you outperform your peers by leaps and bounds. Tools allow for a data-driven approach to selling, effectively making the prospecting process prescriptive. Tools also allow for the automation of tedious administrative tasks, letting sellers focus on what they do best: Providing value to their clients.
6. Not boosting their social media presence
If you’re a seller, a strong social media presence isn’t merely nice to have, but a must-have. With face-to-face meetings minimized, social selling, particularly on LinkedIn, is now one of the most optimal ways for B2B sellers to find prospects, build brand awareness, and strengthen relationships with potential and existing clients. It also shortens the sales cycle, cutting down on the time you’ll normally spend researching accounts and finding opportunities.
What’s nice is that it’s not exactly difficult to reap the benefits of social selling—you just have to be diligent and consistent. Start by ensuring that your social media profile is complete, up-to-date, and professional. Then, gradually expand your network by connecting and engaging with your peers in the industry.
Along the way, create and share relevant content to establish yourself as a thought leader. Try to make it a daily habit and track your posts’ engagement to see what kind of content best resonates with your prospects.
Wrapping It Up
The biggest mistake a seller can make these days is to be stuck in the mindset that things will eventually go back to how they were pre-COVID.
While we all want things to be back to how they were before, we can’t deny that it’s all wishful thinking at this point. Modern selling is here to stay, and the sooner you adapt and embrace change, the faster you’ll see your business grow.