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The Sales Buzz Issue 205 - Sales Mistakes – Real Examples – What do you think...
May 28, 2013

In this week’s Sales Buzz Ezine:

Major sales mistakes made by a leading company that should know better... What do you think...

Sales Mistakes – Real Examples – What do you think

I contacted one of the largest communications providers in the UK and tried to order a mobile phone... Here’s how they did everything they could to stop me.

I was the perfect potential customer trying to buy to sign up for a mobile phone contract. I knew which phone I wanted, including the colour, and I knew the tariff I wanted.

I was ready to buy all they had to do was take my details and send me the phone, I was every sales person’s dream customer. Any company, any sales person, no matter how inexperienced, would be able to close this sale.

Not so... listen to this catalogue of errors from one of the biggest Internet, television, and telephone companies in the UK. You really would think their sales operation would be better than this... What do you think...

Sales Mistake No1

The call was answered and it was obvious from the accent that this was an overseas call centre. Would you put your organisations sales calls through to an offshore call centre?

In sales rapport is everything and we all know people buy from people like them. Off shore call centres may work for faults and customer service but sales achieve far better results when answered in the country of the caller.

Here’s an example:

I was asked to spell my name as a security measure which I don’t object to. I was then asked if I minded being addressed by my first name, again no objection from me. Because I spell my name Stephen, with a P,H, and not a V, I was called something that resembled Steph -hen for the rest of the call. Rapport gone and I’m wondering if I should phone another company.

Add to this the number of times I had to ask for a word to be repeated and it was only the price of the deal I wanted that kept me on the call.

Sales Mistake No2

When I gave the telesales operative the name and make of the phone I wanted he tried to upsell. Now upselling is good, but in my opinion it should not be at the start of the call. I’ve told him what I want and he is saying would you like a different model that costs slightly more.

When I politely said no and restated the one I wanted, he again tried to sell me more expensive phone. This is really poor sales technique and will lose many potential orders.

The buyer can feel that their decision has been criticised, or that all the seller is interested in is making more profit and not the service to the customer which is worrying if ever there should be a problem.

Sales Mistake No3

The sale is made, I have ordered my phone, and surely no more sales mistakes that could make me change my mind. Yes, there is one final sales error and what an error it is.

‘Steph-hen, because you are a customer of ours already for other services I am going to give you a free additional SIM card on pay-as-you-go with a £10 credit already on the card,’ said the telesales operative and for the first time with some confidence in his voice.

‘If it’s free then okay I’ll have it,’ says I.

The salesman then asks me how I would like to pay the £5 administration charge for the free SIM card.

Here are the reasons why I think this is such a big sales mistake:

1. They are giving me an additional SIM card and I was also told this as a back up to the phone I have ordered. As a new customer who has just agreed a 2 year contract I’m now worried as to why i might need a back up to the service I have ordered.

2. I had already ordered the phone and there was no need to make me this offer and put these doubts in my mind that could make me use the cooling off period to cancel the sale.

3. To offer a benefit that is free and then make a charge for it is a fundamental sales error that no company should make. This is such a basic sales mistake and not one you would expect from a leading national service provider. The sales and marketing team have got this wrong.

What do you think about the above sales techniques?

I use examples such as the above to check my own sales techniques in my role as a sales manager and as points for discussion when I’m training sellers and managers. Look around you every day at the many examples in other fields and markets and use them to improve what you d and correct any sales mistakes that you might have.

For more Sales Training based on real examples click to Sales-Training website...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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