The athletes going for gold at the Summer Olympics spend years training their bodies and minds. They learn early on how to persevere and how to balance intensity with rest and recovery.

Much like athletes honing their craft, becoming a master in sales requires consistent practice, a willingness to take risks and the ability to learn from mistakes.

Writer Zarema Plaksij says some of the most common sales mistakes include exaggerating, overestimating or misinterpreting. How can you avoid some of these missteps? We share her guidance in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Listen more. Talk less. It’s only natural to want to passionately discuss the benefits of your promo solution, but remember that pushy salespeople don’t go far. The considerate ones do, Plaksij says. Ask more open-ended questions and listen, aiming for a 60/40 listen-to-talk ratio.

Don’t become an unpaid consultant. In their quest to try to close the deal, some salespeople offer too much help for nothing in return. It’s good to be helpful, Plaksij says, but limit how much free advice you give. Some prospects love to milk sales reps for information and guidance when they never intend to buy.

Focus on the solution. Instead of highlighting your promo solution’s cool features, explain how it can solve your prospect’s most pressing issue. Remember that features tell and benefits sell, Plaksij says.

Emphasize the value, not the price. You may close a few deals by offering special promotions or discounts, but bargain hunters will just leave the moment someone else offers a better deal. Plaksij advises reminding prospects that buying cheap often results in poor quality and higher costs in the long run.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you overpromise and underdeliver, you’re essentially lying to your clients, and this won’t take you far. Instead of promising too much, Plaksij recommends letting the prospects sell to themselves. Ask the right questions that will guide the prospect to see that they need your promo solution.

Don’t get defensive. You may want to defend your position if a prospect’s objections don’t make sense, but arguing with a prospect is almost a surefire way to lose the sale. If you disagree with a prospect, Plaksij suggests saying, “I can see where you’re coming from.” Then, ask questions to clarify their position.

Commit to making the sale. Don’t just meet with prospects for the sake of meeting them – confidently declare that you intend to close the sale. It may seem blunt, but Plaksij says you have to actually ask the prospect to buy. The earlier you do it in the process, the better.

Working in sales in the promo industry is indeed an art form that takes natural talent and learned skills. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but it helps to stay mindful about the pitfalls above. Doing so can help you refine your approach and build stronger business relationships.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Zarema Plaksij is as an editor and contributing copywriter for SuperOffice, a cloud-based CRM solution.