Marketing Archives - TAB Corporate

Top 6 Sales Pitch Mistakes Your Team Can’t Afford to Make

 

It was once considered acceptable to use a “one-size-fits-all” sales pitch with prospects, regardless of their business or industry. Like so much else in today’s marketplace, that sales practice is obsolete.

Any sales team that still utilizes a generic sales pitch will quickly itself out of the running for a possible sale. The emphasis today is on forging a connection with the buyer, which in turn relies upon a more sensitive, personalized sales approach.

Nevertheless, certain sales pitch mistakes persist. If your salesperson or team is making these mistakes, they could be missing out on sales and never know why. Watch for six common errors and correct them before missing out on another profitable deal:

  1. A lack of preparedness. With the abundance of online resources available online, there’s no excuse for a salesperson to come to a prospect meeting unprepared. Not knowing the ins and outs of the prospect’s industry—their challenges and opportunities, pain points and growth strategies—can instantly disqualify a salesperson and damage your company’s reputation.
  2. Not getting to the point. In the past, prospects often wanted a little small talk before getting underway. Not anymore. In an effort to “connect,” a salesperson may go on too long with questions about the weather, the prospect’s family life or inconsequential details about their own business. That can kill a sales pitch before it even gets underway. Recognize the difference “between creating rapport between yourself and who you’re selling to and small talk that delays what you’re there to accomplish,” advises sales coach Stephanie Chung. Instead, devote time to “telling your prospect why they absolutely cannot live without your service rather than telling them what they already know.”
  3. Overwhelming the prospect with data. At the other end of the spectrum is the salesperson’s inability to “quit while you’re ahead.” In this scenario, he or she overwhelms the prospect with data points and other information, thus displaying an unintentional disregard for their precious time.
  4. Not listening. More deals are closed when the salesperson listens, rather than talks. Active listening clues you into a prospect’s genuine needs, while offering clues as to how to better frame your sales pitch while in the moment. When you fail to hear what the prospect says, or neglect to grasp the point of the questions they’re asking, you miss a valuable opportunity to hone in on precisely what they hope to get from you and your company.
  5. Overlooking the impact of your body language. A good salesperson knows how to “read the room.” If, for example, your extravagant hand gestures (designed to back up a key point) are making the prospect uncomfortable, rein yourself in. Don’t invade someone else’s personal space or make any type of physical contact (touching an arm, for example), as even this friendly gesture can be misconstrued. By closely observing the prospect’s body language, you can adjust your own to better match the mood of the conversation.
  6. Neglecting the impact of your own appearance. Part of your salesperson’s preparation should include a keen grasp of the prospect company’s culture. With this knowledge in hand, it’s imperative to dress appropriately. Showing up at a “maverick” startup firm in a suit and tie may send the message that your company is far too conservative to do business with. In the same respect, wearing a tie with cartoon characters to a sales meeting at a bank suggests you’re “too out there” for their needs.

A well-crafted sales pitch involves preparation, sensitivity to the prospect’s culture and a willingness to be flexible. With these concepts in mind, your salesperson will likely encounter more success, rather than rejection, when approach a potential new customer

 

 

Using Marketing to Re-Engage with Former Customers

Winning back lost customers

Businesses define “lost customers” in different ways. To some, these are customers or businesses that once purchased their goods or services, then stopped for any number of reasons (bad quality, inferior service, pricing issues, etc.). To others, the term refers to individuals or companies that, while no longer representing active sales, might be enticed to return under the right circumstances.

If your business adheres to the latter definition, this means you’ll willing to consider strategies to regain the trust of former customers. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve this objective, and using marketing as a key resource might be the right tool for your business.

Here are tips on how to use marketing to re-engage with so-called “lost” customers:

Find out what went wrong. Knowing why a customer no longer buys your products or services is a good place to start. Assuming your database contains the email addresses and/or phone numbers of former customers, put together a brief email survey that includes something like the following:

  • Please tell us in your own words why you chose to no longer do business with us.
  • What can we do differently that would encourage you to take another look?
  • Would you like to learn more about how our offerings have changed since you left?

Some ex-customers will be delighted that you reached out to them and will let you know in detail why they left. Others will be more reluctant to respond. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer all survey participants a compelling reason to answer—a free download of a recent white paper, for example, or a discount on their next purchase.

Invite them to guide your business. Many companies have customer advisory boards or councils that help with product development, entry into new markets, “partnering strategies, merger and acquisition targets, marketing initiatives, branding and messaging,” notes B2B consultant Eyal Danon. The goal of such councils, he adds, is to “capture these actionable business recommendations, prioritize them and act on those that make the most sense for the business.”

Why not invite a former customer to participate in your board or council? These individuals might be flattered by this invitation and enthusiastically agree to take part. They might also have valuable insights and suggestions to offer. And—because you reached out in the first place—they might regain your legions of loyal customers.

Highlight product upgrades—and special offers—in your marketing materials. Ex-customers who take part in your survey or otherwise show interest in your products should receive customized marketing materials in return. Take what you’ve learned from the survey and craft a new message that highlights how your product or service has changed (for the better, of course) and how the customer will benefit from these improvements. As noted earlier, think about a special promotion that includes a one-time discount, as a way of “welcoming back” these former customers. Any personalized touch will carry more weight than more generic marketing efforts.

Promote a new commitment to customer service. You may already boast an exemplary culture of customer service within your organization. Or ex-customers may have “checked out” because they found your service lacking. In any case, when you reach out to these individuals, emphasize your commitment both to service and to communications. Promise to regularly solicit their feedback on the quality of your customer service but, more importantly, implement changes that demonstrate that commitment.

Better communications can stem the exodus of other customers. “By communicating effectively with customers you get the hints that there’s trouble with the customer relationship,” notes Yahoo! Small Business. “You can catch customer dissatisfaction and fix it before it leads to outright customer loss.”

Want to learn more about customer acquisition and reactivation? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!