Sales is less art and more science. The skills to excel in sales can be taught. However, there are lots of common misconceptions and sales myths you should avoid.
Let us look at 6 common sales myths:
Myth 1: The customer is always right
As a business owner, sales person, customer service executive or as a customer, you would have heard this phrase more than once. This is nothing but a myth. Believing in this myth not only impacts your sales conversion, it also leads you in giving incorrect information and advice to the customer.
Customers are usually unsure about what they want. As a salesperson, it is important that you ask the right questions. This lets you uncover the unstated needs of the customer. While making a purchase decision, customers may only consider the immediate need or problem at hand. You being the product expert should check the customer-product fit and give the correct advice.
Myth 2: If you cannot convince, then confuse the customer
I couldn’t believe this when I first heard someone share this advice. If you have worked in an outbound telesales center, the chances are you would have been given the same advice. Some trainers, team leaders and sales executives consider this as a golden rule for telesales. However, this is not just one of many sales myths you should avoid. This is unethical and amounts to cheating.
As a customer, you may have come across telesales reps rushing through their sales pitch on a call. It sounds similar to the disclaimers you hear at the end of an insurance radio commercial. This is a strategy for sales people who don’t care about customer experience, brand image and repeat purchase or referral from a customer. Any advice that makes you ignore any one of these has to be a sales myth.
Myth 3: Telecalling is dead
You would have read a few articles claiming that telecalling as a strategy is no longer relevant. Some experts want you to believe that social and digital selling have made telesales obsolete.
While I agree that customer responsiveness to a cold call has reduced significantly, I can certainly say that telecalling is far from being dead. Yes, the tricks to make it work have certainly changed. Telecalling that follows an effective lead nurturing strategy can have one of the best conversions for your business. Social and digital lead engagement too require telecalling intervention at various stages. When to call, whom to call, how to call are what make the difference.
Myth 4: Introverts cannot sell
This again is one of those classic sales myths. This has been around for longer than any other misconception about sales.
No, this simply is the biggest misconception. You do not need to conform to any type or category to excel in sales. This is a bias which hiring managers need to get rid of. Introverts have one of the most effective sales skills. They are usually good listeners. Active listening is a far more useful skill in sales than the ability to speak fluently. Sellers like buyers can have different persona and skills.
Myth 5: LinkedIn is a job site
No, LinkedIn is not a job site. It is a business and professional networking site. It is a skills development and learning site. It is a content sharing platform. It is much more than just a job site.
Great sales professionals and networkers would vouch for the effectiveness of this wonderful platform. There is no other platform where you can directly contact decision makers to sell your product and service. I could go to the extent of saying that LinkedIn is all some product and service categories need for sales and marketing.
Myth 6: A great product will sell itself
There are some startup founders and entrepreneurs who feel sales and marketing are not as critical as product development. They are not to be compared. Product development, human resources, operations, finance, sales and marketing each have a distinct role to play. Every business needs each of these functions to deliver to be successful.
A great product will certainly invite interest especially from a closed or niche group of customers. That could be the initial success. However, when it is about scaling up, sales and marketing will help reach the target buyers. You will have examples of new products that go viral based on quick word of mouth publicity and user generated content on social media. However that again is initial success. You need to treat it as a proof of concept of customer acceptance for your product.
A well defined sales strategy needs to accompany a great product for long term and scalable success.
What other sales myths you should avoid? Myths that you may have believed. Please share in the comments section below.