Sales ignorance is nothing to laugh about. In fact salespeople who are ignorant seldom realize it. Ain't that amazing?

Ten quick ways to becoming a sales ignoramus - really:

1. Keep everything in your head. Never write it down. Do you think it's possible to remember everything you don't write down? If you can't remember what you had for lunch on June 15th, how can you expect to remember what 2 sales prospects and 3 customers told you on that same day?

If it's important write it down.

2. Treat every sales call like an adventure. The best way to do this is to not have any written sales call objectives. Look - we both know it's more fun to play it by ear. Your sales prospects and customers can tell when you're winging it.

They can also tell when you have a game plan. Having a game plan is also a game changer for you and your customers.

3. Talking too much because you don't know how to ask intelligent questions. Most salespeople are excellent communicators. Just be careful that your mouth doesn't become the center of your universe.

4. Selling features instead of solving problems. Problems agitate people a lot more than your solutions excite them.

Ask intelligent sales questions to uncover specific problems. Find out how much the problems cost. And don't forget to quantify the value of your solutions in dollars.

If you don't know how to do this you'd better learn FAST!

5. Knowing the answers before you ask any questions. Making all the wrong assumptions. The worst part about being an experienced sales person is you've heard it all before. So there's no need to ask good sales questions when you already know the answers - balderdash!

Think about finger prints for a minute. No two sets are exactly a like. If you believe this, you gotta believe that no two customers and sales prospects have minds exactly alike.

Pay attention to what makes people different and they'll line up to do business with you!

6. Improvising everything and preparing nothing. This one is a no-brainer. Nothing displays your sales ignorance more than this.

In sales preparation beats improvisation every day of the week.

It stands to reason that you can't prepare everything. It also stands to reason you shouldn't improvise everything.

Just think about it.

7. Talking about price because you don't know how to explain your value. Most salespeople are so rattled by the price objection - they unconsciously bring up the subject of price first.

Rule number 1 - know your products/services inside and out.

Rule number 2 - dollarize the value of everything related to your products and services. Don't expect your customers to see the true value of your products if you can't dollarize it for them.

Rule number 3 - never forget rule number 1 and rule number 2.

8. Thinking you're a master of selling. How long you've been in sales doesn't determine how smart you. In fact if you don't read books, listen to CDs, read articles, go to sales training seminars, watch videos, participate in forums, read blogs - you'll never master the art of selling.

I encourage you to become a student of selling. It's the process of self-improvement.

It's a journey - and it ends with your last breath.

9. How long have you been in sales - 5 years? Could be 1 year repeated 5 times.

If you aren't learning you can't be changing. If you're not changing, you're not growing.

Can you quickly answer this question? During the last 12 months what have you started doing, stopped doing, and changed what you're doing as a professional sales representative?

If you can't answer this question, what makes you think this year is any different from last year - hello?

10. Not knowing, word-for-word, how to close the sale. Okay you got the appointment. You had multiple sales calls. You asked good sales questions. Your sales presentation was excellent. You handled the price objection easily. Your sales proposal exudes value.

But uh, huh, um . . . you're waiting for your sales prospect to give you the order because you don't know to ask for the business - pure sales ignorance.

If you want to ace the test - prepare and practice your close until you know it like your national anthem.

Remember sales ignorance is nothing to laugh about!

Why be ordinary when you can become a Trail Blazer!

Author's Bio: 

Jim Meisenheimer publishes the Start Selling More Newsletter.

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