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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction

By Steven J. Schmidt (3/4/09)

As mentioned in the previous entry, one of the worst things you can do in sales is not to close. This next one makes the most amount of sense as to where it is placed in this list. You will not even ever the chance to close without getting the attention of a customer. That is due to a lack of not having a good opener/introduction.

As you will read in many sales Web sites, magazines, tutorials, etc, the first impression is made within the first few seconds. There is no possible way you can function at all without gaining the attention of a customer.

If you want to succeed in sales but you cannot gain your customers' attention, you can definitely work on strengthening your opening lines.

Let's stick with the window washing as a sales job of the previous entry. Suppose you are going to attack apartment complexes. Instead of just asking the property manager or the person that makes the decision, "We are a window washing company, would you be interested in our services?" you need to come up with a better approach.

What you want to do is explain how washing windows can benefit the apartment complex and what type of value they can hold on paying for your services. For example, you tell the property manager, "We specialize in washing windows, but by doing that, we increase the value of the apartment complex for you. We will make your curb appeal go up, which means tenants looking to rent will be looking to you as opposed to the other apartment complex that does not get their windows washed."

Right there, you opened your line up of who you are, but more importantly, you got right to the point within 10 seconds or so. In addition, you told the client what you can do for them and why they need to have you. Values and benefits are always the way to go because people in general will always want to know what's in it for them and what they will get in return.

I have seen sales reps go into businesses with doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts or something like that. You do not have to go that route, but people are busy and time is of the essence. You have to make yourself known right away and draw interest. You can always get to know people later and chit chat, but since people's time is precious, give them a reason to hear you out.

Do something, anything different to stand out! Customers will always remember the salesperson who did something unique or out of the ordinary to try and make the sale. And guess what? They probably bought from that person instead of the guy who sounded like everyone else.

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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