There's one mistake I see sales teams make repeatedly.

It drives me nuts - because I know the problem started before the customer was ever engaged. It's a mindset that ruins interactions and makes customers hate engaging with sales people.

It ruins motivation. It frustrates prospective customers. And it creates stress in an already stressful environment.

What is it? It's sellers not understanding what success means in a sales cycle. Most average reps focus on the wrong thing - getting the customer to buy.

These sales reps and sales engineers have lost the sale before they even opened their mouths because when your goal is wrong, your actions are wrong.

They do this, of course, because that's how they get paid. But a change in perspective will help them close more customers.

Where should their focus be instead? Help them come to an informed decision about whether your product solves their problem.

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That means telling a prospect when you aren't the right fit. A no is okay. It's better than okay, it's great! Unless you're selling something like groceries, not everyone you talk to will need your product.

What they do need is to know that they can trust you to tell them the truth. Because when they do have a problem you can help them with, where do you think they'll go? To you, of course.

This also means showing a customer when they're wrong that you are a good fit.
What does this look like in practice? I want you to redefine success in sales to one, simple thing. Help your prospects come to an informed decision on if your product will solve their problem. Sales is a service job, and the service sales is providing is the service of making a decision to act to solve a problem.

Make sure they know they're making the right decision.

A yes is an excellent answer. A strong no is an excellent answer. An "I don't know" or an "I need to think about it" is not. A weak no is the worst of all.
Failure is when a prospect walks away without having made an informed decision.

Not when they don't buy.

Here's the funny thing. When you actually push for the no, a lot of times you'll get to a yes. This is not an excuse not to push for the sale.

Why? A lot of the no's we get are actually `I don't knows` and this gives you an opportunity to overcome obstacles and objections. And a lot of other nos are people giving their power away to another. Help them take their power back and get them to make an actual decision. Address their concerns, overcome their challenges.

A lot of sales books talk a lot about selling past the no. But what you really need to do is sell past the "I don't know" that's masquerading as a no. Once you think about them this way, these weak nos become easy to spot.

Any time you hear a no that's couched in a caveat, that's a clear sign that the customer is saying "I don't know". Ask why, address the obstacle or objection, and try again. Do this for a while and you'll be sure that your customer's no is real.

More than likely, you'll get to a yes unless you actually can't solve that customers problem.

When it is, walk away. It's all good - you still succeeded. Because the customer made an informed decision.

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