How are you looking to finish your year? There’s time left, but we need to be careful for fear of making a fatal mistake that dooms the year.
A few years ago I was working with a CEO and his 8-person sales team to help them close the year on target. The CEO was blunt with me as to why he wanted me working with the team. He said it was because every year they allow themselves to get distracted chasing deals that have zero potential to close any time soon.
Chasing the shiny object will never go away as an issue too many salespeople fall for.
Here’s my list of year-end mistakes you need to pay attention to, lest you become the salesperson who had the number made, only to lose it late in the game:
1. Selling inventory that doesn’t exist. What can be worse than having orders for product that is out of stock and you won’t be able to get until it’s too late?
2. Selling a new customer who doesn’t have the credit rating needed for you to do business with them.
3. Spending time you don’t have with customers, chasing big deals that are not going to close for many months.
4. Building your plan to make your number without allowing for a buffer to cover any last minute issues that might arise.
5. Spending too much time with new prospects who will take time to turn into customers at the expense of existing customers who have potential.
6. Failing to find out now from all your existing customers what their year-end schedules are to ensure any late December orders aren’t going to be missed due to a business being closed.
7. Failing to verify with your finance department the size of credit your year-end customers have to ensure you can process year-end orders.
8. Failing to know exactly how your own company will handle all customer activity, including orders, the last two weeks of the year.
9. Trying to sell orders that are simply too hard to understand and in turn wind up raising an issue that results in the sale not occurring this year.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that I made many of these mistakes in my first 10 years of selling. Each time I did something stupid, I said I would never do it again. And I didn’t! Instead I just did something else equally stupid.
Sales is a profession where we’re always learning. The best way to learn is by learning from others, and I trust this list will spur your thinking. Now, let’s get moving and finish the year strong. Even better, let’s kick the new year off to an incredible fast start.
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Copyright 2017, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.