World-renowned speaker, author and entrepreneur Eric Feng, who began his career as a scrawny and reserved “nobody”, sheds light on the common communication mistakes that could be costing them the sale.
As a communications coach and accomplished speaker who has spoken to audiences as large as 10,000 people, Eric Feng has more than a decade’s experience coaching sales professionals with their pitches and communication skills. He highlights the three most common mistakes which could potentially be killing the sale, and how to make adjustments to avoid sabotaging your profits.
Mistake 1: Not focusing on the customer
As the value of the sale increases, the benefits of the product/service start to matter more than the features. According to Eric, a tip to be more focused on the customer and see from their perspective is to answer the question, “What’s in it for them?”
Find out what the customer desires, values and wants, and tell them how your product/service adds value to their life based on those metrics. For example, if they are looking to get a new mobile phone and battery life is their main consideration, a good way to put it across would be to tell them, “Even if you spend 8 hours a day watching videos on this phone, you’ll only need to charge it once every day.”
Mistake 2: Talking too much
Richard Branson said, “Listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak.”
Tying in with tip #1 of focusing on the customer, imagine how the customer would feel if all they hear is the salesperson talking about the product or about themselves. According to Eric, customers buy when they feel understood and their needs are being met, and not because they understand the product. The quickest way to close a sale is to make the customer feel important and special by giving them lots of attention. The job of a salesperson is not to give information, but instead obtain it by asking questions to find out the motivations and desires of the customer.
Mistake 3: Not standing out
Nowadays, everybody is exposed to a seemingly endless stream of information right from the moment they wake up. A pitch that has abstract benefits — for example, “this product improves your wellness and gives you more energy” — is unlikely to make a deep impression on the customer. Instead, help your customers visualise and “experience” the benefits — “this product has been shown to help athletes recover from muscle soreness up to 1 day faster, and the alertness you get from it feels like you’ve drank 2 cups of coffee, without the giddiness and negative side effects of caffeine”. Facts tell, stories sell, and what your customer remembers is the most important.