7 Ways to Kill Your Sales Deal

You need to sell your product or service and you’ve got a lot of competition. The Public Speaker outlines the 7 mistakes people make that kill the deal - plus, how to avoid them. 

Lisa B. Marshall,
December 6, 2013
Episode #229

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Brian is the Sales Manager for a small home inspection company. Unfortunately for him, home inspectors, like real estate agents, are around every corner. So how does he get and maintain customers? Excellence at what he does. Impeccable communication skills. And candy.

Brian buys giant glass jars, fills them with candy, and delivers them to the reception desks at the 5 largest brokerages in the area. When Brian returns to refill them (each week!), he takes out the old candy and replaces it with new colors and flavors, and as he does so he chats with the receptionist, the agents in the front offices, and anyone else who’s around. He genuinely cares for other people and they look forward to his visits..

Candy gets Brian in the door and the quality of his inspectors keeps clients coming back. What does he know about selling his company to his clients that other people don’t? He knows what breaks a deal – and then he does exactly the opposite.

Here are 7 ways to be sure to kill your deal:

Deal Killer #1: Don’t Ask Questions

You’ve made so many pitches, you’ve heard it all; you’re too busy to ask questions ahead of time.  You assume this prospect is just like others you’ve dealt with.  However, before you can deliver a specific solution for this customer, you’ll need to first ask a lot of questions. How else will you understand this particular prospect’s challenges, problems and opportunities?

What does this customer want and need?  What is their culture? How does this customer make decisions? What is your firm’s history with this client? How does this client view your industry in general? What might prevent them from buying now?  

You’ll need to build rapport and develop relationships in order to find out. This means you’ll need to ask questions, a lot of questions, every time.   

Deal Killer #2: Pitch Your Prospect With a One-Way Presentation

Once you gather as much information as you can, you need to use that information to drive your presentation. You need to continue the dialogue during the presentation. Ditch the standard pitch and switch instead to a collaborative, consultative conversation. 

If you don’t customize your communication to the specific client sitting in front of you, you’ll lose them. Make sure everything you say and every point you make reflects the information you gathered, and make sure it does so across every piece of media that you use. Each slide, hand-out, or verbal point you offer needs to be about this client. It’s all about them.

Deal Killer #3: Don’t Emphasize Why You’re Unique

Do you have the most experience in your industry? Are you a high-quality, yet inexpensive solution? Is your customer service exceptional?

If you don’t tell them why you’re different from the rest, they won’t figure it out for themselves.  It is critically important to communicate in a clear, concise, and compelling manner how your products and services uniquely solve the issues facing your prospect.  Your potential client should find your products and services so valuable that the competition is irrelevant.


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