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You could have the cure to AIDS yet fail to sell your remedy to one person if you’re making any of these blunders. Here are three ways you’re committing sales suicide right now.

1. Thinking you can sell anything to “anybody”

Think of your product like ice cream. Everyone likes ice cream, right? And what’s the most popular flavor? Vanilla. Nearly anyone will eat vanilla ice cream – but vanilla is never anyone’s favorite. Vanilla is mild and mediocre. It lacks impact and presence. It’s indistinguishable and lacks the impressiveness required to create a cult following. Sell your stuff like it’s vanilla and people will treat you, well….like vanilla. They’ll take you, but they won’t give a sh*t about you.

2. Lacking Transparency and Honesty

Always put your best foot forward, but be respectful of the prospect’s intelligence and upfront about potential drawbacks.

If your product or service has a flaw your prospect should consider, let them know. This doesn’t mean pumping out a huge list of side effects like a medication commercial. But it does mean being upfront about particular considerations.

For example:

  • “This dress is $300 less than the Herve Leger, but the fabric’s a little cheaper, so it will pill unless you take it to the dry cleaners regularly.”
  • “The 5-series provides a smoother drive and German engineering – but you will need to pay for premium gas to keep it running properly.”
  • “You can stick your cheating ex’s Madden in the blender – and it will blend, but you might have a court case on your hands.”

3. Practicing Your Psychic Powers

Unless you’re Miss Cleo, you’re not getting paid to read minds. Don’t assume you know what the prospect wants and jump to conclusions. Assumptions piss people off mightily, and a misread is hard to recover from. Gain clarity into your customer’s mind by asking questions, and use the insight received to match their needs to your perfect solution.

4. Talking too Damn Much

I’ll be the first to tell you I’ve made this mistake before. I worked at a massage franchise where we sold those monthly memberships. After the customer would emerge from their massage, relaxed and ready to go, I would tell them about our company, and go into excruciating detail about the entire program. I gave so much information, I talked myself out of the sale.

Do not overtalk the customer, and do not overwhelm them with information. Give them one solid option, and if they need more suggestions, maybe add in one, possibly two more. But treat them like E.F. Hutton – when they talk, you listen. 

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