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We salespeople like to think of ourselves as intuitive professionals, great at reading people and skilled in the art of human connection. So why then, do so many salespeople lose deals that seemed so promising at first?

The answer in many cases is because they made one of the common closing mistakes that seem pervade the sales profession. The best salespeople are disciplined, especially when it comes to closing, where it counts the most. If you want to close more deals, try Spiro’s sales automation CRM, and avoid these five closing mistakes:

1. Salespeople who aren’t being clear enough

Either you ask for the prospect’s business, or you don’t. Too many salespeople are indecisive and waffle with their close instead of coming right out and asking for it. It’s like a mumbling high school sophomore asking his crush to go out on a date; it might work sometimes, but only if she thinks your pathetic bumbling is endearing.

Be clear and confident with the prospect and ask for their business. If you’ve gone through the sales process properly, then your chances of getting the deal are high. But if you start making vague and indecisive statements about “moving forward” or “taking next steps” then the customer will be just as uncertain as you are.

2. Sales reps who push too hard

Pushing too hard can be just as bad as not pushing hard enough. Customers who feel like they’re being put under pressure to make a decision will oftentimes choose to take the pressure off by walking away. Great salespeople know how to be clear and direct with their close, without making the prospect feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable.

If you can’t tell the difference between being pushy and decisive, try looking at it this way: a pushy salesperson forces the customer to make a decision, while a decisive salesperson asks their customer to make one. Ask for the business, but never try to force the customer into it.

3. Salespeople who sell past the close

This is one of the worst mistakes that salespeople make because it’s so easy to avoid. Selling past the close is when the sale has already been made and the salesperson still keeps selling. The reason why it’s so bad is because there’s nothing good that can come of it, but lots of bad things that can.

For example, say you’ve gone through your presentation and the customer has agreed to move forward, but you keep on selling and mention something about the product that the customer was unaware of. What if this new bit of information changes the customer’s mind and they decide to hold off. In sales, like in medicine, the first rule should be “do no harm.”

4. Sales professionals who don’t create a sense of urgency

People’s decisions to buy are driven by need and timing. If the need is there but the timing isn’t, the customer has no incentive to hurry to close the deal. If you wanted to buy something but were in no hurry, why would you care if it was today or next month? That’s why it’s so important for salespeople to create a sense of urgency for the customer.

It’s not enough to build value for the customer if you can’t also explain why they need to move forward as soon as possible. Of course, you need to develop a sense of urgency without being too pushy. Being able to do this is what separates the great salespeople from everyone else.

5. Sales reps not understanding what the prospect wants

By now you should understand that the most important skill you can learn in sales is listening. We listen to prospects so that they can tell us exactly what we need to know to close them. But just listening to words isn’t enough, you need to understand the motivations and the true meaning behind them.

An expert salesperson is an expert in human desires and motivations. If you let a prospect speak enough and really try to put yourself in their shoes, you will be able to identify and understand what he or she really wants and then tailor your pitch around that.  Make sure to avoid these closing mistakes, and your closing rate will thank you.

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About the Author Adam Honig

Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a natural sales leader with a mission to help salespeople make more money using artificial intelligence — or any sort of intelligence for that matter. Adam has been a founder of four companies which resulted in two triumphant IPOs and two legendary mergers. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the ‘No Jerks’ hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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