3 Reasons Why Your Salespeople Fail (and Ways to Help Them)

15 January 2021

In any business, it is normal to have good days and bad days when it comes to sales. However, what we don’t always do is reflect fully on why we had those bad days. Why was it that those particular sales were not completed?

When asking a salesperson why they couldn’t make a sale, generally what you will find is that, the answer they give, is to do with affordability. Perhaps they’ll tell you that, when it came down to it, the buyer couldn’t afford the product or a competitor came in and swept them away with a better price point.

What if I was to tell you that affordability is the least important factor in a sale?

To understand the key elements in sales, it is helpful to first carry out a simple exercise for yourself.


When was the last time someone tried to sell something to you and you didn’t buy it?


Why didn’t you buy it?

Several reasons might come to mind. Perhaps you didn’t like the salesperson or you were in the market but you just couldn’t find what you wanted. Whichever it was, you will find that the majority of reasons will fall into the following three categories:


You have to have enough confidence to believe in the promise that the salesperson is making or that the product promises to fulfil.


This is a recognised need for the product, not only that we need it but that we need it enough, to commit to the purchase.

Buying Power:

This refers to both financial buying power as well as the practical aspects, such as space for the product, which will determine whether you can make a purchase or not.


Research shows that 60% of the reasons people don’t buy are due to confidence.

That is a staggering majority when considering that you need all three elements for you to commit.

As for need and buying power, they are said to be responsible for 30% and 10% respectively.

When considering how we can utilise this information to our advantage, we need to determine how much we can influence each stage.

How can we influence Confidence?

The most difficult part in the sales process is the first point of contact because you need to build confidence in the buyer and maintain it until the purchase is made.

Many tools will help you to build confidence. For example testimonials, product demonstration or client referrals. However, these tools are only as useful as the salesperson whose hands they are in.

Like it or not, there is a lot of personality involved in sales and it is important to build rapport when selling in person, which will maintain any confidence to an adequate level throughout.


How can we influence Need?

You need to help uncover the need in your buyer and then better define it for them so that you can convince them that it is great enough to commit to a purchase.

Think about the last time you browsed online. In reality, apart from some basic requirements, there is nothing that we absolutely must have when shopping, yet we are all still liable for the odd impulse buy. Why? Because the need at that time was strengthened enough that we wanted it.

Whether that is because of an ad that we saw, whether we had tried it before or someone recommended it, the need was there and we committed.

Try to recognise which key aspects of your product make it desirable and how you can relate that to your customers’ needs.


How can you influence Buying Power?

Buying power is the part of the sales process that we can influence the least. However, we can take certain steps to ensure that there is adequate buying power by the time you come to the end of the customer journey.

Taking steps to alter the price point helps somewhat, such as spreading payments into instalments or offering discounts. However, this is still going to be ineffective unless you have done a good job at qualifying your buyer in the first place.

You first need to identify your target customers, selecting a clear persona and segment. Do this based on a clear understanding of their financial capabilities.

If you understand your customer base, you can make your offer fit to their buying power. Not only this but you need to make sure you are keeping track of changing trends, in case buying power goes up or down in your target market.

Now, after reviewing the above points, go back to your own sales process and make sure that each of the aspects is covered, so that you don’t leave any gaps!

If you’d like to have a free, no-obligation call to discuss how we can help you to improve your sales process, please feel free to get in touch.

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