Common Barriers to Making Sales

Making more sales is often a matter of avoiding the common barriers which can derail a sale’s progress. Here are three common barriers to making more sales:

  1. Failing to uncover customer needs, objectives, or motivations for purchase
  2. This is the biggest barrier which prevents sales from happening. When a salesperson does not have an excellent understanding of typical reasons why customers might buy from them, it creates two problems. First, the most immediate problem is that the sale just does not happen. Second, it leaves the sale up to the customer, who buys for reasons which may or may not necessarily be in their best interests. Doesn’t the customer always know what is in their own best interests? Well, the answer to that is: Sometimes. However, usually the reason a salesperson is involved is because the purchase decision is not one which can just be made on the obvious merits of a particular product. As a salesperson, the customer is in your care. If they select the wrong product or service, rest assured they will probably find out later, and they will not blame themselves for not asking more questions, or for making a bad choice. Instead, they will blame you for allowing them to buy the wrong thing, as they certainly should.

  3. Failing to uncover other people who have influence on the sale’s progress
  4. The more complex a sale is, the more people usually wind up being involved, so that proper due diligence is performed. This does not always result in the best choice being made, but it does diffuse sole responsibility should a bad choice be made. Not all the people who are involved in a sale’s approval will be decision makers who can give authorization, but some of them can kill the deal if their requirements are not met, or their approval is not obtained. Finding out who these hidden gatekeepers are is one of the biggest challenges in making major sales, and is another common barrier to getting a deal done.

  5. Failing to link product or service advantages to customer needs
  6. This final barrier occurs when the salesperson does not remember that the customer is the one who decides whether a particular product or service’s advantages meet the customer’s needs. While this barrier is not quite as bad as spewing features at a non-expert customer (and expecting them to make sense of why the features are important), it is equally fatal to the sales process. A product or service which does something extremely well, which nonetheless is not something the customer needs or wants done (or understand why it should be done at all), will seldom get a positive buying decision from the customer.

Thus, when you discover customer needs, find out who else has a say in the sale going forward, and explain how your products and services benefit the customer, you have resolved three of the biggest barriers to successfully making more sales.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays