The sales interview is the key to any successful sale. Sure we have follow ups, proposals and all of that, but it all starts with the initial interview.


The purpose of the sales interview is to build enough trust with the prospect that they will buy from us, however it can be easy to miss things out in the race to the finish line.


Here are some reasons why we are missing out on sales that we could be closing.


You are talking too much


This is the number one problem that most salespeople have. They talk too much about what their product does and how it can help the prospect.

Focusing on the product takes the emphasis away from the prospect’s need, in the prospects mind, your product or service is more important to you than solving their problem

The key is to ask good questions that focus on uncovering an issue the prospect is having.

If you get to the end of the interview and have some strong buying signals from the buyer, and  only then can you ask “Is there anything you would like to ask me?”.

You have now earned the right to talk a about your product and how it can help them.

Remember to keep the focus on the prospect at all times, you can never listen your way out of a sale but you can talk your way out of one!


You are relying on visual aids


As I mentioned above we need to keep the focus on the prospect at all times, they don’t care about the features of your product or how long you have been in business for, all they care about is what it can do for them.

Salespeople often use a presentation or a brochure as a crutch, something they can lean on if they are unsure about a prospect. We think that it will help get them over the line.

This actually does the opposite, it takes the focus away from the prospect and the issue they are facing and can distract the whole conversation.

Jeffrey J. Fox says “Present for show, close for dough”, save your presentations until the end when you have a buying commitment.

Don’t let presentations and visual aids distract you or the prospect from the purpose of the interview, which is to uncover their need and how you can solve it.


You are overcoming objections


Many old style sales courses taught us how we can overcome objections. They taught us good retorts or to throw questions back at the prospect to get around them.

Objections are caused by statements, or the salesperson making assumptions.

Needs based selling is all about asking good questions. By using this methodology you can avoid most objections because you are asking the buyer what they think, rather than telling them something. Remember, telling isn’t selling.


You aren’t showing the Return on Investment


People need a reason to buy your product. You have got to the end of the interview and have almost got it in the bag, the buyer says to you:

“It all looks good, but we have to fit it into the budget somehow.”

What do you do?

You need to show them the Return on Investment.

People decide with their emotions and then justify their decision with logic. In this sense, prospects will decide to buy from you because they like and trust you, they see a need for your offering. But, they need to see a return on investment to justify their decision.

A salesperson must always use a Return on Investment calculation to show the buyer how much they are losing by not using you or how much they could gain by using your services.

Remember to dollarise the problem, show the prospect the real numbers.

I hope you have a prosperous month.


Hayden Burgess



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