6 Tips to Help Salespeople Fix Mistakes and Get Sales Back on Track – A Sales Momentum Tip Sheet

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At best mistakes get salespeople off track; at worse they lose the sale. Sales Momentum today shares 6 tips to help salespeople get the sales process back on track after making a classic sales mistake.

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Sales reps dread dealing with mistakes. At best they get salespeople off track … at worse they lose the sale.

No matter how clever a sales strategy or how much value a salesperson brings to customers, it is easily forgotten when mistakes are made. Mistakes run the gamut from defective products to sharing faulty information with decision makers. While some mistakes may be just annoying, others may be financially costly, and some have more dire consequences.

Today Sales Momentum introduces 6 tips for handling mistakes so salespeople can get the sale back on track. “Sales reps dread dealing with mistakes. At best they get salespeople off track … at worse they lose the sale,” according to Richard Ruff, Ph.D., co-founder of Sales Momentum.

Here are the 6 tips for handling mistakes and getting the sales process back on track.

1.    Take responsibility for the mistake – and do it quickly. By owning up, salespeople are telling the customer they “acknowledge” the mistake. While the customer may still face a problem they now have an acknowledged partner working with them to solve it.

2.    Analyze the mistake from the customer’s perspective. The first step is to get on the other side of the table. From the salesperson’s side it may not appear to be a big deal – they may have seen the mistake many times before. But that’s not necessarily true for the customer.

3.    Act professionally. As salespeople begin to tackle the mistake, start with attitude. Customers should believe the salesperson understands that a mistake has occurred, takes it seriously, and will handle it professionally.

4.    Remember bad news documents itself. It is rather uncanny that one has to go to great lengths to promote and publicize good news. On the other hand bad news documents itself and does so quickly throughout the customer organization – think “wildfire.” So handling things immediately is a basic requirement.

5.    Explain how the mistake happened, but be thoughtful about the explanation. While people usually like to know why something happened, they don’t want to hear a litany of excuses – especially when the storyline places blame everywhere but where it belongs.

6.    Prevention is better than cure. When a mistake happens and customers give salespeople the opportunity to rectify it, the salesperson must take the time to analyze how to prevent it from reoccurring. And, the salesperson must make sure to communicate with customers what they will do to minimize the risk of reoccurrence.

“While these 6 tips don’t guarantee getting a sale back on track, they do increase the probability that the salesperson will have a second chance with a customer. Best case, of course, is they’ll impress the customer so much a negative turns into a plus”, according to Janet Spirer, Ph.D., co-founder of Sales Momentum.

About Sales Momentum
For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer – the founders of Sales Momentum – have worked with the Fortune 1000 to design and develop sales training programs that make a difference. By working with companies – such as UPS, Smith & Nephew, Textron, the Center for Creative Leadership, and Robbins & Myers – they have learned that today’s standard for a great sales force significantly differs from yesterday’s picture. Janet and Richard co-authored Mastering Major Account Selling and Parlez- Vous Business. They also publish the sales blog - Sales Training Connection. Richard co-authored Managing Major Account Selling and Getting Partnering Right. The books are available here.

Janet Spirer, Ph.D.
Principal, Sales Momentum
9280 E. Thompson Peak Parkway - Suite 36 - Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Tel: 480-513-0900
Web: salesmomentum.com
Web: salestrainingconnection.com

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Sales Momentum
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