The 5 Most Common Sales Mistakes

It’s the nature of business: very often, a print or sign shop lives or dies based on its sales. If you want your company to thrive, it’s important to close sales and constantly bring in more sales. So, how do you do that?

At shopVOX, we know that being a shop owner or sales manager is a complicated profession, especially when you have to master a number of different hard and soft skills, and fine-tune your techniques to make more sales. There’s a lot to keep in mind when meeting with a sales prospect, which means there’s a lot that can go wrong.

shopVOX print shop software comes with a number of features designed to help make your sales process as easy as possible. Even still, there are some major stumbling blocks that might get in your way.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common mistakes shop owners and sales managers make when trying to close on a prospect. We’ll also provide some helpful tips for how you can avoid making those mistakes going forward.

What NOT to Do When Trying to Make a Sale

Don’t Allow the Prospect to Lead the Sales Process

When meeting with a potential client, it’s tempting and effortless to let the prospect take control of the discussion and lead the sales process. It’s also a bad idea. As a sign or print shop professional, it’s important to demonstrate active engagement and a thorough knowledge of your business.

The best way to take control of the sale from the very start is to make sure you’re asking the right questions. That means asking questions that will provide you with quality answers from the person you’re selling to. By asking quality questions, you’ll have far more control over the outcome of your sales interaction with the prospect, and the number of sales you will make will likely increase.

It’s especially beneficial if you can ask a question that the prospect hasn’t yet considered themselves; this will show that you actually care about the outcome and that you want to ensure their experience is a positive one.

Don’t Forget to Do Your Research

“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” That may just sound like a cliche, but like many cliches, there is a kernel of truth at its center. In sales, inadequate preparation and research are among the leading causes of lost sales.

When first making contact with a prospect, ask yourself how much research you’ve done into their business, as well as into them personally. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to connect with them during the sales process because you’ll have a clearer understanding how your print or sign shop business can satisfy their unique requirements.

With a wealth of simple but effective research tools at your fingertips, including the prospect’s own website and social media accounts, Google, Google Maps, and Google Reviews, LinkedIn, and more, there’s no excuse for not researching your prospect’s professional and personal background, as well as the company for whom they work.

Don’t Talk More Than You Listen

Passionate enthusiasm for your business’s products and services is an essential quality if you want to be successful in sales. Never let anyone tell you to not be enthusiastic when selling. After all, it’s better to be too excited than to be dull and robotic; how can you expect the prospect to be excited if you’re not excited?

That said, sometimes a side effect of passion is making the common mistake of talking too much and not listening to a prospect’s needs and the issues that they want to discuss. The most effective sign shop owners and salespeople listen much more than they talk, letting the prospect talk about their concerns, their activities, and how they want your product or service to work for them.

In sales, remember the golden rule: you have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should listen twice as much as you talk. The key here is to be enthusiastic, ask good questions, and move the sales forward, but always be listening.

Don’t Neglect Your Sales Pipeline Development

We’ve all been down this road before; it’s easy to focus your attention only on the hot prospects that you’re confident will buy right now, in the process neglecting to build a sales pipeline that will bring in future sales

The sales pipeline is something that is all too easy to overlook. If you’re having a great month, selling and completing estimates with existing prospects, you may forget that you have to keep growing your sales pipeline with new prospects in order to nurture future sales. You have to pay attention to both your short-term and long-term sales cycles to truly be successful.

So how do you balance your time between completing sales now and building up your pipeline for future sales? One system that many successful business owners and sales managers use is to work on new sales leads in the morning and then focus on meeting with a hot prospect and closing deals in the afternoon.

Don’t Be Passive When It Comes to Asking for the Close

When all is said and done, one of the biggest mistakes that many of us in the sign and print shop industry make is not asking the prospect to buy. This is known as “the close.” Instead, we simply wait and hope that the prospect will come to us and tell us that they’re ready to buy.

As an owner or sales manager, it is your task to help the prospect make a purchasing decision. That means you need to ask them to buy. You have to explicitly say to them “Are you ready to make a purchase?”

It may be hard to get your foot in the door with a customer, to build up your prospect list, or to fire off product specs at a moment’s notice, but the goal of every step of the sales process is to produce enough value to create a sense of urgency in the prospect. All that effort may be wasted, though, if you don’t appropriately ask for the close.

Increase Your Sign Shop Sales with shopVOX

At shopVOX, we know how easy it is to get caught in a rut with your sales goals. That’s why the above list of common mistakes is worth looking back on even after you think you’ve mastered the sales process. If you see yourself or your employees continuing to make the errors above, it should be your priority to correct that immediately.

Of course, there are many other potential sales mistakes that all of us in the sign shop and print shop business are guilty of from time to time, such as focusing too much on price instead of value or making guarantees that we can’t actually fulfill. However, it is the five pitfalls above that have the greatest impact on your sales.

shopVOX sign software can help you streamline your sales process, develop your pipeline, and increase your conversions. Learn more about what shopVOX can do for you today!