Welcome to Part 2 of my two-part series on bad habits. No, I’m not talking about the Ed Sheeran song, I’m talking about those habits that hurt your MSP sales growth without you even realizing it.
We all get into our comfort zone from time to time, which can be a source of stagnation for your sales efforts. Are you prospecting the same way you always have? Do your conversations with leads seem to repeat themselves? Are you struggling to try to get the results you want?
If so, you’ve likely picked up some bad habits in your sales process that you don’t even realize are there. Let’s break out of that comfort zone and take a hard look at some easy fixes for stagnant sales.
Need to catch up on Part 1? Check out bad habits 1-6 here.
Are Any Of These Bad Sales Habits Hurting Your MSP’s Growth?
7. Doing All The Talking
You’re chatting with a prospect, and they are nodding and smiling. You did most of the talking… and they seemed to like you, right?
Then you never hear from them again.
A classic bad habit is for salespeople to do most of the talking during a customer engagement. What does this lead to?
Salespeople don’t know what the lead really needs or wants, because they spent all that time telling them what their IT business could do for them. The prospect can’t get a word in edgewise, was pitched something they might not need, and they leave feeling like they weren’t heard, understood, or valued. Ouch!
Good salespeople focus on the connection with a prospect rather than just making a sale. They actively listen to what the prospect has to say, rather than running through a sales pitch. They listen. A lot.
Ask questions, be curious, and have a conversation. Don’t give a speech.
Use open ended questions to learn from, and connect with, your prospect so you can have a meaningful two-way conversation and leave them with a feeling of connection.
8. Letting A Bad Sales Call Get to You
Whether you sell cybersecurity services or vacuum cleaners, you’re going to have a bad sales call from time to time. Running a business, being a salesperson, both roles are tough.
You likely hear “No” much more than you hear “Yes.” You get hung up on, ignored, or might just be in the line of fire when the prospect has had a bad day.
What do you do when that happens?
Do you start scrolling on social media to distract yourself? (Hello, dopamine rush.) Do you throw up your hands and stop doing follow-ups? Do you feel broken and worthless, and half-heartedly call the next lead? Do you shrug it off and move on?
Letting a bad sales call get to you can ruin your mood for the rest of the day (or week), and it can also seriously hurt your sales efforts. You must stop internalizing how a prospect responds to your call or email.
There could be a million reasons why they don’t want to talk to you or were rude. And those million things likely have NOTHING to do with you. Regardless, learn from the experience and be resilient. Don’t let it ruin your next sales call.
The most successful salespeople have figured out how to turn obstacles into opportunities. They keep getting up even after falling down over and over and over again. And it’s an inner strength that is cultivated by a deep and unyielding belief in yourself and an unyielding confidence that nothing can stop you.
9. Not Being Focused On The Prospect’s Needs
Yes, it’s important to know your value proposition and to have a call plan, but it’s also important to know that they might be thrown out the window and morph into something else as you actively listen to your prospect’s needs. You might have to adjust on the fly and tweak that value prop or go a completely different direction than you’d planned.
A big mistake many MSP salespeople make is to be almost 100% “me-focused”. They jump in with an answer before the prospect has even finished the question.
You’re not going to close a deal if what you’re offering doesn’t match what the prospect needs. You can’t assume you know; you need to actively listen so you can laser target your IT support or cybersecurity sales pitch to focus on the features that are important to the prospect.
10. Not Wanting To Analyze & Improve Your Performance
If you are unhappy with your closing rates, you must change your sales process. A bad habit many salespeople make is to avoid analyzing their performance.
Do you think a football player likes to watch themselves on replay fumbling a ball? I doubt it! But they analyze how that happened, so they can spot their mistakes, and improve their performance for the next game.
It only take a few minutes to analyze your sales calls. I know you’re busy, but this is absolutely vital if you want to continue to improve your close rate. And yes, you might not always like what you see. But I’d rather you see it and fix it than your prospects see it and choose not to buy from you!
As one concrete example, let’s say that you’ve been sending the same follow-up email forever. You check your numbers and realize that your response rate is marginal, and it’s trending down from last year or the year before. Chances are you need to change the email or edit your follow up sequence. (But now you are aware of it! You can’t fix a problem that you don’t know exists.)
Don’t be afraid to be your own analyst. It’s how the great players and salespeople get even better.
11. Slacking Off After A Big Sale
Woo hoo! You just got a big sale. Time to kick up your feet and not bother making sales calls for a while, right? Wrong!
Do your MSP sales look like a roller coaster? One good month, one bad month, and so on? It could be because of a bad habit many salespeople make which is to slack off after they get a big sale.
The best time to double down on sales efforts is when you just closed a big sale. Momentum is a real thing in business! It’s a bit of a mystery, but it could be that when you’re excited about closing a sale, your energy and enthusiasm shows! In your calls, your passion, your emails, in everything. So when you just closed that big sale, celebrate – and get right back to sowing those seeds for the next month. If you slack off, your sales pipeline will be a bit skimpy…and you’ll be back into the whole “feast or famine” world of misery.
Celebrate a big sale. You deserve it. But then get back to work to set up the next great sale.
12. Giving Up Too Soon
When do you give up on a prospect? After three unsuccessful attempts? After four? You could be shooting yourself in the foot by giving up too soon.
Did you know that 80% of sales require an average of 5 follow-ups before they close? And a whopping 94% of salespeople have given up by the fourth follow-up. How painful is that? They could have made a sale but gave up one follow-up too soon!
This is a common habit that holds many entrepreneurs and salespeople back from the growth they could achieve.
Rejection hurts. Nobody likes it. But if you want to improve your close ratio, you need to be absolutely sure that a prospect doesn’t want what you have.
And you don’t need to make every touchpoint a phone call. Mix it up. Reach out over LinkedIn, email the lead some helpful information, consider SMS (texting), and yes, call them too. The point is to at least hit that magic 5 follow-up mark and don’t give up too soon.
Final Thoughts On Improving Your Sales Process
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfortable sales pitch, shake things up, and try something new. It’s also vital to analyze your performance and process so you can continue evolving into that super salesperson that’s inside just waiting to get out.