Most Embarrassing Sales Meeting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We’ve all been there:

  • You’re presenting at a sales meeting and your computer can’t connect to a screen or projector.
  • You have to explain the features of a complex product and suddenly realize you don’t have the exhibit you need.
  • You fumble to find the paperwork required for a buyer to close a deal.

Few things create as much panic as sales meeting mess-ups. When you’re trying to make a great impression on buyers, snafus can be almost impossible to recover from.

Check out these common sales meeting blunders and find out what you and your team can do to avoid them — or recover from them when they happen.

Focus unfocused

Nothing is worse than a sales meeting that veers off track. Prospective buyers can’t understand what you’re selling if you don’t tell a coherent, end-to-end story — or if they interrupt your narrative with questions and you can’t find your way back to it again.

Solution: Having a defined sales process, scripting to go along with it and prescribed sales materials to support every step of it will help prevent meetings from going off track.

Also, make sure sales reps have access to training on how to deliver optimal sales experiences, answer questions and recover from objections. A small investment in training will pay for itself many times over in improved sales close rates.

Always distribute an agenda prior to sales meetings to ensure sales rep and buyer expectations for the meeting are in alignment. Salespeople can also refer back to the agenda to get things back on track when they become distracted.

Tip: Deliver everything reps need to plan and execute stellar sales meetings through a single source sales enablement system. It makes it easier for them to deliver an optimal customer experience.

Participants not participating

It’s challenging to sell to stone-faced buyers who aren’t engaging with your sales presentation. It makes it impossible to gauge their interest in what you’re offering and whether they have any intention of purchasing.

Solution: Build interactive elements into every step of your sales process. Provide opportunities for buyers to ask questions and come to conclusions on their own. In today’s digital world, people are used to getting information when and how they want. Allowing prospects and clients to control parts of your sales meetings will keep them fully involved.

Tip: A sales enablement system makes it easy for reps to insert interactive experiences seamlessly into their sales presentations.

Tech challenged

It’s every presenter’s ultimate nightmare:

  • Your computer won’t boot up and your presentation is on it.
  • The projection system won’t connect to your computer.
  • You can’t log in to wifi.

Anxiety about tech failures keeps most reps up at night.

Solution: Plan ahead. Then plan some more.

Contact your hosts prior to external meetings to find out who you’re presenting to and the environment you’re meeting in. Plan for how you can deliver your messages and content in the most engaging and effective way possible. Find ways to control as much of your technology and delivery as possible by using your own computer, projector and other equipment. Also, have printouts and support materials at the ready so you’re not dependent on unfamiliar printers.

If you find that you have to depend on a technology that you’re not familiar with, request that a tech expert affiliated with your host attend the first few minutes of your meeting. This will help you avoid having to locate them at the last minute to solve a tech emergency.

Did you know: The sales enablement system offered by Mobile Locker works with or without a wifi connection? This will help you feel more confident that you’ll have them meeting materials you need even when unexpected things happen.

Presentation isn’t present

It’s happened to every sales rep: You launch your presentation and it’s the wrong one. It’s customized for another client or an old version that’s out of date.

The solution: A sales enablement system, like the one offered by Mobile Locker, will ensure that you’re always using the latest versions of presentations and other sales materials. It also makes it easy to customize things on the fly, so your buyers always feel that you’re communicating directly with them about solutions to issues they care about.

Tip: Use humor to recover from sales meeting snafus. Everyone makes mistakes and laughing about them can bring people closer together.

Answer? What answer?

Imagine: A buyer asks a question and you can’t come up with an answer. Of course, you don’t have to imagine it. It happens to everyone!

Solution: It’s impossible for reps to know everything about every product and service they sell. That’s why it’s critical to always have ready access to answers to frequently asked questions, technical documents and other product and service related information. Simply explain to buyers that you need to check the answer to the question they asked. Taking time to find the best responses to queries will help build your credibility, not damage it.

Tip: Provide opportunities for people to ask questions throughout sales meetings. It will keep them focused on you and not the questions they want to ask.

Presentation skills are non-existent

Not everyone is a stellar presenter. Poor speaking habits, over-dependence on powerpoint slides and ignoring client questions are sure ways to kill deals.

Solution: Provide new sales reps with onboarding and offer them ongoing sales training. Include components on presentations skills. It can help turn the worst presenters into polished and professional sellers.

Tip: Use your sales enablement system to share videos of your top salespeople presenting to prospects and clients. It’s a good way for less-experienced sellers to learn from the best in a real-world environment.

Want to learn more about improving how you sell?

Check out these articles:

How To Sell Faster And Better

What’s New In Selling? Six TOP Trends

How To Improve Your Sales Conversations

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