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Trust is the pivot of any business. When it is sabotaged by the sales team, whether directly or indirectly in an attempt of closing a deal, the effects are disastrous. It can lead to PR disasters that the company may take long (or never) recover from. In this article, we will explore some signs that your sales team could be overpromising and how to prevent that.

1. Quick acquisition of clients

After a product and/or service briefing, some marketing managers send their teams off to meet potential clients and fail to follow up on how work is being conducted in the field. When sales agents bring in a stream of customers quickly, they are highly praised and used as an example in reference to dedication and hard work. What some do not know is that quick acquisition of clients can be a sign of overpromising. The sales representatives may be too focused on making a sale that they go out and beyond to finalize it while overlooking the implications of their actions. As a marketing manager, whenever sales from are streaming in at a rapid rate, find out the reason rather than assuming it is by luck.

2. Complaints from customers

This is one of the most direct sign of overpromising. We are in an era where customers are intolerant of poor products or services. Failed promises are taken seriously and examined for hours on end both by internet users and the media. They can also be shared through online channels and travel at a speed of light. As a marketing manager, if you receive negative reviews, other than resolving immediately, it is advisable that you analyze the batch to see if they are pointing to a common issue.

3. Sudden ending of partnerships

Customers can end partnerships if they receive a poor product or service or read about it from others. Some may end their partnerships with minimal or no explanation and decline to offer enough time for amendments if the situation poses as a risk to their reputation.

4. No repeat sales

It is highly unlikely that a customer who has been disappointed by a product or service can make another purchase, or someone who has read negative reviews.

How to prevent overpromising

1.Set realistic goals for your team

In a previous article, we wrote about ensuring healthy competition while paying on commission. One reason why sales’ agents overpromise is to close a deal, which is after strict rules from their managers that they should meet certain targets. The targets can seem unachievable, and therefore push the agent to overpromising, if the marketing manager is not up to tabs with the trends in the market or open to knowing them. As an executive, a short survey on market trends can help you a great deal in setting goals for your team.

2. Re-educate about the product/service

Overpromising can also be the result of misunderstanding or the trainer withholding crucial information. By educating about the features, benefits, working mechanism, and side effects where necessary, you can help your team to share truthful details with the prospects.

3. Educate on the dangers of overpromising

Some sales’ agents believe they are being persuasive while they could be overpromising. This can be best prevented and rectified by educating them on the dangers of overpromising both to their careers and the company. As you educate them about the dangers, you should also offer them the support they need to sell products or services such as samples, demos, fair compensation, training, facts about the market and capability of the company, and others. While imparting the knowledge, it is also important that you remind them that not all prospects turn into paying customers immediately and that a rejection can or should be used as a learning experience rather than being hammered into shape.

4. Do mock sessions

Sometimes sales pitches are not enough. Agents need real-life experiences on how to approach different people. If they lack the knowledge, they can resort to exaggerating anything from the benefits to delivery time to close a deal. Mock sessions supplement the knowledge they gather from pitch presentations. They are good indicators of how your team conducts itself in the field. It also grants you an opportunity of educating them if they are wrong, and learning from each other so they can avoid all instances of withholding crucial information.

5. Focus on long-term growth

To avoid falling into the trap of doing anything doable to sell your products and/or services, constantly revisit the future goals of the company and choose the actions that will help you to attain it. Looking beyond the present state is a good reminder of the need to be principled at all times. It will challenge you not to sacrifice hundreds of customers to get one.

6. Seek an expert’s  hand 

Some overpromise when sales are running low and they have run out of ideas on how to boost them. If you are unable to sell or come up with the right strategies, consult an expert. Whether it is an individual or organization, they can help you to break from the shell you may be trapped in through proper targeting, understanding the right approach to prospects, and new ways of making selling.