Please excuse the recycling of the episode. Technical difficulties were had with the microphone when we were recording this week.
Brian just made a proposal to a buyer and received the same response he has heard so many times recently. "Thanks for the proposal. Appreciate you coming in. We'll give it some consideration and let you know." The buyer seems unimpressed by the entire conversation, and Brian senses that the chances of getting any business is slim and none. This late breaking news flash: "Slim" has just left the building.
Salespeople continually spend far too much time with prospects who are unworthy of their time and presentation. The warning signs are there, but ignored. They stay with their losing hand hoping to catch the winner on the last card. This happens primarily because salespeople typically have weak pipelines and are desperate to meet with anybody. Their primary strategies are to grind them down or hope to get "lucky".
Brian needs to be able to audition each prospect quickly to determine their worthiness to see his magic dust. Your time is valuable, yet prospects think nothing about wasting your time. They want your information and don't care about the agony they might be putting you through with their antics.
So before you decide to invest any serious time with a buyer, make them pass a worthiness interview. If you can honestly answer yes to the following questions, then they most definitely have earned the right to your time. If not, find a different product, a different approach or find a better prospect.
- Are they willing to talk about their business?
- Will they allow you to ask about pain, problems and priorities?
- Do they know what they want?
- Are they just "interested" or do they have intent to act?
- Do they want it in a reasonable time frame?
- Assuming you "wow" them, can they make an investment?
All buyers need to earn your continued involvement with them. It's not a one-way street. If they don't pass the test, explain to them (without a hint of arrogance or frustration) that you're probably not a good fit. Sometimes this tactic gets their attention real fast, or helps them to disqualify themselves. Their hesitancy to share information and/or their inability to articulate what they really want is just another trip on the Crazy Train to Nowhere for both of you.
Don't hang in there hoping that they will turn into a great prospect, or even worse, a really lousy, high maintenance, time consuming client, because they probably won't. Disengage and move on to someone who is a worthier prospect or to a different product area that has better potential. There are plenty of good opportunities out there if you'll ramp up your pipeline development efforts.
Final Thoughts for the Morning:
"When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there."
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
LAST WEEK: Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
THIS WEEK: What are your three most important goals for this week?