Dan left his latest meeting with a prospective account knowing he had to make some changes. The Buyer was willing to talk about many things, but not what Dan wanted to sell, which was being provided by another firm. The upcoming election came up several times too, but Dan did his best to push past all the uncertainties surrounding that topic. It seemed no matter how hard he pushed his features, benefits or competitive advantages he was not able to move this buyer to consider a particular product because of a strong competitor and an unpredictable economy.
It's likely this account isn't moving anywhere soon because Dan has been fixated on the product and is afraid to wake up the sleeping dogs that lurk in the corner. The situation is obvious, Dan knows it, and the buyer knows it, but Dan has not put it out on the table. He really hasn't had a truthful or direct conversation about the best case or worst case possibilities of what it would take to do business together
"Let sleeping dogs lie" is an old adage that rarely works in the sales world. Sleeping dogs in the sales world eventually wake up when you least expect it and can tear you to shreds, so it's best to wake them up on your own terms. In this case, the best way to move the account forward is to get the client to help you understand the possible outcomes. Find out the best case and worst case scenarios.
Best Case - In the buyer’s mind, what set of crazy circumstances would have to happen for you to have a chance at the business? Even though you acknowledge it's a long shot, what would a home run look like? What would the current vendor have to do for you to get an invitation to come back and talk?
Worst Case - What does the buyer say if you ask them if this will "Never, ever" happen? Take them to "No." Say what you don't want to hear and force them to convince you that you are wrong in your presumption they will never change.
Fear of the "sleeping dogs" hardly ever has a good outcome. At some point Dan may need to recognize that he should quit accepting all the common excuses and have a direct, but humble and nurturing talk about the obvious rather than trying to dance around the real issues.
Have sleeping dogs ever bit you? Did you know they were there and left them be or were these surprise sleeping dogs, ghost dogs perhaps?
Final Thought for the Morning:
You run the sales call or the prospect runs the sales call. It's your choice.
The best time to defuse a bomb is before it goes off.
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: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.