We've all heard it before- it's the market conditions that are making it hard for me to __________. Fill in that blank with any of your favorite or least favorite sales challenges- setting appointments, prospecting, closing, shipping, getting PO's, sending quotes or finding projects to quote.
I am annoyed, but there is an upside to this annoyance. They are constructing a natural gas pipeline right outside my office, and I mean right outside my office, like 20 yards from my window. The noise is constant, and despite all the sound barriers they’ve constructed the noise is still annoying. And to make things worse, they don’t know when it will end. So, yes, I am annoyed.
Yesterday I sat in our monthly session of our High-Performance Sales Program with a room full of sales professionals and they were all talking about how rude many people have, in their eyes, become. One attendee even spoke about how an affiliate of their office questioned how she even acquired the contact’s phone number.
As I look back over 2018, I find myself thinking of the people I’ve met and done business with this year. All in all, the experience shakes out a very positive. Since it involved people, I can’t say it was perfect, but I will do my best to make 2019 more of the same. Those that have engaged Growth Dynamics to help them grow or at least change brought as much to me as I believe I brought to them. And as a result of that exchange we are all better for the time spent with each other.
My work with my clients is constantly connecting me to their upstream and downstream market partners both directly and indirectly. As I review and replay the conversations I have with the people I support and coach, one idea keeps popping up; the idea of curiosity. Are we all curious enough to be as effective as we can and should be in our business and sales processes?
The Silent Sales Killer
In the world of high performance sales the reality is that not every opportunity is a good opportunity. Too often salespeople look at every lead or inbound inquiry as a sale half won before they even talk to the other person. That “got to get a yes” mentality is often more problem than positive attribute. The sad truth is most sales people will not get the order in more than 50% of the opportunities they pursue no matter how they go about trying to close the deal. If that is the case, the real work must be done to disqualify opportunities rather than looking for reasons to qualify them. Nothing is more expensive than time wasted on trying to convince someone to buy your product or service that has no money, no interest, no need or no compelling reason to change what they are currently doing. The real skill is in getting the NO before you expend your valuable resources of time and energy chasing something that can or should never be caught. Don’t let a prospect’s interest fool you into thinking they always have the intention to make a decision or fall in love with all your features and benefits. If you are going to get a no, get it early and keep moving on to the next opportunity. Make a prospect qualify for you.