John's territory involves working with many prospects that ask for samples, demonstrations, proposals, references and all the usual items that buyers want from a vendor. Trying to appear accommodating and professional, John finds himself spending hours of time preparing, writing, setting up or sending all this information that he believes will help "convince" his prospect. Everyone appears very impressed with what John shows them, except it seems like they don't act on all that "interest" often enough. Although his results are okay, he cannot understand why all this activity is not leading to more orders.
John falls into the same trap as many other enthusiastic, committed and trusting sales people do after providing this flood of information. Most salespeople are trained to believe that a demo or proposal will be so compelling to the prospect that they have no choice but to place the order.
Many reps are convinced that providing the most product knowledge and a free show of just how great the latest gizmo works will overcome any buyer's objection. "If you show it and quote it, they will buy it" is a belief that has cost sales pros more hours and frustration than he or she ever imagined.
Remember that many prospects do not have a strong buying process and that a decision to act may not come easily.
Buyers are programmed to get as much free information from a vendor as possible, and most reps are happy to oblige, because they believe that they have an interested prospect on their hands. The only part that is missing is an agreement that all this activity will actually result in something.
John needs to find better ways to control his sales process so that his efforts are more focused on an end result. Demonstrations, proposals, or references might be a necessary part of the cycle, but they are often best used as one of the very last steps in the buying process. By performing some of these activities in a "virtual" mode, a skilled salesperson can uncover the real roadblocks to getting the business in the right amount of time.
The hidden decision makers, realistic time frames, and actual commitment to make a decision can be uncovered with:
"Assuming I do ______ and everything works as I've said it will, what do you see as our next step?"
"Let's pretend you love it. What will happen next?"
"If we fast forward to ______ then what do you think we have to talk about before we can make a decision?" Does it make enough sense to Book Another Meeting?
"If you see and hear everything you hope, then _______ ?
Maintain control of your sales process and shorten your sales cycle by knowing what happens every time you are asked to jump through a hoop. And only give up something (a demo, a proposal) if you get something (a decision, a commitment date).
Let's pretend is a GREAT tool that you can use anywhere. Practice using Let's Pretend in every area of your life and see 1. how easy it is to use and 2. the response you get.
Final Thought for the Morning:
"Just because you passionately believe it, doesn't mean they will too." ~ Charlie Hauck
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.