This time of year salespeople everywhere find it harder and harder to get opportunities started and closed as the marketplace seems to be focused on the impending holiday season and end of the year clean up. Decision makers are dealing with their budgets and planning for the coming year and making buying decisions don’t appear high on the priority list. My advice is to stop fighting this trend and join the party.
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?
Too often the response I get when I ask a salesperson what their best sales trait is they will tell me it is persistence. I have to admit that my reaction isn’t what they, and most likely you, are hoping it will be.
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.