What's the biggest obstacle we have in sales -- the biggest
challenge that we have? Well so many of
us will say getting a “no”. We always
want to get a yes in sales. Actually,
that's not at all our biggest problem or our biggest challenge. The number one problem we have in sales is “I
want to think it over”. The reason
that's a big problem is because it's a gray area. It doesn't have any definition. Think it over usually is a no disguised as a maybe, and a maybe is
nothing more than a probable no as well.
The reason this is such an issue in the world of sales is
because it doesn't give us any definition.
And when we don't have definition, what we do is take whatever it is
they say, for example, “ this really does look like something interesting. I'm going to go ahead and look this over and
I'll think about it and I'll let you know.
Why don't you give me a call next week”.
So you call the next week. Hi
Bob, this is Jane. Wanted to check on to
see if you had any questions on the proposal I gave you. I know you said you wanted to think it over
-- see if you've made a decision, they'll call back. The next week, Jane calls Hey Bob, Jane
again, just checking to see if you had made any decisions. The next week again, Hi Bob, it's Jane, I know you've been really busy, but wanted to
see if you had come to any kind of conclusion.
And this goes on and on until somebody gives up, usually Jane.
Now the reason we do that is because we believe that in
sales, persistence is important, and follow-up is part of what we do in
selling. If you just keep following up
eventually you'll break them down.
No. I don't call this follow-up. I call this stalking.
True selling is two people coming to a
conclusion, -- a conclusion that it should move to the next step, and
potentially move to the next step, that will eventually turn into a sale. If two people aren't agreeing on what the
next step looks like or that there should be one, then there won't be one. Because most of the time, when somebody says
I want to think it over, what they're really saying is you're a nice person, I
don't want to tell you know, but I have no intention on doing anything.
This is a very frustrating thing that sales people go
through. And interestingly enough,
again, the number one problem or challenge that I hear, as I travel around the
country talking to people in selling. So
what do we do? Well one of the things we
have to do is make sure that when you're selling, that you have a sales process
that works for you. A sales process is
not a memorization of a script.
process is having an actual agenda of things that you know you need to go
through -- you need to cross off your list before you move to the next step and both you and the prospect have to agree on
each of these steps along the way.
The reason most sales people don't have a sales process,
because they believe that because they've got a good personality and people
like them, that they can sell. I can
convince people of anything. People
always like me. People always feel good
about me. I make friends very
easily. Well, congratulations, but today
is much more difficult to do what you used to do and make it work. Why?
1. Buyers are a lot more savvy than they were back in the '70s. You can't do the same kind of selling that
you have always done. The old “features
and benefits” selling doesn't work. You
need to have a strong conversation, an executive level conversation with
somebody who has the ability to make decisions.
That conversation does not come from asking a few questions and doing a
Human nature is about helping find something
that you as a buyer, believe has value.
The problem with value is that as a seller, we have our own beliefs on what the value
is. So we go out and we tout what we
believe our value is. Your result is
going to be think it over. So there are
certain things you need to do when you are in a sales environment.
2. You have to have a
process for selling and a process for selling needs to start with a process for
prospecting. Yes, it's a lot easier to
do what you are supposed to do, say what you are supposed to say than not beg
for the sale when you have a lot of opportunities in your sales
<Garbled>. Most people have a
execute opportunities in their sales funnel <?>. They go after and work on those
opportunities, call those people, talk to those people, put a proposal
together, putting all their eggs in that basket. What they are forgetting to do is to go out
and prospect for new business even when you're working on existing
business. That's the number one problem
I find. So you have to have a process
for prospecting as well.
3. You have to have a
way of pre-qualifying every opportunity.
I don't care if you are talking to someone that is across the street
from your office. You should not go over
and make an appointment with them until you have pre-qualified them on the
<Garbled>. Why? Several reasons.
When you have an opportunity to pre-qualify, you
see if they are qualified for you so you don't waste any time, but more
importantly, even if they are across the street from you and you feel like,
well Greta I won't waste time, it's right there, then more importantly <Lost
It is important not only for you to
pre-qualify them, but they need to pre-qualify you as a potential partner. And what we do when we get people on the
phone, we tend to tell them all the things that we can do for them to try to
pique some interest. Their interest will
only be piqued by what they decide is important.
So we have to ask some really good questions
to get them to think about what you've got and why it might be of benefit to
them. At that point you need to set
yourself a next step, which is typically going to be an appointment in person,
but it doesn't have to be. Typically
you're going to set a next step, and before you do that you need to agree that
both sides know what the issues are at least on the highest level at this
point. Who's going to be in that meeting
besides just that person, if somebody else has input, questions or thoughts on
what it is that you're looking to talk to them about. And you need to have a date and a time of
when you're going to follow up.
do that, you will then send a short e-mail recapping the conversation you just
had and what you agreed upon. The third
part of your selling process is the actual appointment, which I call the
interview. Why do I call it the
interview: Because not only are they interviewing you, you are interviewing
them. You need to go to that appointment
prepared. You need to know as much as
you can about them, about their company, about their organization. And boy today, if you're going to unprepared,
shame on you. It's easy to get
information on organizations today. You
need to go in and ask what I call big picture questions, and you need to ask
questions that are thought-provoking. If
you had the ability to move such and such forward, what would that do to the
bottom line of your organization. Share
with me what your goals are and are you on track to meet those goals.
Depending on what you do for a living, you
have to ask those questions. It's got to
have something around what you do, but more importantly it's got to be a
question -- a thought-provoking one that the person in front of you, when you
ask the question is looking up, maybe squinting their eyes thinking about the
question. Often I will ask a question to
someone and they'll say boy, that's a really good point. I didn't make a point, I asked a
question. But the reason that's a
powerful question is because a point is made in someone else's head, then it
Now they're engaged with
your idea; that's important. So you have
to fully understand what their issues are and how those issues are affecting
them. In addition to that, you have to
have some level of conversation about money, about investments. Because if you don't, you don't want to come
back with your proposal and surprise them.
The third part of this interview which is very important is what I call
the if-then <?>. If I come back
and I show you some things that you think really do solve the issues that you
have, what happens next. However you ask
that is up to you <Lost Signal>
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