Reason 7: Act As If You Are Financially Independent And You Don’t Need The Business
Have you ever walked into a room and there’s a big cuddly Rottweiller behind the door? How can you react? You can either be calm and relaxed in which case chances are he won’t attack or you can show your fear and he’ll snarl, growl, bark and his hackles will go up.
Prospects are like Rotties! They smell your fear, your neediness and your desperation. If you give the air of someone who needs the business, they’ll stall, they quibble over price and then when you make a concession, they’ll go for the jugular and see what else they can get from you. They do that, don’t they?
Or they’ll play it neutral, letting you sweat, letting you make unilateral concessions, one sided giveaways that mean that you’re always on your back foot. You even get emotionally involved in the sale, having invested so much time and effort, several visits, a couple of demonstrations, writing a proposal, making amendments, rushing to meet deadlines only to find yourself in voicemail jail where you hurry up and provide all the information they want when they want it, and you get unlimited access to their voicemail.
Develop walk-away power. How do you do that? The clue is in Reason 2. If you have a full pipeline what do you have that you don’t have now?
Choices come from setting the right foundations, building your prospect pipeline and disqualifying non-prospects quickly and ruthlessly. Choice comes from learning to be brave 5-seconds at a time and being willing, even dedicated to hear a prospect tell you “no”. The more times you hear “no”, the better. There are two reasons why a “no” is a good thing. The first is you get rid of the deadwood faster and the second is selling, real selling, generally starts when you hear a prospect say “no” to you.
The reason is the positive prospect is your worst prospect. The neutral prospect is your toughest prospect and the negative prospect is your best prospect.
I can almost hear you ask “How can that be? It doesn’t make sense.” Think about that for a moment and if you want to know why this is the case then you’ll just have to call me or invite me in to meet you. You probably have no interest in learning why what you know about sales is wrong and has lost you so much time and money over the years you will want to cry. In fact, you’re probably of the view that if you do more of what you’re already doing, sales is a numbers game and you’ll eventually reach your goals.
Decide, Take Action
If you recognise that you’re already working like a dog, your cleaner probably earns more per hour than you do, that your family is suffering and you are taking one step forwards and 2 steps back, that your prospect controls you and you have no way of performing consistently, predictably and above your financial targets you may want to email me for a conversation on firstname.lastname@example.org to help me understand why and you to understand what to do about it.
Remember, if you see no fit, if you have no interest in what I may be able to help you achieve and you are OK with your performance you can say “no”. I’m fine with a “no” and welcome your honesty and directness as neither of us want to waste our time.
Qualify Whether You Feel You Need Help
If on the other hand you want to take things further, you might want to qualify yourself further by completing this self-assessment of where your problems lie in your own sales processes.
1. Do you struggle to meet enough genuine, qualified prospects who are able and willing to spend enough money and invest enough time and resource to make the problems you can fix go away? Yes / No
2. You struggle to get invited in to meet genuine decision makers without pushing or begging for an appointment. When you do set up meetings prospects sometimes cancel without warning or worse, don’t show up? Yes / No
3. Have you recently found yourself giving away too much free consulting and you have had enough of having your best ideas stolen while you don’t get paid for them? Yes / No
4. Do you do anything and everything to avoid making cold calls, in fact you’d prefer to visit the dentist for an unanaesthetised root canal filling rather than make a cold call? Yes / No
5. Do you ever find yourself in long sales cycles with unpredictable outcomes which cost you a lot of time and in some cases money and scarce resources? Yes / No
6. Have you recently been in front of a prospect who was positive, showed every sign of buying and still they told you they needed to “think about it”, or they asked you for a proposal which you hurried to produce and they still haven’t given you a decision long after you expected one? Yes / No
7. You have a drawer full of outstanding proposals but no decision is being reached and you’re frustrated by that? Yes / No
8. When you try to close a prospect for a decision, you find their defence walls go up, they hit you with objections, stalls and smoke screens to keep you coming back for more, giving more and more information away and you almost never know where you really stand despite what they tell you? Yes / No
9. Your forecasts are more a guess than a prediction. You can’t grow your business because you just don’t know where and when revenue will drop. You speak to your partners, your boss, your bank or your accountant and you have no idea when, why or how much business will land? Yes / No
10. You’re uncomfortable selling or scared of facing prospects, you get nervous about selling because you don’t like sales, your concept of salespeople is negative and you don’t want other people to think of you as a salesperson? Yes / No
11. When you make presentations you find that not every point you make is relevant and you see the reaction of your buyer; they waver or they lose momentum, or they tell you how interesting your presentation is but they just don’t buy? Yes / No
12. You find yourself in bid or tender situations and you’re frustrated that you come “a close second” too often for comfort, after all, all tenders and bids cost you time and money which is in scarce supply? Yes / No
13. Your competition does stuff you don’t do, is cheaper, better, faster, smaller, bigger, has a better reputation, better clients, better marketing, better collateral, bigger budgets, bigger guns … and you feel like an also-ran or you’re afraid you’re going to “be found out”? Yes / No
14. You feel like you’re just pacing time as “column fodder” where the buyer needs to have 3 quotes and you’re number 2 or 3 and someone else is earmarked to win the business? Yes / No
15. Your business depends on you to bring home the bacon, your family depend on you to bring in the income and the pressure of the sale crushes you because you know you need to make it, but you let your nerves, your desperation, your fear show and prospects take advantage of you?
Yes / No
If you’ve answered “yes” to more than 2 of these questions and you’re worried or angry enough to want to begin to do something about them within the next 8 weeks, see in your mind’s eye the outcome you want to achieve decide, then act.
Wishing you successful selling!