I’ve been in the business of developing sales forces for 18 years. I really struggled my first year. But then I ran an appointment with a very sharp executive. He taught me a valuable lesson when he shared what he told his team: You can’t be more committed to your client’s success than he or she is.
Those words changed the way I approached my sales meetings. I really started testing my prospects on their commitment to success because I had wasted a lot of time calling on whiners, not winners. Excuse makers rather than excellence makers.
So what can you change or do on your sales calls to make sure you are meeting with winners, not whiners?
1. Just ask your prospects where this “purchase” or change ranks on their list of priorities. For example, on a scale of one to 10, where does achieving this goal or getting rid of this problem rank? If they reply, “five,” then it’s time to stop the appointment and address the sales elephant in the room. Tell them, “it sounds like getting this done is more of a nice to have rather than a need to have.” Stop wasting time with status-quo prospects. Move onto those that are serious about improving and changing their business outcomes.
2. Apply the EQ skill of reality testing. Serious prospects allow you access to other decision makers. Are you getting access to decision makers or being forced to ‘guess’ at the best solutions? Is the company committed to setting aside the necessary time, resources and budget needed to invest in your product or services? Or, is the prospect relying on the hope and denial strategy of achieving goals?
If you want to grow sales this year, work with prospects and customers that are as committed to their success as you are.