September 5

Should You Have Been There in the First Place?


There are many great coaching questions that salespeople and sales managers can ask when pre-briefing and debriefing sales calls. One that I often start with is: Should you have been there in the first place? 

Many hard-working salespeople are working TOO HARD. They keep trying to sell to prospects that are never going to buy and then beat themselves up for lack of selling and influence skills. They start thinking they don’t have what it takes to succeed in sales.

You don’t lack selling skills. You lack self-awareness and understanding of why you choose to engage with prospects that aren’t qualified. That which you are not aware of, you are bound to repeat.

Stop the floggings and apply a healthy dose of reality testing when reviewing recent sales calls that ended up being a waste of time. Make sure you’re investing time only with serious prospects. 

Here’s a few tips to get you started. 

You know you shouldn’t have engaged at all or in further sales conversations when:

  • The prospect states they have a business problem they want to fix. However, this same prospect seems to lack the commitment to invest time, money and resources to address the pain. You shouldn’t set up a second or third meeting because this prospect is a whiner. He or she confuses whining with taking real action.
  • The prospect doesn’t fit your ideal client profile. You know through your win-loss analysis that you work best with clients that are progressive and open to change. If your prospect doesn’t demonstrate that ability at the first sales appointment, no need to set a second one (unless you enjoy professional visiting).
  • The prospect states that this initiative is a HUGE and IMPORTANT decision for the company. And yet, they won’t allow you access to all the decision makers. Hmmm. Again, look at where you do your best work and achieve great results.

It’s with companies that treat you as a partner and allow the necessary conversations to occur because they NEED and WANT to make the right decisions.

Ask the powerful coaching question to improve the quality of sales pipelines: Should you have been there in the first place?

Good Selling!


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