|Date Published||October 22, 2013|
|Article Author||Hamish Knox|
|Article Type||PULSE Interactive Newsletter Oct. 2013|
|Category||Articles, PULSE Interactive|
|Tags||Newsletter, Oilfield HUB Member, Oilfield PULSE, PULSE Interactive October Newsletter, Sales, Training|
Ask most salespeople to describe the purpose of each interaction with a prospect and theyâ€™ll probably say something like:
- “close ’em”
- “build the relationship”
- “educate them”
- “solve their problems”
All good answers, but the real purpose of every interaction with a prospect is to get to the truth.
Whatâ€™s uncomfortable about getting the truth in an interaction with a prospect? Ask any salesperson this question and most of the time their answer will be something like â€œI might not get their business!â€
To paraphrase, George Carlin, people have a hard time facing reality. People have a hard time facing the truth, especially when itâ€™s an uncomfortable truth.
As professional salespeople we possess only two valuables, our time and our information. Our prospects have been trained by amateur salespeople to waste our time and get our information for free.
It would seem then that knowing we wonâ€™t get a prospectâ€™s business early in our sales cycle would preserve both.
The three truths you seek in every interaction with a prospect are:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Close the file â€“ if youâ€™re not going to get the business â€“ because the prospect has no actional pain, isnâ€™t willing or able to pay your price for your service or uses a decision making process that doesnâ€™t fit with your eating-more-than-once-per-month plan â€“ letâ€™s find out now so you can move on to more qualified prospects
2.Â Â Â Â Â Advance the sale â€“ if your product or service has a long sales cycle (e.g. complex software) thereâ€™s no reason why you and your prospect canâ€™t make a decision to take the next step at the end of every interaction. One of the biggest causes of overlong sales cycles is not confirming a specific next step at the end of each interaction
3.Â Â Â Â Â Close the sale â€“ obviously. In this case your prospect closes themselves because you helped them discover that your product or service was the best choice to solve their problem, they were willing to pay your price and they would make a decision about choosing your or your completion in a timely manner
Before you start to seek these truths every time you interact with a prospect, get comfortable with David Sandlerâ€™s rule, â€œyou canâ€™t lose anything you donâ€™t have.â€
Too often we fall in the trap of acting like we have a prospectâ€™s business when we have nothing but vague promises to buy from us eventually.
When you truly believe that seeking the truth, even if it is an uncomfortable truth, is in your best interest youâ€™ll feel less pressure on your sales calls and youâ€™ll enjoy selling more.
Hamish Knox is a Sandler Trainer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada