Predictions are not Guarantees
Recall a time when speaking too soon hurt a sale?
We love to hear the right things, and assume the best, without digging in the career of sales. There is fear, no, that if another question is asked it won’t be followed by the answer we want? If a salesperson hears “This is very interesting, I just want to think it over, then get back in touch” from a prospect, they might celebrate after the call. “Interesting, he said”! But, what this salesperson did was assume that “very interesting” meant, well, genuine intrigue and desire. In reality, the salesperson never gets in touch with the prospect again – they were smoke-screened as the prospect felt.
This example gets far more real as a sale progresses. A contract may be asked for, but without the salesperson asking into this request, it could just be a way to get the salesperson to go away. Buzz words in sales should never be taken at the first opportunity – dust them off, to find out if they are gold or rotten, with questions. If the prospect says “very interesting”, simply ask “Very interesting? What do you mean by that?” for example. Now, through elaboration, you’ll begin to weed out the truth. Questions like this one will save you a lot of time. And it can go for positives and negatives. Does the prospect object right off the bat after you begin speaking? Ask a question, find out what that objection means. And on the flip-side, if a prospect says there’s a great chance of doing business and they’re excited, delve deeper into it – find out why they need three weeks if there is a great chance. Predictions are not guarantees. Clarity between you and the prospect will tell the truth.
Takeaway: Think of three of the most common lines, good or bad, that have fooled you in your sales career. What are questions you could ask, that would make the prospect elaborate on those lines, and help you get a true picture of the situation?