You or someone you know likely suffers from Happy Ears.  This syndrome is not as easy to diagnose as prospecting and closing problems, which are as obvious as your next commission check.  No, Happy Ears lurk undetected beneath the surface, presenting symptoms like bad luck, lying, the competition, status quo and pricing to throw you off track. The first order of business is to determine whether you have Happy Ears.

Do You Have Happy Ears?

How many times in the past 12 months did you think you were going to close an account or a sale and it either didn’t happen yet, or you didn’t get the business?a. never
b. once or twice
c. three or four times
d. a handful
e. a lot
f. more than I can remember

OK, if you selected “a”, Happy Ears is not your problem, but lack of opportunities might be!  Read one of my articles on Getting to 1st Base!

If you selected “b”, you may have a mild case of Happy Ears.  Your job is to determine the forces at work in those couple of scenarios where it did happen, and how they were different from the opportunities where it didn’t happen.  For instance, one salesperson gets a case of Happy Ears only on the rare occasion when he is selling to a female.  Another salesperson gets Happy Ears only when the prospect praises his knowledge and expertise.  Yet another salesperson gets Happy Ears only when a prospect says the words, “sounds good”.

If you selected “c”, “d”, “e”, or “f”, you have the ailment and you need to get it treated.

How Do You Treat Happy Ears?

You are probably an optimist or a borderline realist.  You’ll simply need to become more of a pessimist. I have a philosophy that I am eternally optimistic about my outcomes, but extremely pessimistic about everything I hear.  In other words, I have tremendous faith in how things will turn out, but I doubt everything I hear along the way.  My doubt is the reason I’m so sure things will turn out so well. My doubt is my insurance policy.  My doubt is my safety net.  My doubt is my second opinion.  My doubt is my built-in sales manager.  My doubt is my conscious.  My doubt is the sales police.

How Do You Put Doubt/Pessimism to Work?

Use Baseline Selling’s Infield Why Rule!

If someone says it sounds good, ask what sounds so good about it?

If someone says it’s good fit, ask why it’s such a good fit.

If someone says they’ll find the money, ask where they’ll go looking for it and what they expect to happen.

If someone says they need to get it approved, ask what will happen if they meet resistance or opposition.

If someone says they’ll let you know next week, ask what would cause them to say yes next week but not this week.

If someone says they’re leaning toward you, ask why they wouldn’t buy from your competition.

Get the picture?  Use doubt and pessimism to find the leaks and address them when they spring up.  Then you won’t be surprised after it’s too late to patch them up.