- October 17, 2006
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
One might think that John’s decision to purchase his own laptop for business was a good one but the process for this purchase was eye opening to all involved. John made the decision over a month ago and still hasn’t bought it. He’s looking at brands, features and prices. He’s asking others for advice. He’s trying to make an informed decision. He’s wasting time. He’s thinking it over!
So is it any wonder that his latest closable opportunity, one where the owner and the president both told him they wanted to move forward, hasn’t closed? When the two prospects told John they needed a week to find the money, he understood. When they told him a week later that they needed 3-4 more weeks, he understood. When he was coached to call back and get the deal closed, he wouldn’t budge from “but they told me not to call for 3-4 weeks” because he empathized. Empathy is good for relating to the prospect’s issues but empathy is bad when it means a salesperson relates to their stalls and put-offs.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to John and it prevents him from achieving consistent success. Whenever a prospect presents a good case for delaying a decision, you can count on John to cooperate.
This behavior is simply one component of a hidden weakness that I call Non Supportive Buy Cycle. I first discovered this in the 1980’s and it is one of the most common and powerful hidden weaknesses. Even worse, there are dozens of other weaknesses that are hidden from view, causing your salespeople to fail. Do you know which ones your salespeople have and what they cost you in terms of lost opportunities? Have your sales force evaluated and learn how to fix these problems!