Salespeople and Their Fantasies

Our five-year-old son, often the subject of a posting in my blog, gave reason to post again tonight.  He decided to recite the names of the planets and was doing a great job.  He said, “Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter, Earth, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Krypton, where Superman and Krypto the Super Dog live”.

We were so impressed that our little five-year-old knew seven of the planets and laughed so hard that he included Krypton.  He still isn’t old enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality in certain situations.  Like salespeople.

Salespeople often can’t tell the difference between a real opportunity and a fantasy.  Some believe that if the opportunity has enough zeroes in it then it must be real.  Some believe that if their prospect says “it looks good and we’ll get back to you next week” that the prospect will actually call back and buy next week.

Your job, should you decide to accept the challenge of continuing to grow your salespeople, is to help them ask the right questions so that they can begin to see the difference between reality and fantasy.  Teach them how to question everything.  Teach them to punch holes in what their prospects say.  Teach them how to push back.  Teach them to recognize a put-off and not accept it.

As I’ve said before, salespeople are just like children, and like children, it is your obligation to show them the way.